I used to watch my best friend treat everyone with kindness and it used to irritate me to no end because the people I would watch him be kind to would always take advantage of him but he would continue with his kindness, he was nice to a girl he’d known for years once and she latched on to him like a lost puppy for months until I pointed out to him that she acted like I did when I was damaged and mistaking kindness for flirting. It took me a while to figure out why it would irritate me so and I think it wasn’t until I too started to be kinder to everyone I met that I finally realized why it would irritate me. I’ve always been kind but I have a lot of lines that I will not let be crossed so when I am kind to someone it’s with my wall up to protect myself, I would get irritated that my best friend wouldn’t put a wall up and I could blatantly see people taking advantage of his kindness, it was hard to watch when he didn’t see the latching that these people would do to him, he only saw himself being kind. He would be kind in ways that weren’t healthy for anyone in the party but he was just trying to be nice, instead of telling these people no, he would say maybe and then either not show up or cancel at the last-minute or something because he hates to hurt anyone’s feelings.
It took me having what I call a small stalker to realize that damaged people, including myself, latch on to people who are kind and almost automatically assuming that the kindness they were receiving was being perceived as flirting or showing some kind of interest in them. Even though it absolutely was not flirting or any kind of interest at all, and I even told them that when they pointed out that my kindness meant I was interested in them. I think the words I used were, “no, maybe I am just a kind person who likes to help others, it doesn’t in any way mean I am interested in dating”.
I had come to this conclusion after reflecting on my own life and how I reacted to other’s kindness towards me and if it were someone of the opposite sex showing me kindness I would almost always perceive that as flirting even though most of the time it wasn’t flirting at all, well for the most part anyway, there are some really sick and twisted men out there. My realization with my example was the fact that because I helped out a stranger they assumed that I was “interested” in them and because they actually said that to me it occurred to me that damaged people perceive kindness as something that makes them feel wanted and it is confused for flirting more than it is not. I can say this about my own encounter as I know this person is damaged and has all kinds of issues that they proceeded to tell me about because I am a magnet for damaged people, and once a damaged person has received some kindness from an Empath the savior mentality comes into play. This person can save me!!
I look back on my life and my previous relationships and how abusive they were and just how damaged I was and how I latched on to anyone that would show me some kind of attention or kindness, it made me feel special and wanted because I didn’t know what that felt like at home. I wasn’t getting it even though I was begging for it, it just wasn’t happening and I always took that as a sign of my worth, so when anyone gave me some kind of attention it would turn into something more for me. I can remember this as far back as I can in my life. Boy do I see how unhealthy that is now! But it took me having to be on the other end of the spectrum and lots and lots of reading and self-awareness to realize it! I never would have realized it had I not went on this journey and learned how to be more self-aware and to focus on myself only.
I’ve also realized that those of us who are highly Empathic can’t help but be kind to others which is why we seem to be a target for being taken advantage of. We seem to be some kind of magnet for the damaged and it’s very hard to distinguish between the damaged and the honest and true. Especially in this day and age where being damaged seems to be the norm. I spend a good portion of my time out in public quietly watching people, watching what they say and watching what they do, how they act, what their vibes are like and all that stuff. I am so highly sensitive to all that it’s almost painful for me to be out in public.
My friend that I hang out with the most is on a similar journey but she and I are almost opposites, she is very bold and outgoing and meets no strangers, where I am private, I keep to myself and I have very thick high walls around me, I like my one or two friends and that is it. We hope that we can both teach each other something, me to learn to let my guard down a bit and her to learn to put up her guard once in a while. It doesn’t work when we are together out in public. I have tried several times to let my walls down and invite people into my life but because I am such a magnet for damaged people I can’t seem to escape the fact that the moment I let my wall down even for a brief minute the vultures are right there trying to feed off me.
I don’t know what it is about damaged people that makes them think a small act of kindness is some kind of flirtation towards them. I cannot figure out how this misconception came about. The only thing I can really think of is maybe those children out there who were raised in abusive homes, whether physically abusive, mentally abusive or just even the lack of love from a parent caused damage to that child’s mentality where they started to believe they weren’t worthy of love, never knew what being loved was as it wasn’t taught to them, and just didn’t believe in themselves enough to figure out that they were damaged as that is all they knew in their lives.
That is what it took for me, it took just walking away from everything and everyone, spending a ton of time alone, a ton of time reading about codependency and toxic relationships, and in general just toxic people and how to heal from toxic encounters. This was extremely hard for me as I didn’t even know what being toxic meant and it was hard for me to recognize since it was all I knew and it’s still hard for me to recognize toxic people and situations. It has gotten easier though, I will admit. I do notice depending on who I spend my time with the difference between healthy and toxic. I have noticed this more by just paying attention to the world around me but not including myself in what I am paying attention to.
I spend a good majority of my time observing others and nothing more, just observing. Observing the things they talk about, the body language they use, the tone of voice they use and whether what they say is positive or negative. I have learned through doing this that I am much happier by myself than with others. I have learned that it is very hard to be positive when it seems most of us judge and complain about everyone else, even ourselves. I don’t understand why it seems to be so hard for us to just take a good hard look at ourselves and fix what it is that we don’t like about ourselves. Well, I do understand because it took me a good 20 years to even acknowledge that I had issues that needed fixed. It’s so much easier to deny those issues and blame someone else for them than to actually take a good look at ourselves. We seem to be in a world where taking accountability for ourselves is something we just don’t do!
I can’t even sit here and speak examples of my own little circle because I will be criticizing my own people instead of being more self aware of my own toxic behaviors that I need to work on. I do know that I get extremely overwhelmed when I am around more than 3 people at a time. Three, meaning me and two others, no more or I am a wreck, too many vibes going on to differentiate between and I just can’t do it. I did go somewhere with my friend this weekend, my friend and my dad and we were talking at dinner and she said something that I wish I could remember what it was, I hate it when I do that. Ugh! I don’t even remember what she said but I called her out on it and her response was “wow you are very hyper-aware”. I could probably ask her but I don’t want to relive it. I am hyper-aware, I notice EVERYTHING, I notice more than most people realize and I think that has been my issue my entire life. I notice when someone says a small lie, I notice when someone’s body language doesn’t match their words, I pay attention to the little things that people say about themselves because that is how you learn about others. I listen to the things they don’t think anyone listens to because it is those little things said that are the most beneficial when figuring out just how toxic a person is, or how empathic they are.
I don’t think the world needs less kindness, I think it could use a shit ton more but where do we draw the line? How much kindness can we give out to damaged individuals without hurting ourselves by doing it? I know in my instance, this individual just moved on to find another savior instead of looking inside themselves for the savior. I know in my best friends case at the beginning of the blog, they went on to find another individual, after he had to cut them off and tell them to not contact him again.
Where do we stop with the kindness and all the damaged drawing our energies from us? I can go out there and be kind to everyone I meet but for fear of someone latching on to me like I have done to others, I go out without making eye contact with anyone just to protect my own energy. I can’t save the world all by myself! I can’t go out there and spread love and kindness or I will have a shit ton of stalkers! Somehow we must get all of us to take responsibility for the way we were raised, the way we continue to live and all the things we do and say that makes us into a victim. We have to get to a point where we say no to those who refuse to help themselves, we must say no to those that just complain and point out their own limitations, we must stop enabling all these that seem to love to have someone save them!
I can tell you from my own journey and my own victim mentality that I too thought I had a savior out there, and I did, but it took me a whole year of being alone with myself to find my savior. My savior was ME!! I saved myself, and I continue to save myself every morning when I wake up, when I go to work, when I go home and when I go out. I do it all by myself, I rely on no one for help but me. When my little followers come around looking for help, they get the lecture that I am not their savior they must save themselves and then they disappear because that is just wayyyyyyy tooooooo much work!
I am not a victim, and I am no longer someone who is damaged. I no longer look outside myself for help in my saving. I try to write about my own experiences and only my own, and if I haven’t lived it yet or have some kind of solution to my problem then I don’t write about it. Maybe I am weird, I don’t really know. I do know I am different than most and a lot of people just don’t get my thought processes and that is actually okay with me. I would rather be different than follow along with all the damaged people out causing more damage to others.
I am just a girl on a journey to find herself and make the most of this life I was given. I hope I can help just one person change their life and the way they look at things. If you like what I post please like, comment and even share it with everyone. If you would like me to read your thoughts stick your page in the comments!
Rock on my beauties!!
Love this. Your article is full of empowering comments. I’m glad you talked about hyper awareness. That unfortunately can stem from a traumatic or abusive past, but what a great gauge for incongruent behavior! Our dysfunctions can create some of the most helpful tools. Thank you for sharing all of this.
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Thank you Paul! That’s really all I can say, thank you!
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