Until just recently I hadn’t heard that saying to “feel your feels [feelings]” and I overheard my daughter, Riley, telling her boyfriend that she understood that that was what he was doing and my amazing 12 year old empowered her counterpart to do so however he needed and she would be there for him. My girl is showing empathy! There are a lot of other emotions and hormonal scatterbrain going on in her preteen years so for her to be learning and embracing the complexities of empathy is impressive. She was unaware of the word or action and we had a great discussion on it and her usage and my pride in her last night.
I would say I “struggle” with empathy but that is a lie I know how to be empathetic I would just rather cut the cord of bullshit and get down to the brass tact of the issue. I teach my kids empathy, I know it is important in being a good person to be empathetic, I often am empathetic to an extent but, what is the saying, those who can’t do, teach? Joking, joking. I just have no appetite for listening to someone knowingly lie to themselves to feel better in a situation where they were wrong and know it but are expecting support for their delusions. I’ll admit, some people are further down the rabbit hole of deluding themselves and may not realize when they are in the wrong, those who are the perpetual victim.
But, this is not about them, and that is the heart of the problem with my no nonsense approach to analyzing and/or “helping” in situations (when I’m asked to, I no longer just throw my two cents around except sometimes with coworkers), I’m not sensitive to the other person’s self-denial. I also don’t like to be bullshitted. I can and do bullshit my way around some situations in life that I don’t feel like dealing with but that doesn’t bring about resolution it just placates my ego. It is likely that more often than not I am making a true ass out of myself in talking circuitously instead of taking responsibility and people are just unwilling to call me out on it. So that is what I do for the betterment of everyone.
I would love (and hate in the moment as has been the case) if people would call me on my bullshit. One of my favorite people in the world is my dad and good, bad, or indifferent he has taught me the art of bullshitting; he is also the person I can trust to not play into my self-denial and will call me on the carpet every time. That I love! That I need! So that is also what I do, not always, I know when someone is not ready for self-actualization and don’t push it but I try to make it understood that we can be honest and have a real discussion, no judgement.
Empathy is about the other person, I know, and I am not being selfless as is needed to hone this interpersonal skill but I also know (ego! alert) I am making a positive difference. Yeah I can’t bullshit myself, my dad believes I am a sociopath and I tend to agree I have some tendencies leaning that direction, many people prefer to stay deluded and just be agreed with which is their right so long as they don’t ask my advice.
My aunt Demi is a beautiful, kindhearted train wreck. When we first got back into contact regularly a few months back she learned quickly and brutally that I wouldn’t cosign her bullshit. She still tries it with me and come to find out she doesn’t always see her fault (so she says) and I help her see, so see I’m helping. I’m cynical because I know that I know when I’m wrong even if I will steadfastly play the role of the victim. I do also forget that other people’s minds don’t work the same as mine, as mine doesn’t work the same as other people’s all the time.
My boyfriend has a buddy that will cosign ALL his bullshit and then write another check and it is sickening to witness. When he asked if it was okay that he was planning to ghost me after three years ol’ boy said with all he had done for me over that time it was perfectly understandable and he was the good person in the situation and always had been. Alex talks to him a lot less after I pointed it out because that is not a friend, that is an enabler.
I stayed in self-denial about my fault in losing my girls and still sometimes forget to remember my part. My dad kept me honest throughout though and let me hide in my bullshit only after I admitted my responsibility. That is love and true friendship to me.
So this is a bit of a character defect, or is it? I think it’s on the fence because my intentions are good in wanting to help someone get to the crutch of the issue but a bit selfish in not allowing them to decide when to process their own bullshit. Really if they ask I think it is my right to give my honest opinion but is it right?
I’ve only had a few truly devastating and traumatic situations in my life so I only know from those that I prefer tough love and brutal honesty to commiseration. I also don’t process all emotions. Until today I could not wrap my brain around anger, it just seemed nonsensical and counterproductive to a positive outcome but after reading the reasoning for a person’s experience of anger earlier I gained a bit of understanding as to why people get angry.
Always learning. I realize empathy can be used for sharing all different feelings and emotions through another person’s experience with them. I am just ranting about the enabling kind with a specific kind of people that I have run into a lot throughout life so it seems common and hopefully is relatable. It could also speak to the company I’ve always kept!
My character defects: bullshitting, lying, avoidance, selfishness, pride, ego, manipulation, self-aggrandizing, impatience,
Categories: liFe on liFe's TerMs