THEY NE-E-E-ED ME!
How can I turn my back on them?
PREVIOUS: HUMOR #6
1a. For OTHERS – POSITIVE
“Feeling sorry for” someone may be generated by any situation we personally identify with, or simply caring about the plight of others who are less fortunate. We may or may not be able to do anything practical for the millions who suffer, but on a one-to-one basis, at the very least we can LISTEN to someone who needs a caring heart & ear, without advice or judgment
a. Empathy : a visceral / emotional experience of another person’s feelings – an automatic mirroring, like tearing up at a friend’s sadness or loss
b. Compassion: “a human emotion prompted by the pain of others. More vigorous than empathy, giving rise to an active desire to alleviate another’s suffering. It is often, though not inevitably, the key component of altruism ….”
c. Altruism: an action that benefits someone else. It may or may not be accompanied by empathy or compassion, (EXP: making a donation for tax purposes).
“Tending to do good to others, regardless of self, a behavior that costs the doer & benefits others.
A traditional virtue in many cultures, & a core aspect of various religious traditions”, considered the highest form of love (Agape) – where we put our own needs aside to help someone else.
➼ For this type of ‘feeling sorry for’ to be legitimate – the recipient of our concern must be truly in need of help AND not have the ability to do for themselves – at least temporarily.
This is not always easy to determine, especially is it’s someone we care about, who is acting out of the victim role. See “Rescuing” -vs- “Healthy Helping”.
1b. For OTHERS – Negative
For ACoAS, the core issue is that we feel sorry for the wrong types.
While ACoAs have a strong caring & compassionate side, which we use for others instead of for ourselves, we misplace our sympathy by focusing it on narcissistic people (parent, spouse or lover, BFF, sometimes a boss, teacher…)
i. WHO: Anyone who is –
☛ emotionally & practically irresponsible. This can not be emphasized enough! These are people who are unwilling to use available resources to help themselves, hooking us into do it for them! This can be in a practical way, but most often wanting to be taken care of emotionally
☛ abusive, abandoning, narcissistic (but often charming) – because they prey on our desperate need to stay attached. It allows them to “feed on” us without having to give back.
☛ even some who act like they need us, but if we set boundaries or disagree, they’ll throw us under the bus in a heartbeat! This way of being treated is so familiar from childhood, we think it’s normal.
• POTENTIAL does NOT count – when it has to do with others! We’re attracted to selfish people because they’re familiar & we can rescue them & feel superior.
BUT as long as they refuse to develop their latent capacities – we end up drained, feeling inadequate, disappointed & angry – just like we did at home.
• our damaged need to feel superior (compensate for feeling powerless)
• copy what we learned from our para-alcoholic parent (usually mom)
• don’t want to face who this (current) person really is, because then we’d have a different relationship with them, or have to leave
Their behavior patterns TRIGGER our WIC to:
• (E) feel sorry for them (they are manipulating this), the way we felt sorry for family members who we tried & tried to fix, but never could
• (A) act out our pre-programmed training to rescue & enable them
• resonate our WIC with theirs, feeling their pain – so we take on the Good Parent role, for them – but not toward ourselves
Instead, we need to be with people who are ALREADY willing to & capable of taking care of themselves, & therefore can be available to us, without causing a lot of drama & stress.
NEXT: Feeling Sorry for – #2