I am trying to figure out if I am an empath or not. I identify with many of the characteristics, but the one that I identify 100% completely even before I knew what an empath was, is my ability to see through people, an inherent sense of what people are really thinking, who they really are, and how they try to hide/protect themselves through the projection of their ego. Another thing that I think is Empath in nature, is the fact that I have literally lived by the "Golden Rule" my whole life. My Dad told it to me when I was a child to "treat others how you would like to be treated". It wasn’t something that I thought about or tried to do, its just ingrained in who I am. To this day, I treat people better than myself, always putting their needs before mine.
Even though I have these good things about me that you might think would attract friends, the fact is, all of my life people have been put-off by me. Starting in elementary school when they called me a "goody-goody". In high school they thought I was stuck up and feeling better than everyone else but it was the complete opposite! I never have had good self-esteem, or even friends. I would eat lunch alone in the library, pretending that I had homework b/c I had no-one to sit with. Sometimes I would hide in a bathroom stall waiting for lunch to be over. I called home sick a lot because I couldn't handle it! I started dumbing myself down so that I wouldn't offend people, hoping that would be the cure to help me win friends. I put myself down to make others more comfortable. I didn't want to be better than anyone! I only wanted friends. But it didn't work. It made me so feel so helpless, depressed, and unworthy of love.
Now days people call me a hippy or stoner because I try to keep peace and diffuse any angry or judgmental conversations, as it makes me uncomfortable. I wait tables so although sometimes I am screaming on the inside, I try (often unsuccessfully) extremely hard to hide my feelings. I get emotional a lot at work so I get there as late as possible, and leave as early as possible. I call in sick whenever I think I can get away with it, and get nervous around certain customers, co-workers, and managers, who don't seem to like me much at all. I bend over backwards trying to show them I care and try to help everyone out, doing people favors that they don't return, and allowing people to demand a lot out of me, with no thanks in return. Its exhausting but I am learning to set up boundaries one day at a time.
I think it may be that although I never want to hurt anyone, I am consistently finding myself exposing parts of people that they did not want exposed. People, most often, don't appreciate this. I realized this was a huge issue with me and I have gotten much better at calming this part of me down, so that I don't accidently offend someone, but a lot of times it is unconscious. Its like I literally cannot help it. I feel like people can somehow tell that I see right through them, even if I don't say much. People seem to want to keep their distance from me, not getting too deep into conversations, and especially not wanting to be alone with me. My mom says I "over-analyze" people but for me, its not about analyzing as much as it is just realizing, without any effort, what is going on with them inside, and why they are projecting the way that they are on the outside.
I literally feel crazy sometimes because I am trying so hard to be this introverted extrovert and make friends. I have a few close friends that I cherish, but I don’t make new ones. And that’s fine, but I at least want to feel like I can have some connections with people, even if they don’t want to be my "friend". People go out after work a lot and although I probably wouldn't want to go, it would be nice to get invited for once. And I do have some co-workers who like me a lot, but they still never invite me to go out with them, and if certain people are around, they seem to forget I am even there. I am longing for a closeness that others stray away from. Am I too intense? I am usually rather quiet. I don’t know. Anyone else who is dealing with this or can give me some insight on my issues, please do. I am confused at how to be me sometimes.