Daisy Ridley thinks she’s ‘super sensitive’ but is she really an empath?

daisy glamour

I sometimes worry about Daisy Ridley. I worry that she’s not built for global fame and super-stardom. That’s not a criticism – I’m not built for global fame either. It would drive me crazy. It would drive most of us crazy. It’s driving Daisy crazy, it’s clear enough from her interviews. I know it’s weird to feel sorry for a movie star, but seriously, I hope she takes some time for self-care in between events in her whirlwind schedule. Daisy covers the January issue of Glamour to promote The Last Jedi, and the bulk of the interview is about how she’s still trying to navigate everything that’s being thrown at her, and all of the expectations she now has on her shoulders. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

The stress: “I had problems with my gut last year. I was so stressed, my gut wall literally had holes in it.” But it wasn’t the meetings with executives, the screaming fans, or the endless photo ops that did it. “It was what everybody kept saying to me: ‘Your life is going to change. Are you ready?’ I was like, ‘How can I be ready? I don’t know what’s coming.’”

Feminism & Rey: “As a twenty-first-century person who grew up in a household where no one was held back because of their gender, I didn’t get what the fuss was at first. The reaction to Rey was so insane that it shocked me. I was like, “Of course a female character should be doing whatever she wants.” But then people were coming up to me and saying, “My kid has never had anything to dress up as.” I was like, “Oh!” If I can be in something that makes a girl or boy think, Sure, I can fight a big baddie and win—that’s amazing…. There is a sense of responsibility there.

Toys for boys & toys for girls: “There’s a problem, across the board, with how kids are subliminally taught to think about these things. I had a meeting with the marketing people at Disney, and they were like, “So we’re going to have this toy in the girls’ aisle, this toy in the boys’ aisle.” I was like, “Why the f-ck is there a girls’ aisle and a boys’ aisle?” Sometimes I find myself feeling nervous in certain situations, and that’s because somewhere along the line, I watched something or listened to something or saw a toy, and it f-cking changed the way I think.

Social media: “I find it really difficult. I was on Instagram, trying to do that whole thing, and people weren’t very nice. I posted a thing about gun regulations, because I was at an event in tribute to the Orlando shooting at Pulse [where 49 people were killed and over 50 were wounded]. People weren’t nice about how I looked. And I was like, “I’m out.” Simple as that. That is not what I signed up for…Everyone said, “It’s because she talked about gun safety,” but it wasn’t. If I want to talk about gun safety, I will talk about gun safety. And I didn’t sign up for people to go, “You’re amazing!” But I didn’t sign up for them to say things like “Your skin is sh-t,” either…so I took down the post, and then I deleted my account.

Whether social media is occupational hazard for an actor: “I think, unfortunately, it is. But it’s not good for me, personally. I’m just not equipped for it. I’m super sensitive—not too sensitive—but I really feel things. Also there is also a sense that I’m asked who I’m dating a lot more than John [Boyega] is. I don’t answer, because I have things in my life that are private. There is certainly a personal thing of, “Will people think I’m ungrateful?” Someone literally said to me, “So-and-so didn’t answer questions about that, and they came across really cold.” But I have to come first, because if I am not healthy—I was struggling with anxiety last year—if I’m not mentally healthy, or I’m depleted from sharing so much, I won’t have anything left for when people approach me.

She thinks social media is unhealthy overall: “The more I read about teenage anxiety, the more I think it’s highly unhealthy for people’s mental health. It’s such a weird thing for young people to look at distorted images of things they should be.”

[From Glamour & the BBC]

There’s been a lot of talk in recent years about two of the subjects she’s discussing: people who are empaths and whether social media is actually one of the most destructive forces for younger people. Regarding Daisy’s sensitivity and her self-described “super sensitive” nature, I was reading about “highly sensitive people” versus empaths. I think Daisy falls somewhere along the empath line, and I think her current job is probably some kind of hell for her. As for social media – so many Millennials are talking about that these days, how social media is destructive and it’s contributing to a mental health crisis. There’s something there.

Daisy Ridley wears a checkered pant suit for her appearance promoting Star Wars: The Last Jedi on Good Morning America

Cover courtesy of Glamour, additional photos courtesy of Pacific Coast News.

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15 Responses to “Daisy Ridley thinks she’s ‘super sensitive’ but is she really an empath?”

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  1. Nicole says:

    Social media is absolutely detrimental to mental health. At my job we’ve started taking phones away from our clients because they were having issues throughout the day because of facebook and IG. Someone can go from a 1 to an 8 just interacting on a platform.
    I’m an empath as well and being famous would be awful for me.

  2. Erinn says:

    I don’t know about the whole empath thing. Most of the people I know who go on about being one are some of the biggest a-holes out there. There seems to be an overlap with incredibly narcissistic people claiming to be an empath. It’s like it’s some sort of special thing to label themselves as that makes them feel superior. And since narcissists have a need to set themselves above others – there just seems to be a strong tie in. At least in my own experience – I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s been studies done relating to that, though.

    I have a problem with being overly sensitive. I’ll end up taking on a lot of other peoples stress, or sadness, or whatever. I end up feeling sick. Sometimes I’m so bothered by strangers emotional reactions to things, it really affects me negatively. I can’t even kill a bug because I hate the idea of ending a life. I sobbed over my fishtank one day when it was getting going because no matter what I did, fish kept dying – and the idea that I’m taking these poor little fish and putting them through some sort of awful experience really bothered me.

    I would never call myself an empath though. I think ultimately, I’m overly sensitive, and an over-thinker, so I end up stressing myself over things that don’t affect me. And I just hate the idea of anyone or anything suffering – which I assume most people feel at different levels. I don’t think it’s some special trait or wonderful thing – if anything it’s a negative in more ways. There seems to be a fine line between what’s being described as an empath and what would (and maybe should) be considered being an emotional wreck. Or on the other hand – having a decent ability to read emotions/body language or having what someone would call intuition. You might just be better at picking up on certain queues than others.

    • Nicole says:

      Hmm the difference (scientifically) is taking in others suffering. So its a difference between sympathize and empathizing. Most people in a helping profession are varying degrees of empathic, sensitive and highly intuitive. I agree that no one would say that…its certainly something none of the people in my profession talk about…it just IS. Being empathic can cause you to be an emotional wreck as many empathic people cannot handle their natural disposition.
      I agree with your (interesting!) take on narcissistic people pretending to be empaths. narcissistic people always give themselves away eventually but its something I never thought of.

      You sound like an empath and highly sensitive person.

    • Wiffie says:

      You’re right with the whole narcissistic thing. I think they perceive their projection as empathy, and assume they know how everyone feels. The thing is, a narcissist won’t listen to someone who’s telling them otherwise to put themselves in their shoes, they just “know”, so it’s easier to pick those out.

      Having said that, lol, I’ve always struggled with a maybe overly developed sense of empathy, so I spend a lot of time alone. It’s overwhelming.

      • Anners says:

        Me too! My friends and some family members don’t need nearly as much alone time as I do, and they don’t understand why I need recovery days after being out and social. I thought I was so weird and broken for so long until I figured out I was an introvert on the HSP to empath line. It did me so much good to know I wasn’t alone (in my need to be alone). So comforting

    • Wren says:

      You might be HSP. There’s no shame in that, it’s just a different way of being wired. I encourage you to read up on it, there’s a lot of good stuff out there about coping with stress and life and the world that I’ve found very helpful. I’m an HSP and finding the burgeoning literature on it has greatly improved my life.

      I do agree with being skeptical of people who label themselves empaths. Which is ironic because I am one to a certain extent. However, it’s been co-opted by those who wish to make themselves special and to excuse their own poor behavior. Like anything else that’s poorly understood, mundane and unoriginal people will claim ownership because you really can’t prove them wrong. It’s also a great justification for narcissist’s perpetually hurt feelings and sense of being wronged by the world.

    • tealily says:

      It sounds like you just don’t like the word because some people misapply it.

  3. Lucy says:

    I, too, worry about her sometimes, mostly because I want her to succeed and do well. She does manage to stay completely out of the radar when she’s not promoting her movies, so there’s that. I know many people would label her as “boring” but maybe that’s what she’s going for. She seems highly aware of the fact that people look at her and treat her differently because she’s a movie star.

  4. Wren says:

    The definition of “empath” is highly debated and different people have different opinions on exactly what it is, and indeed if it exists at all. Some people do not view empath as a one end of a spectrum with HSP as a point along it. It’s really academic, though. Basically, being HSP means you feel things deeply/strongly, being an empath means you feel other people’s feelings/energy/whatever you want to call it. There are many different way to do this, ranging from physical to emotional to global. It’s like having an extra antenna that picks up all the weird radio stations and it’s often hard to tune into the specific one you want (i.e. your own feelings). It’s easy to get lost in the noise coming in from all directions. Unfortunately, like anything outside the norm, being an empath has been co-opted by those who wish to make themselves special and important, and who want to make excuses for themselves.

    Daisy sounds very much like an HSP (at the least). I’m one too and I feel for her. That level of fame and stardom isn’t something I am equipped to handle nor would I even want to try. I have enough for a job keeping myself sane and healthy in the real world.

  5. Lala says:

    Honestly, I don’t think she knew what she was getting herself into when she agreed to do Star Wars. She was not a fan of the series before, and while obviously being a fan is not a requirement for the role, it seems like she didn’t understand the cultural impact that Star Wars really has, based on early interviews. She knew the role was going to be big, telling her agent that she had to get an audition, I don’t think she knew just -how- big it would be.

    I don’t feel sorry for her at all, because no one is making her do all these movies; it’s obviously what she wants to do, or she would have done the first Star Wars and been like “Whoa, this isn’t for me” and quietly finished out her contract with no other productions (but instead she’s been working nonstop). She just comes off as a little naïve, like as she said, she didn’t know what to expect when it ballooned. She’ll find her way eventually, and learn how to handle it all.

  6. Shelly says:

    An empath is pretty much a polar opposite to sociopaths/ narcissist/malignant narcissists
    If your an empath or highly sensitive person you will draw the other group like flies
    And the shitty thing is empaths/hsp are attracted to that group.
    When they are in the intense charm/love bomb early part of the relationship a empath can get sucked right in.

    • lokigal says:

      THIS. EXACTLY THIS. then empaths cant leave because they feel guilty about abandoning the narcissist during the bad phase thinking it will get better if only they try harder to be more lovable etc.

  7. Katherine says:

    Ok, let’s just all give google a quick use and find out that an empath is a figure of speech rather than actual term, and then we can continue this discussion like the educated lot that we are about people having high levels of empathy and how it’s affecting their lives.

  8. raincoaster says:

    Oh god, another Millennial who thinks she’s an empath. Does she also have “anxiety?” Guess what: THEY ALL DO.

    I guess “indigo child” is so 2010.

    • Wiffie says:

      Anxiety isn’t supposed to be a baseline human state, though, and for some reason people are trying to accept it as a healthy constant… It’s not. Because they all say they have anxiety, and because every person in the generation above them is quick to minimize it and diminish it, says a lot about the emotionally clueless and invalidating people who raised those millennials.

      Maybe validating a person’s anxiety, and listening (not hearing, LISTENING) to someone’s issues, and trying to understand them might help them, it at least not exacerbate the issue. When I think of calming words, usually WHAT, YOU THINK YOU’RE SO SPECIAL?!? GET OVER IT <= NOT bound to lessen ones anxiety, and is literally pointless and helps nothing.