I read this wonderful article about a year or so ago, How To Live With An Empath, written by Lauralyn Avalon, that got me thinking recently when I revisited it today. What about how to be friends with an Empath? These aren't rules, please understand. They are just suggestions.
How To Be Friends With An Empath
~ Meet the Empath on equal footing. What this means is that an Empath brings all of who they are to the table, when they take someone on as a friend, instead of someone just to help. And they hope, because they learn early on not to expect, that you will do the same.
~ Love an Empath with all your heart. Empaths bring their whole heart to the table in a friendship, and when they truly let someone in and love them, it is completely and totally. It is all encompassing, which can scare some people at times. But all they really want is that returned in kind, even if you don't feel well or your personal problems are weighing down on you.
~ Try not to be judgmental about an Empath's quarks. They all have them, as do most normal people. Accept them for who they are, as they try to do for you.
~ Don't be judgmental when an Empath offers support, advice (even if unsolicited), or tries to tell you how you might be doing something wrong. Empaths see the world and people in a way most others do not. But they do not mean to be dictatorial, controlling, or pushy. Its simply in their nature to help. And because they love so completely, the very action of offering that help is an act of support toward you.
~ Make time for your Empathic friend. This is because they have need your support, if they love you and have let you in.
~ Remember that Empaths are human beings with feelings, needs, and desires just like everyone else. They might have a gift, but they are more than their gift. They are people too.
~Be understanding and supportive of an Empath. Don't condemn or make jokes about them being 'crazy', 'weird', or in a religious context 'possessed by demons'. They are simply different from you, but that doesn't make them inaccessible, bad, leeches, needy, overly sensitive, evil, or anything else they should feel ashamed of.
~ Be open minded. Try learning about the empathic nature through books and material on the internet, so you know what to expect within a friendship with an Empath.
~ Remember that Empaths are sensitive souls, and might have a hard time dealing with aggression, crowds, and violent or gory media displays. Be sensitive and understanding toward this trait.
**Note: The next two were added by some of the kind people at Empath Community**
~ Respect when an Empath needs time to themselves away from others. Don't push. Sensitive souls sometimes need time to recharge and rediscover themselves.
~ Trust is key with an Empath. Think about it.
There are probably more I am not putting down at the moment. Periodically, as I think of them, I will come back and add more. Or if you have suggestions please feel free to add it.