Help Me Help You: When Sympathy Runs Out

If you know me at all or have read the majority of my posts, I think it’s safe to say that you understand how empathetic and sympathetic I can be. I’m actually a very caring person when you strip away all the layers. In fact I’ve been told by the people who know me best that I care too much about any and everything. Personally I blame this on the fact that I feel everything so intensely. I find that my personality type (INFP) makes it difficult to shut out or dull the emotions that most people feel. In fact my mind is so entwined with the emotional state of those around me that my mood changes based on the moods that surround me. I can easily walk into a room with a smile on my face, come into contact with someone who is crying, and leave in a horrible mood five minutes later because someone else is upset. No matter the reason, the fact still remains that I’ve always been the type of person who wants to help other people in whatever way I can.

I donate money to charities, volunteer my time, and thrive in environments that utilize my teaching capabilities. Today, despite my need to help and overabundance of sympathy for those who suffer, I began to question at what point the sympathy runs out. I only bring this up because I’ve come across a situation in my life in which I’ve done everything I can to help someone who needs it. I’ve bent over backwards in every way possible to ensure his future. It seems like no matter what I do, however, the help is either unwelcomed or received and then returned in a very cold manner. It’s as if everything that I have done, which is in his best interest is for nothing.

I’m beginning to think that after a year of continually trying to better his circumstances and caring as best I can that maybe the problem has nothing to do with me, but rather his inability to help himself. I’ve always been one to ride in on the white horse and save the day if I can. In fact I take pride in knowing when to saddle up. I think I’ve come to realization, though, that I am altogether unable and sometimes no longer willing to help those who cannot help themselves.

While I still care and wish to do my very best in this world, I cannot continually shed light on those who only wish to remain in the dark. I cannot swoop in and save the day when the person I am trying to save wants none of it. While at first I found this to be a shortcoming on my part, after much thought, it’s quite clear to me that my efforts are better spent on those who are maybe not initially receptive to it (because that would be far too easy), but at least willing to grab hold of the outstretched hands before them when they need it the most.

To some people it would seem like giving up and in a great many ways these people wouldn’t be correct. I think it’s important to note, however, that it’s not quite the same when we choose to give up on those who have already given up on themselves. With that being said my sympathy and the actions that come as a result of it, like so many things in this world, have limitations.

Just some food for thought on this fine Thursday evening.

Until next time…stay classy.

–          C.M. Berry


About C.M. Berry

I'm an aspiring author, blogger, and poet fluent in sarcasm, profanity, and dark humor. I have something to say about everything and whether you love me or hate me, you'll always come back for more.
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