The Empath and Emotional Responsibility; Taking Right Action

Hello Everyone,

As I’ve spoken about in my book on the Archetypal Drama Triangle, Empaths can get into trouble when we blame our emotional state on someone else.  We can use our unhappy emotional state as the justification for bullying or attacking another person.  While this can seem justified it is never a creative action, and it always serves to spread the negativity in a wider circle.

I had this experience myself over the past week.  For the first time I received negative reviews on my books I have published through Amazon, first in the UK and then in the US.  In one case, the reader decided to start with Volume Four on Shadow Work, and of course couldn’t understand the book since important concepts necessary to understanding Shadow Work were introduced in the first three books.  Instead of taking responsibility for a poor choice, the reader blamed me and gave my book a bad review.  Similarly another reader bought all five books but for whatever reason read the last book first, became depressed, and then gave all the books a bad review while admitting to not reading them.

Unfortunately this sort of behavior is typical for those of us as yet unwilling to take responsibility for our emotional state.  In both cases these readers not only blamed me for their unhappiness but attacked me for it.  If only they had read the first book! 🙂

More interestingly for me was watching myself deal with my first negative reviews.  I of course felt unhappy, angry, misrepresented, and attacked, and as an Empath I felt this keenly.  The important point for me, though, was to not turn my emotional state on these reviewers, on myself or on the people around me.  I could have handled my emotional state irresponsibly by being short with my family members, by telling myself I should give up my work, or by attacking the reviewers.  Empaths tend to want to withdraw when dealt criticism, especially unfair criticism.  I had to face that feeling, remind myself that my writing has helped far more people than I even know, and then I needed to share my experience with people that I trusted.  After doing so, the feelings passed and I was able to let that situation go with the inspiration for a Right Action.  I decided to move forward with putting all my books into one large volume instead of waiting to do so until the next two books are complete.  In this way no one could be confused as to what to read first.  (I hope to have this volume published some time in May)

Anyone who puts their work out there is bound to be attacked in this fashion, especially from people who do not take the risk to put their creativity out in the world.  Theodore Roosevelt ignored these attacks from people who were not “in the Arena.”  On an objective, logical level I know these reviews are not important, I know they show the state of the reviewer and not my work, and I know that in a few days I’ll forget about it.  However, for Empaths this type of attack is much harder to shrug off than for the non-Empath.  We need to give ourselves a break for our emotional state and but not pass our crankiness on like these reviewers did.  We need to go to our support system and ask for support.  I also pampered myself, did a sandpainting, had a salt bath, and vented to trusted family and friends.  I did this over the past few days and felt restored, validated (Empaths love validation) and ready to move forward again. 

I write this post to make two important points.  If a feeling arises that is uncomfortable, try to examine it before acting on it.  If it is obvious that it is the other person’s issue, like the response from these reviewers, do what it takes to take care of yourself so that you can shrug off the negativity without hurting yourself or the people around you.  See if there’s a Right Action to take, like my deciding to put all my writing into one volume, that will make the experience into a positive, life affirming one.  Then slather thanks and gratitude on your support system. 

Secondly, what would have happened if the reviewer who became depressed by reading my family system book had taken responsibility for his emotions?  Instead of disliking and attacking me personally, the responsible action is to look at what is the true source of the depression, sadness, and ensuing anger, which has to come from something within that reviewer.  Stop before shooting the messenger and look instead for the wound that needs healing.  These actions are the heart of Shadow Work.  This is what makes Shadow Work difficult and confusing.  It seems like the other person is to blame, but it is really an opportunity always to look within.  

As a final request, if my books have helped you on your own journey, please consider writing a favorable review.  I would appreciate the love and support.  Thank you.

much love,



This entry was posted in Creativity, Drama Triangle, Emotions, Manifestation, Relationships, Removing Obstacles, Soul Path/Purpose. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Empath and Emotional Responsibility; Taking Right Action

  1. Zoe says:

    Elaine: I have not yet read your books, but plan to make this a must-do for my summer reading. I did go on Amazon and read some reviews and the negative ones struck me as being penned by people who by nature are blamers and complainers; yet never willing to step up and contribute anything constructive positive. For those people, it’s a type of passive-aggressive way of expressing their self-loathing, but projecting it onto the person they feel will not be in their corner. These individuals choose to live ‘unexamined lives’ and regrettably miss out on so much. It reminds me of the Allegory of the Cave (Plato’s “The Republic). There are no shortcuts to enlightenment; it takes willingness and purposefulness to embark on the path to self-discovery. And sometimes it’s downright painful. Do you ever hold workshops in the S.E. (Atlanta, Miami, Charlotte)?

    • Elaine says:

      Hi Zoe,

      Thanks so much for your kind response. Yes, it is hard to receive a negative review on Amazon, but what I have noticed is that a negative review tends to happen when a person reads the first book (usually out of order) and gets their own stuff triggered. Or, if they read the Drama Triangle first and aren’t prepared to do their work, they see themselves in the negative examples and cannot take responsibility for their own intense reaction of shame. I think that many people are not prepared by the intensity of the experience in reading the case studies of these books; that they may be expecting something more inspirational. I’ve tried to make it clear on the product page that these books are not easy reads, and that my work is not for everyone. Shamanic work is very intense, especially for the highly sensitive, but in my experience it is great for getting to the core of the wounds, cleaning them out, and moving forward. As you have pointed out, healing in this fashion always involves pain and loss and grief. It also leads to more happiness and joy in the long run, but if a person is defended from pain and loss, of course they will hate me and my work.

      I am located on the west coast and am not teaching workshops right now, but I will let you know if I do. In the past I’ve taught workshops via conference call, which has worked out very well.

      Zoe, if you do wind up reading my books, and you like them, please post a review. I could use some! much love, Elaine

  2. melissa says:

    I was led to your books last night and just devoured the first four in the last 12 hours. It is so wonderful to read in print all the things I’ve seen and felt about myself and the world. Over a year ago I started healing my own mother wound with a gifted teacher/healer/therapist. Although in the beginning I wouldn’t have been able to even recognize that as something that was happening. Its been a safe place to get to know that wound/projection and work through some of it. Your books are such a welcome next step in my evolution of learning about myself on another level. Incredibly Grateful…

    • Elaine says:

      Hi Melissa,

      I am so glad my writing has validated your own journey! Thank you so much for your kind feedback. I really appreciate it.

      much love,

    • Elaine says:

      Melissa, Thank you so much for your review on Amazon for the Empath as Archetype! I just saw it. I can’t tell you how helpful those reviews are toward making the book available to more people. Thank you again! Elaine

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