Star Trek: The Next Generation is very interesting and fun show! I’ve heard of this show since it’s last TV airing in 1994. And I’ve been fortunate it meet Wil Wheaton and his wife at Wonder Con about 2 years ago. But to have enjoyed this show and it’s characters after only 3 episodes (a rare feat) is amazing.
Anyhow this post is about one of the characters on TNG, Counselor Deanna Troi. From what I know so far, Troi is counselor to Captain Jean-Luc Picard on the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) and seems to possess the power of Empathy. Not just the ability empathize, but an psionic ability to sense people feelings. It’s CRAZY how she knows the feelings of others:
The creature is filled with rage—undirected, unfocused rage. When he confronts it, his guard goes down, because he’s feeling it instead of suppressing it. Acknowledging his needs makes him vulnerable.
Star Trek: The Next Generation S1:E24: Skin of Evil
Sounds like what my therapists have all said…acknowledge your feelings…be more vulnerable. Troi can feel the emotions her—alien and human alike–even as from another ship. What I like about this show is that not only does it feature a quirky crew, but in spite of how advance in time this show takes place in, there is a immense respect that the crew have for Troi. In the real world—2019—people who are empaths/highly sensitive people are made fun of. The crew of the Enterprise looks to her to and how they are to relate to other humans and various alien species so they can make logical solutions in how to appropriately relate to them. And I don’t blame them. You’d want to have an idea of what or who you are dealing with before engaging in an unknown territory or people.
It was cool seeing how Counselor Troi was respected. In this time, in this real world empaths like myself aren’t taken seriously. Whether people call us “philosophers” or “deep thinkers” or “sensitive”, we’re rarely asked for our thoughts on a given issue. I feel in my opinion, most people are too emotional. They react first, then think later, too late. However if you see on the show, the characters don’t react on their emotions or even the emotions of others. Rather, they use emotions as means of developing self-awareness among new environments, situations, and people to then in turn make logical decisions or actions in such events.
You don’t stop having emotions, but instead regulate them, so they don’t regulate you. So I can see why Counselor Troi is an important asset to the Enterprise. I look forward to continue watching the adventures that Troi and rest of the crew will have in the TNG series.
You know now that I think about it…I don’t know how empathic characters like Counselor Deanna Troi are able to handle being an empaths. While shows can mention empaths, they never really go over the character’s struggles with being an empath. Whether it’s because I’m trying to help others or I’m overwhelmed by the emotions of the environment I’m in, it takes a toll on me. The thing is one it takes awhile to realize you are an Empath and two when you discover that there’s no one really to teach you how to be an Empath and how to, for example, recognize when you’re experiencing an “Empathic Overwhelm” (doesn’t help either when you do live with a mental illness like depression and anxiety) and how to put yourself first sometimes.
The images below help you recognize if you are an Empath, recognize if you are experiencing an empathic burnout, and tips to keep in mind as you live your life as an Empath.