A number of weeks ago I was talking to someone who was used to having people talk to them about their problems. It was easy to see why this was as they were a good listener, had a lot of empathy, and there was a gentleness to them.
Due to this, it would have been strange if this person wasn’t used to having people open up to them. Opening up to someone like this is a bit like walking, inasmuch as it is very natural and doesn’t take much effort.
A Rare Being
If someone has spent a lot of time around people who are not very present, meeting someone like this can have a profound effect on them. It can be as though they are receiving something that they haven’t received for a very, very long time.
Nowadays, so many people are consumed by their phone, that it is easy for someone to feel ignored and as though they don’t exist. With this in mind, when someone is present and is able to relate to another person’s emotional experience, it can like be like they have a super power.
What this illustrates is that being in another person’s presence is not going to have much of an effect if they are not present. If another person is not actually present, someone might feel better in their own company.
They won’t be with anyone, but at least they won’t need to entertain the feeling of being ignored. Spending time around someone like this from time will be painful, yet it will be even worse to be in a relationship with someone like this.
A Balancing Act
However, while being a good listener, having a lot of empathy, and even a gentle presence is something that another person can value, it is also be something that another person can take advantage of. But in order for someone like this to be taken advantage of on a regular basis, they will most likely need to have bad boundaries.
The reason for this is that just because someone has the ability to be there for others in this way, it doesn’t mean that they have to neglect themselves. If they were a plumber, for instance, it wouldn’t mean that it would be up to them to be constantly fixing people pipes.
If someone like this did focus on other people’s problems and neglected themselves in the process, there would be at least two reasons why this is so. Firstly, it would probably show that they feel responsible for others, and secondly, it may also show that they don’t value themselves.
The truth is that it is not down to them to solve another person’s problems, and if they act like it is, they can stop them from growing. The other person won’t develop the strength to overcome their own challenges if there is always someone there to pick up the pieces.
If they feel comfortable taking care of other people’s needs but they don’t feel comfortable taking care of their own needs, it can show that they feel ashamed of their own needs. Their needs are then not going to be seen as part of being human; they will be something that they need to deny.
Ultimately, there is nothing wrong with their needs. And for them to truly be there for others, it will be vital for them to take care of their own needs; or else they won’t have the energy to truly serve others.
If you can relate to this, and you no longer want to experience life in this way, you may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided by the assistance of a therapist or a healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.