So, I came up with two terms that I like. Not sure what a true Psychologist would have to say about it. In some ways, I consider myself an amateur psychologist. For the record, I have trouble spelling both of those words!
When you listen to someone, do you absorb their feelings? Are you what I call an ABSORBER? An absorber feels what the other person is saying/feeling. You soak it in emotionally! You soak to the point of noting the speech pattern of the person to the point of having to “shake it off” when talking to someone else directly after. You either get that or you don’t . If you don’t, you are not really a problematic absorber. Though, I think we all have a degree of absorbing. Healthy vs. unhealthy is probably more descriptive. Being an absorber is good and bad. Healthy or unhealthy. Good–you care. You relate. You sympathize. It can be bad, because you “take on” the other person’s stress/mood/feelings. It can also make you react in a bad way when dealing with someone who is opposing you if you involve yourself and can’t step back emotionally! This is true when dealing with parents or kids. You FEEL their mood and are affected by it to a major degree!!!!!
The other term is what I call the OBSERVER! The observer, does just that. The observer listens, feels and cares, but in an observatory way. You don’t “take on” the other person’s emotions. When the conversation is over, you don’t have to “shake off’ emotions. You are able to see the situation in a helpful way and offer non-emotionally charged advise. Why would anyone be an absorber if you can be an observer. WE are all wired differently. Also, I think mindfulness plays a BIG role.
I’m trying to be more of an OBSERVER in some areas. Basically, in areas that could be detrimental to my state of well-being. I have to step back and observe why people are acting like they are and learn more about them and become less emotionally charged by their behavior. This doesn’t mean you like/love them less. It means you are not going to be sucked in to their drama for your own good.
Basically, it really does come down to mindfulness, which is a trendy word these days. We have a choice to be mindful. It sometimes is hard to do. And, being intentional takes work. Sometimes lots of hard work! But it could help you emotionally in the long run! Wonder what the psychologists would say about all of it!