Monday, July 9, 2018

Parenting As An Empath with Social Anxiety

Being an introvert with social anxiety as well as being an empath can put you in a tough place. You can empathize with people, but yet you're too anxious to go around people. Dealing with these issues while being a parent causes an entirely new set of difficult issues to deal with. Only an empath parent struggling with social anxiety can understand these issues. I'm hoping this will help other parents to have an idea of what it's like to live in our world. We are not like the others.

Parenting as an empath with social anxiety

Parenting With Social Anxiety

As a parent, you want your children to be involved in different activities to broaden their knowledge and skills, while also interacting with other kids their age. As a parent with social anxiety, this can cause our own set of issues that we don't want our children to know about, so we try to grin and bear it the best that we can.

If you don't know what social anxiety is, go read this first: What They Don't Tell You About Social Anxiety to understand.


Parents with social anxiety don't like to be out in public with a bunch of strangers. It makes us nervous. It makes us feel that we are being stared at and judged by all of the other parents and teachers. It's uncomfortable. As a parent, we have to and want to support our children in everything they do including sports, band, and other activities which forces us to be in public around other judgy soccer moms. Although we may want to make excuses not to go, we want to support our kids and know that we have to suck it up and do it. We don't want to make a scene or have people stare at us so we are not the parent screaming and yelling at sporting events or cheering loudly at a band concert. We clap and show our support, but we don't want to draw attention to ourselves.

We are proud of our kids and what they are achieving, but all we can think about is that we just want to be home. Our kids don't understand and we don't talk about it much with them, they just know that we are quiet and shy and don't like talking to strangers.

Even meeting our child's friends can be difficult, especially as they get older. Are their friends judging us? Is their friend thinking, "Oh my God, her mom is so fat", are they laughing at me? Sleepovers are extremely uncomfortable. Your home is supposed to be where you feel completely 100% comfortable -- I can't feel that way if there is another person in the house that isn't family and that I don't know well. I can't wake up and walk around looking like a bum feeling like this other child is watching me or judging me. Ugh, why does social anxiety have to be so difficult?

Parenting as an Empath

Empaths are hypersensitive people who experience a high level of compassion, consideration, and understanding towards others. Their intense empathy creates a tuning fork effect, wherein the empath seems to actually "feel" the emotions of the people around them. -- thoughtco.com

Now we have even more difficulty to add to the parenting life. Being an empath means that we feel other people's mental anguish and pain. If someone else feels embarrassed or hurt, we feel it. We don't want anyone to feel that way, so we spend our lives trying to ensure that we don't hurt anyone's feelings or make anyone feel uncomfortable because we know that feeling all too well.

Empaths are some of the nicest people you will ever meet because of this same reason. We are kind to everyone because we don't ever want to hurt someone's feelings. When it comes to parenting, being an empath makes raising a child the right way more difficult. Why? Because of those wonderful times that we have to use tough love. Tough love is tough for everyone involved.

For example: my teenage daughter is being extremely rude and disrespectful. I tell her that if she doesn't straighten her shit up and stop being disrespectful and rude, she won't be going to the fun thing we have planned for the weekend. She continues her same behavior. When it comes close to time for the fun event, she puts on her sweet face, apologizing and asking if there is anything she can do to earn her right to go to the fun thing. No! As a parent, I have to stand behind my word and follow through with what I say or else she will learn that my threats are just that -- threats, and don't mean anything. As an empath, I feel for my daughter. I know she will be sad and upset when we leave her at home while we go have a fun day. She will turn on the waterworks because she knows that I have a difficult time sticking my word.

As a parent, I know I have to follow through with what I say, but sometimes it is so frickin' hard! No mother wants their child to have their feelings hurt or be sad, but I give them plenty of warnings of what will happen if they don't change their bad behavior, and as difficult as it may be, I have to force myself to follow through with everything I say to teach my children that they can't get away with acting like a brat and then still get to have fun with everyone else.

My kids know that I have a big heart. Although they may not understand what it means to be an empath, they know that I can be a pushover at times, and they use it to their own benefit, especially the older they get. I have to show them who is boss no matter how difficult it may be. I can not let them take advantage of me and I won't let them. It just hurts me sometimes when I can see in their eyes that they are holding back tears because I follow through and don't let them go do something fun because of their behavior. I admit, sometimes I do give in, and it pisses me off when I do, but if it's something I truly believe that I need to stick to, I have to force myself to be the bad guy. I know most parents struggle with this whole tough love thing, but I think it's 10 times worse when you are an empath especially as your kids get older and recognize the right buttons they can push.

Parenting is a hard job for all of us. It's never easy raising human beings and attempting to mold them into being good people, but parenting with social anxiety while being an empath can make it that much more difficult. All we can do is push through and try to do the best job that we can. We don't want to look weak to our children and we have to force ourselves to be the role model we want our kids to have, even if it means putting ourselves in uncomfortable situations.

The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook for Overcoming Your Fear

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