I come from a large family of five kids. I’m the fourth in the line up and have always been known as the communicator or the glue that holds the family together. If you want something done, just give it to Karie, she will always see it through.
As a child, at dinner time, I would rather talk about the day than eat, so I would chatter nonstop about my day while getting sidelong glances from my dad to please stop and just eat.
I was always known as the bubbly blonde with lots of fun energy and to this day, that is how my clients describe me.
But … something changed in my adult life that made me more cautious and selective with who gets to experience that fun energy.
It wasn’t until I left my corporate job back in 2014 and started working for myself that I discovered that I was an empath.
Once I did some research on how I am wonderfully made by God Himself, did I truly start to understand how I am wired.
I could never understand why some environments would leave me drained and mentally exhausted while other environments boosted my energy and left me feeling unstoppable.
I didn’t realize that I was actually absorbing the energy and thoughts/emotions from those around me. Yes, we are somewhat superhuman and just know things.
Example: Going to church with 3000 people in the audience that are praising God leaves me feeling as if I’m on the top of the world. I am filled with peace, joy, and renewed hope.
I can also be surrounded with another group of 3000 people at a concert and if the music is not my favorite genre or the crowd is angry, drunk or high, I will leave with a sense of dread, fear and anxiety.
As an empath that was still learning how to manage my own emotions and energy, I started to withdraw from being the social butterfly. I went from being the girl that said yes to every event, to the one that would rather be at home, alone.
I struggled finding the balance as I knew I enjoyed my time with friends, it just depended on the activity.
I slowly started to take account of what I said yes to. If the activity was hiking with a group, I would answer yes, knowing fully that my energy would be high and happy as I spend time in nature socializing.
If the event or activity called for a day club pool filled with loud music and drunk people, I knew I would leave there exhausted and most likely lousy from little to no food and way too many drink options.
I also know that I love deep conversation and if you’re not in an environment that you can easily connect with your friends without shouting over the noise, I will leave feeling empty and disconnected.
After many years of self-development and researching personality types, I have found the balance between going from social butterfly, to anti-social to being socially selective.
Here are 3 questions to ask yourself so you can be more socially selective.
1) Will saying YES to this invite leave me feeling FULL or DRAINED?
When I receive an invite from a business associate or friend, I ask myself if I will feel better after this event or drained. Some people can be a fountain and add energy to your life and some can be a DRAIN.
I prefer to fill my life with those that are positive and enjoy working on themselves verses those that are consistently blaming others for their problems. I enjoy personal development and love comparing what I know with others that are also on a similar path.
I’ve been in the coaching world for over 16 years and that’s my circle of preference. I have learned that not everyone is worthy of my energy, which doesn’t make me a snob. I’m just being selective because I know that whoever gets my time and attention, will feel better in my presence as I prefer to be a loving friend and colleague.
2. Will this event benefit my career in any way?
I’ve had my own business for over 7 years and sometimes I need to give up a free evening to network or attend a local event that will enhance my chances of meeting potential business connections or new clients. If the event has the potential of growing my business and my connections in those social circles, then it’s worth my time and energy. The key is to not overextend yourself where you find that you’re always in work mode and forget to schedule play time. I make a point to schedule business events 2-3 times a month without feeling like I’m overextending myself.
The secret is to find business events that are fun and filled with other like-minded individuals so that it never feels like work.
3) Will this activity or event bring happiness to someone that I love?
I am a single parent and feel obligated for my daughter’s happiness and wellbeing as her father is not a big part of her life. Often, I will sacrifice what I want to do, so she can enjoy something of her choice.
This also is something that requires balance as I find ways to make us both happy so that I’m not consistently giving and never filling myself back up.
Perhaps your partner likes sports and is crazy about baseball and wants you to travel to see his/her favorite team. Even if you detest baseball, you should consider going and learning about the sport to engage and encourage their interests. This will bring the 2 of you closer and by you taking the time to explore something they love, could motivate them to try something that brings you joy also.
Having healthy boundaries doesn’t make you a bad person. In fact, it is an act of self-love. You know that if you’re on empty from consistently filling others up, then you have nothing left to give to those that matter in your life. Your own health and personal relationships will start to deteriorate.
If you are in the service-based industry like I am, then you know that you can’t pour from an empty cup.
Give yourself permission to fill yourself with those that are worthy of your time and energy and watch your quality of life and those in your inner circle improve!
Successful people prefer to be around other successful people.
Start today with being socially selective and watch all areas of your life start to improve. I can promise you one thing, you’ll have more energy and reasons to smile!