I am a pretty sensitive person. Actually, very sensitive. So sensitive in fact, that I can physically feel other people’s pain like it was happening to me – and I didn’t understand why until recently.
Turns out my boundaries needed securing.
Now, we have all kinds of boundaries. Some boundaries allow us to differentiate between ourselves and external things, like other people. And then there are other internal boundaries that allow us to differentiate between what we are thinking, feeling, and our emotions.
So here is what I was doing, and I bet many of you do it to, so I’ll tell you what I did and perhaps it can help you better define your own sense of self in the process, since in truth, like most of this self-help stuff once you recognize the issue everything else falls into place.
I was inadvertently merging other people’s feelings with my own. The way it worked was that I projected myself unto the other person, then saw themselves as an extension of myself. Of course, once they told me how they were feeling – I felt it too.
The cool thing about this realization is that now that I know it, I also know how to put a stop to this ridiculous behavior – at least, to choose when I WANT to use it – like at a movie. View myself as a distinct person from and not allow myself to merge with the other through projection.
There is another internal boundary that needs strengthening as well, and that is the boundary between my feeling and emotions. I need to be able to feel sorry for someone, and be empathetic, but not let it bleed over into my emotional state. Of course, this just will take realization and practice, but as I mentioned, now that I know it is an issue, I think everything else will follow. I’m off to secure by borders.