Also, Should I Buy a Ouija Board or Just Make One?
My Life According to Google Search
According to my Google searches, here’s what I’ve been up to. (Warning: F-bombs ahead.) But before we get to empathy vs sympathy vs compassion …
Ouija board near me
Actually, I only typed in “ouija board” and the “near me” bit popped up at the top of suggested searches.
Really? People are searching for “ouija board near me?”
I’m not sure if I feel comforted or not by the fact that there are weirder weirdos out there than me. Nonetheless, I couldn’t resist clicking on that search option.
Here’s what we now know about ouija boards near me:
Toys ‘R Us carries ouija boards, but their’s only has a user rating of 3.5 stars
I don’t even know what to say about this. I’m as gobsmacked as you. Toys ‘R Us? Really?
Spenser (online) has a “retro” ouija board with a full 5 star rating.
Naturally, I want this one. Unfortunately, it’s sold out. Apparently, I’m not the only nut who wants the higher rated heaven calling system.
Immediately after reviewing a few other ouija board offerings, I found an article by Dr. Henry Cloud, author of the books Necessary Endings, and Boundaries, about how I might have an unhealthy maternal attachment.
I’m pretty sure it was a message from MLM (My Little Mom).
Fine. No ouija board. (For now.)
How to Open the Pineal Gland
Ha! There’s more than one way to get two-way communication with the dead!
The pineal gland is also known as the “third eye” and is a less scary-movie way to communicate with “the other side.”
However, my pineal gland is likely “calcified” and since it was late at night (/early in the morning) when I abandoned my Googling, I forgot to go back and search for how it got calcified to begin with and how to decalcify it.
How to Decalcify the Pineal Gland Naturally Without Drugs
Then again, this information appears to be critical.
Try these 5 foods for the best pineal gland health:
- Chlorella. Chlorella, spirulina, and wheatgrass are great foods packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- Iodine. Fluoride from your tap water settles into the pineal gland.
- Oregano Oil.
- Apple Cider Vinegar.
- Beets or Beet Juice.
Shut the front door! I have all these things in my kitchen right this minute. Let the decalcification begin!
If you see me on the street, just know that I’ll be seeing you, too — with my three eyes!!!
Though, I’ll probably avoid you because —
Empathy vs Sympathy vs Compassion
Because of some “interesting interactions” (more on this shortly), I’ve been going through uncomfortable (but necessary and healthy) emotional growth.
Recent conversations with close friends had me wondering just how delusional I was about categorizing myself as being “an empath.”
Namely, when I said that I thought I was an empath, there was radio silence on the other end of the phone. Hmm.
The seed of empathy vs sympathy vs compassion was planted.
So, what is an empath?
An empath is a person who takes on other people’s emotions. Not just for a moment, but collecting them like trinkets. Often weighty trinkets.
- When my BFF’s brother passed, I cried everywhere-all-the-time for three days. Like, in public and embarrassingly so. I was in another country at the time.
- When My Sister’s dog died, I cried all afternoon, napped, cried, napped, and cried myself to sleep that night. I was in another country at the time.
- When another friend had to put her dogs down, same thing. I was a fucking emotional mess. Both times. Again, I was far far away.
I probably thought at the time that I was PMSing.
Nope. Turns out, I’m a damn empath. (Though, I may also have been PMSing.)
I’m not sympathetic. Referring back to my stop fucking complaining blog post, I know, you’re shocked, too, right? 😉
(This combo of having high empathy and low sympathy probably contributed to me being successful in sales. #silverlining)
Unless you’re an underdog or in what I classify as “the vulnerable” category — child, elderly, invalid, animal — I’m pretty much all “STFU, grow up, put your big girl (/boy) panties on, take a personal-responsibility pill and deal with it.”
Not exactly sweetly sympathetic, I know.
Though, I am, for a “reasonable” period of time, compassionate regarding the four big Ds: death, divorce, disease, disaster.
So, I was having a difficult time reconciling my empathic emotions with knowing that I’m not sympathetic. Hence, Google.
When I looked up the difference between empathy vs sympathy vs compassion, here’s some of what I found.
Empathy is the ability to temporarily step out of your experience and step into another person’s experience, and perceive it as they do, whether it’s an emotional, mental, physical, intellectual or spiritual experience.
~ Anna Sayce
While these words [empathy vs sympathy vs compassion] are close cousins, they are not synonymous with one another.
Empathy means that you feel what a person is feeling. Sympathy means you can understand what the person is feeling. Compassion is the willingness to relieve the suffering of another.
An important distinction between empathy and compassion is how they can affect your overall well-being. If you are frequently feeling the pain of another, you may experience overwhelm or burnout.
This is a common problem for caregivers and health care providers, and it’s been labeled “empathy fatigue.”
Research indicates that compassion and empathy employ different regions of the brain.
~ Deepak Chopra
(Emphasis by AJ.)
Ahhhhh! “Aha!” moment!
Imagine taking on other people’s emotions — this means you feel the feelings they are feeling, not just while you’re talking to them, but until they get over those feelings, because you haven’t learned “how to turn empathy off” yet.
A few months ago, over the course of a week, I had nine of my friends call on me with their various sufferings.
My week consisted of nine hours on the phone (five with one individual alone), and you know I hate da phone!, and a ton of texting.
Imagine all of these things are actually happening to you. In the same week.
Some of the experiences.
- Unwanted divorce after 25 years
- Kicked out, homeless, living in car
- Might have to file bankruptcy
- Fired from another job
- The person who I thought was my soulmate broke up with me (two people)
- Flare up of chronic disease
- Pet died
In. one. week. people!
And to top it off, someone didn’t like the advice I gave them — which would have “saved” the situation — and they didn’t like that my prediction of what would happen if they didn’t take my advice did happen and they shot the messenger — me — by not speaking to me for a week.
And even though I understand why, and it was my own responsibility to set limits (no one is a mind reader after all) I still felt hurt and unappreciated.
I cried and then talked about it with my business coach. Note: We don’t have this kind of relationship. It’s a business relationship.
But I was desperate, overwhelmed, and mentally and emotionally frazzled.
How desperate, you ask?
I was ready to eat unsweetened cocoa powder straight out of the 5 pound bag in my pantry to get some comfort. And then I’d probably choke and die, people!
My coach told me to set boundaries. I did. I did a lousy job of it. (Hello! NO practice.) I lost two friends. (They weren’t even the ones who’d dumped their troubles on me.)
Which brings me to …
Stonewalling is not a landscape term! (I was surprised, too!)
Stonewalling is when you ignore someone by purposefully not replying.
It’s a coping mechanism; a behaviour (subconsciously) meant to manipulate, show displeasure or disapproval or emotionally punish and is generally an asshole thing to do, especially to someone you care about. #ouch
And even though I understand why this was the reaction I got, I’m still human, people! It hurt.
I don’t stonewall, but I do have my own “hurt people hurt people” dysfunctional coping mechanisms.
We all display asshole behaviours when we’re hurt. Remember the old saying, “Hurt people hurt [other] people?”
Right. Reminder to self, Anna J.
Questions to self:
- How did I act asshole-y and holier-than-thou in this situation?
- What’s my preferred coping mechanism?
Oh, right, I send out cowardly clinical-lab-light-detached emails with “provisos.”
(I couldn’t find the psychology term for that but it’s probably something like Stonethrowing, the aggressive-aggressive cousin to passive-aggressive Stonewalling.)
Damn it. I hate it when I have to look inward and walk the walk and be accountable for my actions and feelings and take responsibility for my part in the situation. Fucketty fuck fuck.
There was forgiveness (ish). But there was also awkwardness and mistrust and further misunderstandings and misinterpretations. By both.
And stonewalling, not by me.
And Towelthrowing, as in “throwing in the towel,” by me.
Sometimes, you gotta step back and, like Karen Salmansohn says, “Be a no drama llama!”
Sometimes stone fences can’t be fixed and you — I! — gotta just trust that it’s best for both parties for you — me! — to simply love ‘em and leave ‘em.
Like a cut wildflower, just because it doesn’t last forever doesn’t mean it wasn’t (isn’t) beautiful.
(I also felt like those friends were ready, or needing, to move on. Though, of course, this could be a “rationalization coping strategy.”)
How to turn off extreme empathy
You take on other people’s physical and emotional pain and you’re crippled temporarily by it while you process it and try to work out what the heck is going on.
~ Anna Sayce
By the time I figured this out, it was too late to save those two friendships, or at least I was too exhausted to try, but there is still time for this chick to engage in some much needed self-rescue through self-empathy.
Because even though I’m imperfect, I still like me.
I’m ok, you’re ok.
What Have I Re-learned?
- We don’t know what we don’t (yet) know.
- Hurt people hurt people.
- Curiosity, not defensiveness, is the key. #notetoself
- Live and learn and change behaviours based on new info!
- Love is the answer.
Maybe in my next blog I’ll explain why I Googled: Are there bears in downtown Lake Louise. #parkbenchcamping
I’m surrounded by a protective white light, I’m surrounded by a protective white light, I am surrounded by a white fucking light, people!
There’s a high likelihood of swears in any and all future blog posts. You been told. xo