7 signs of people who mirror the emotional states of others

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Mirroring other people’s emotions, huh?

Let me guess. You’ve been called “too sensitive” before, both in a good and bad way.

Yet it goes further than just being sensitive, right? In fact, you’re probably an HSP (or a Highly Sensitive Person).

You could also be an empath. (Yes, there are subtle differences, but there are overlaps.) 

Both could be superpowers, but even superpowers can have its drawbacks. 

And sure, having emotional sensitivity makes you more compassionate, but it can also overwhelm you if you don’t take care of yourself. 

Let’s talk about it further. 

Here are 7 signs of people who mirror the emotional states of others (and 4 ways to cope).

1) You get easily overwhelmed in crowds

Talk about sensory overload, right?

BetterUp says this about the subject, “Empaths and HSPs react to people’s feelings more deeply than others do, sometimes to the point of sensory overload.”

Adding that “Being so attuned to the energy around you can turn you into an emotional sponge, in which external forces dictate your feelings to the point where they’re hard to control.” 

Which brings me to my point about being in crowds. Because that? That gets exhausting.

And a double whammy if you’re also an introvert, the crowd becomes a lesson on staying calm. 

What to do when this happens? Well, the next point helps answer that. 

2) You need lots of alone time “to recharge”

People who don’t need alone time to recharge won’t understand this need.

But you do, don’t you? 

Mirroring the emotional state of others puts you in a tizzy. There’s so much to feel in so little time.

And it’s happening all at once. Is it any wonder why you require time away from everyone?

3) You get easily overcome by emotions

The Conversation says this about the excess of empathy, “Too much empathy towards others, especially when we prioritise other people’s emotions over our own, may result in experiences of anxiety and depression[.]”

People who mirror the emotional state of others get easily overcome by emotions. 

When the feeling hits you, it hits you quickly. Sometimes, you don’t get enough time to brace yourself.

This could be because some of what you’re feeling isn’t even yours, but instead are emotions you have absorbed.

And you have, essentially, absorbed too much. Everything has become too intense. 

4) You get easily affected by the news

With how connected we are to the world digitally, it’s so easy to be swamped by bad news. 

Daily, we’re presented with news that can lead us to believe that there are no pockets of good in the world. 

You’re prone to doomscrolling, aren’t you? And then you feel helpless right after the fact. 

You see other people’s sufferings and it’s as if you take that pain as your own. 

Yet, more times than not, there’s nothing you can do. The helpless feeling then guiltily pushes you to consume more of the news.

The helpless feeling stays, it becomes a cycle, and it overwhelms. 

5) You have a bad vibes radar

You have the uncanny ability to sense bad vibes. You’re right about it more often than not.

Your intuition is crazy, and it has helped you a lot throughout the years. 

Not only can you sense bad intentions from people, but you can also sense if someone’s mood is sour. 

Have you ever steered clear of people because something is “off” about them that you can’t explain? 

Ever not liked someone but can’t pinpoint the reason when others ask you? Only to find out sometime later that they’re really not good people? Ever been proven right that way?

Have you avoided fights or confrontations because “the mood is off”? 

Can you tell if someone is lying? Can you feel if someone is sincere or not? 

I bet you could.

6) People ask you for advice

You’re insightful. You’re the kind of person who can turn a problem inside out, over and over, if necessary.

The bigger picture? You notice that. The details? You notice that even more. 

You might even be the type who obsesses over knowing all the sides to a story or a problem. Your ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes makes you someone who gives thoughtful advice.

In fact, people come to you for advice often.

Although Healthline warns, “You may have a deeper understanding of the pain fueling their behavior and want to offer support. But it’s important to remember you can’t do much for someone who isn’t ready to change.”

7) You don’t want to burden others

“Empaths and highly sensitive people are often overly conscious of not wanting to burden others. They are more comfortable with giving than receiving. That’s why it’s important to allow yourself to receive in small ways and then meditate on all the positive energy you receive. Receiving and giving need to be balanced.” – Judith Orloff, MD

And for the last sign on this list, it is not wanting to be a burden on others. 

Being so acutely aware of other people’s feelings and emotions makes you the type who doesn’t like inconveniencing others. 

You don’t ask for help and prefer to figure things out by yourself.

You hate the idea of being turned down, perhaps it has even happened before and you were made to feel like a chore. 

Lessen your emotional overwhelm

Before this article ends, it’s just right to leave a few pointers on how to lessen your emotional overwhelm

Being able to mirror the emotions of others can get exhausting in the long run. You have to learn how to protect your energy. 

Here are 4 ways to cope.

1. Set boundaries

Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries. 

Protect your peace. Choose to do so, be consistent about it, and not only when it’s about to be crossed. Set boundaries that will protect you.

This includes making time for yourself. Set that boundary of at times being unavailable to people.

Spend time by your lonesome and make that a priority. Learn to say no, learn to remove yourself from potential places of emotional overwhelm. 

Listen to your emotions. 

And with that said, learn to distinguish which emotions are truly yours. 

2. Learn to distinguish which emotions are truly yours

Be mindful of the emotions that you’re feeling. Which ones are truly yours?

Which ones are you absorbing from someone else? Sort through them. 

Much easier said than done, for sure, but necessary. Practice it constantly until it gets easier. 

3. Let go of what you can

Once you sort out your emotions, let go of what you can. 

Just because you feel something doesn’t mean you need to hold onto it. The feeling could just pass through you.

You don’t need to take everything to heart, an invaluable lesson to learn and a tough one at that. 

4. Stay kind to yourself 

Lastly, and above all else, stay kind to yourself

You won’t always get to sort your feelings and you won’t always remember to assert your boundaries, but you can always remember to be kind to yourself.

You may feel more than the average person, but you’re not infallible. You can’t hold everybody’s emotions in your heart, not even if you try really, really hard.

So, remember to treat yourself kindly. Always. 

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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