Setting Boundaries for Empaths in Service

Setting Boundaries as an Empath in Service

Last Updated on May 21, 2022 by Avia

Are you an empath who serves the public? Do you employ your heightened intuition in order to help your clients?  Maybe you’re a psychic or tarot reader who utilizes your natural compassion to gently guide others through their struggles.  Whatever your situation might be, you’ve likely struggled with your role as a spiritual/intuitive advisor.  More specifically, you might be searching for tips about setting boundaries as an empath in service.  If that’s the case, you’ve come to the right place.

As a veteran certified medium, certified tarot reader, and intuitive-empathic reader, I have over 20 years of experience in dealing with the challenges of being in service to the public. While I love serving others, there are some big drawbacks that come with this line of work.  That’s why I want to share my tips on setting boundaries for empaths in service to you.

Why Setting Boundaries for Empaths in Service is Important

By their very nature, most empaths are instinctually hard-wired to help others.  They often do this voluntarily as they feel compelled to serve their fellow brothers and sisters on this earth.  That’s super-keen.  However, it can take a toll if boundaries aren’t established.

As an empath, you may often find yourself helping others first while taking care of yourself is always a secondary (or even overlooked) measure.  This can lead to health problems, or (in my case) a complete physical & emotion shut-down.

I’ve had my fair share of burn-outs.  In fact, at the height of my interpretive reading career, I became so emotionally and physically drained I was unable to function normally.  Although the damage from burn-out wasn’t permanent, it left scars.  To this day,  I prefer the life of a hermit; and choose to be sequestered and alone. 

Setting Boundaries for Empaths in Service
Setting Boundaries for Empaths in Service

Why It Can Be Hard For Emapths in Service to Set Boundaries

Empaths in service often find it hard to set boundaries because they are inherently compassionate.  Furthermore, they genuinely want to help others (and often know they can).  While this is noble – too often empaths in service are taken advantage of.  What’s more – the energy it takes for an empathic to impart their insights & wisdom can be incredibly exhausting and energetically consuming. Consequently, an empath’s time and energy is rarely taken into account by those whom they are helping.

As an intuitive empath in service, I’ve gotten myself into so many snafus and snags because I always found it hard to say “no” or set boundaries.  It’s that compulsion to heal, help and give to others most empaths possess that makes setting boundaries such a sticky wicket.  Regardless, if you are an empath serving others, you’ve got to learn to establish healthy boundaries to protect yourself.

How to Start Setting Boundaries as an Empath in Service to Others

Start by identifying the people who are toxic to your sensitive nature and who may inadvertently but negatively influence your energy. Maybe there is a particular person who isn’t a bad person by any means but emits wonky vibes when you’re around him or her.  Perhaps there are others who spew drama, hyperactivity, or negativity in your midst.  These people can be a major drag on your energy (even though they probably don’t intend to be). 

Make a point to limit your time with them. You don’t have to ignore these people altogether.  However, do be aware of how they affect you and set boundaries about limiting the time you spend with them. If this sounds like tough love (or if you feel guilty about keeping your distance from loved ones) – maybe it is. But, it’s self-love, and it’s an important factor if you psychically suffer while in the presence of certain people.

Setting Boundaries for Empaths in Service
Setting Boundaries for Empaths in Service

A Word About Takers (in My Experience as an Empath in Service to Others)

Furthermore, recognize as an intuitive-empath, that you are a magnet for people who tend to take.  I know, that sounds horrible – but I’m speaking from experience.  And in truth, most people don’t realize they are taking.  This is a constant struggle for me as an empathic reader & psychic service provider.  Almost everyone at some point wants me to do a reading for them or “check-in with the spirits” on their behalf, or interpret some kind of phenomenon or dream for them. 

Most of the time, they consider their request as some kind of compliment (I guess), thinking “Well, it’s something you do – so why not do a reading for me?”  Fair point.  However, I’m not a slot machine, and that’s how it started to feel when I consistently complied with requests for readings (mind you – without receiving compensation). It was as if some people (mostly so-called friends) just expected me to spew fortunes or insight. If you’re an empath in service, then you know that is not at all how it works.

Additionally, some (well-meaning, I hope) people approached me like some kind of woo-woo oracle & wanted me to perform like a sea lion in a circus. Let me tell you. I’m about as woo-woo as a brick wall, and I don’t balance beachballs on my nose for sardines. Grrr! At any rate, these encounters left me feeling used and taken advantage of. But then again, I was the one who didn’t set boundaries – so my bad & I really have no right to complain.

Boundaries Establish Authority & Respect For You and The Work You Do

It wasn’t until years ago, another (so-called) friend of mine asked me to give him a tarot reading. He did this two days after I buried my husband (yes, he was aware of my loss) – that’s when I started getting serious about setting boundaries. I mean, how inappropriate!  Sadly, that wasn’t the only inappropriate time I was asked to whip out the cards or make impromptu interpretations (cue the circus music, ugh).

But I digress.  Simply know that as an intuitive empath, your energy may naturally attract people who want your presence.  And I want you to learn from my experience so your natural gifts are never taken advantage of as mine were in the past.

So, whether you help others with your gifts in a profession or not, know that people are drawn to intuitive empaths for their compassionate, giving nature.  They may also overstep and intrude on your sensibilities because they may not understand how your abilities work. Just be aware of this and create firm boundaries so you can avoid getting drained (or used) by others.

Interestingly, as soon as I started setting firm, healthy boundaries, I found that more people respected my work as an empath. The disrespectful or inappropriate queries stopped, and I became more empowered in my intuitive work. This (I believe) is largely due to respecting myself and my work as an intuitive-empath.

Setting Boundaries for Empaths in Service
Setting Boundaries for Empaths in Service

Another Note About Setting Boundaries

To be fair, I don’t think most people consciously take advantage of intuitives and empaths.  In truth, it is we as sensitives that allow this to happen – not the individuals vying for our attention.  Once you recognize too much is being asked of you, gently communicate your feelings with others, and gracefully decline to be in their presence. 

Standing up for yourself, saying “no” and setting boundaries can be extremely empowering. And you don’t have to be a jerk about it.  Use the compassion you were born with, be tactful, and communicate with others clearly. 

And speaking of telling others “no” – remember this – you don’t need a reason or an excuse to say no.  You are the master of yourself. Your business is your own.  Nobody else needs to know your reasons or motivations for respectfully declining to acquiesce to others’ requests.

The Last Word About Setting Boundaries as an Empath

At the end of the day, setting boundaries (no matter how you are putting your empathic abilities to good use) is about self-respect.  In my case, I finally realized that I was just as worthy of respect as everybody else.  I also realized that my perceptions & abilities were valid, valuable, and should never be squandered. 

Whether you are working as a spiritual advisor, a psychic, a tarot reader, or a life coach – as an empath, you must value yourself enough to respect your gifts and your time.  Furthermore, I hope these thoughts about setting boundaries as an empath in service helps you evolve your practices so that you remain healthy, happy, and in harmony.  As always, thanks for reading!

Mighty brightly,

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