Most people would say being empathetic is a wonderful trait, but those who can exploit you will, and it turns your caring quality into an easy target.
Empathy is an opening for people to manipulate you and a lot of the time it’s hard to recognize because they bank on how you will react to certain situations and create a catalyst to get the result they want. This doesn’t mean you should shut yourself off from the world, but you should recognize who is being genuine and learn who isn’t worth your time.
For those of you who don’t know what being empathetic is all about, it’s the ability to feel how others feel in different scenarios. It’s a collective understanding based off of their own experiences that they use to predict what anyone could be feeling in. It is beneficial when people are truly suffering because they, in turn, have allies who can help them.
It’s easy to recognize a kind person and those with impure intentions can bank off of your emotions. One example would be if you worked a bunch of hours, and you have a party to go to, but your coworker is stuck working during the same party, makes himself seem sick or upset by a fame death. Anything that would pull on a normal person’s heartstrings. They act vulnerable and pathetically unsure, this allows you to step in and work for them when they ask. You are selflessly helping in a time of need, which typically is amazing but this person was lying. They left you covering their shift and they went to the party.
It’s hard to determine who is lying but no matter the issue you must remember one thing. Put yourself first. Always put yourself first. I know it’s hard for someone who can understand the pain of others but your well-being and happiness comes first.
Putting yourself first allows you to question the motives of those begging you for help. It sounds heartless but it’s not. Obviously, if someone is suffering from a natural disaster and you want to donate, go ahead if you have enough money for your necessities and you do it through a reputable channel. I wouldn’t recommend giving up your lunch money to a person collecting change for a cause that isn’t very official. Texting donations to someone like the red cross is the best way to ensure you are helping the right people and not funding your coworkers trip to Aruba.
Asking yourself what you want and what’s right for you first really allows you to put the people in question to the test. You are allowed to turn someone down and still care or want to help in a different way. If the person is angered by your alternative method, that means their scam didn’t work, and they aren’t getting what they want, so walk away and forget them.
You did your part, you offered up what you were comfortable with and they rejected it. Wipe your soul clean.
My boss at a retail job liked to use my empathy to manipulate me. It’s hard to recognize your superiors as those who would not do the right thing and would use you to gain something selfishly. It’s also harder to say no if it’s your boss or even worse one of your parents, know your self-worth. If someone asks you to do something that would help them but know you are uncomfortable with it and they still push for it, they are not asking for the right reasons. They do not deserve your time. If they don’t see where you are coming from then they clearly won’t appreciate your efforts.
Another way to keep yourself sane but still help is by offering other solutions to the problem they came to you with that don’t involve you directly. Sometimes another person or charity will do the trick and you won’t have to sacrifice your happiness for someone else’s.
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