Sunday, 24 July 2016

Imbalance or, how I'm feeling

Someone wrote about how I'm feeling...

Then, I saw something written by a friend, and the feeling intensified...

One of the kindest things that anyone has ever said about me is that I don't know how much I help people.  I couldn't help thinking about this a few days ago, when I was at a dance, and a couple of friends were telling me to stop replying to my messages, at least for a while.

The problem is that, to a greater or lesser extent, I love everyone.  I'm not talking about the gushing, romantic love that you feel for your partner because, frankly, that would be weird, and more than a little problematic.  What I'm talking about is a tendency to care for others and be deeply affected by what they feel.

There are people to whom I willingly give my support.  I'm privileged to call a lot of these people my friends.  They are good, kind, generous, supportive and patient people.  There's a sense that I couldn't do enough for these friends because, as someone recently said of me, they're probably unaware of how much they help me.  The problem is that not everyone is so good.  There are people who abuse my good nature.

Where I'd disagree with the post about INFJ burnout is the need for validation.  I have a need to feel hope, though.   The world can seem like a cold, uncaring, unforgiving place.  If I spend too much time with people who demand my empathy and positive regard, and I feel I haven't received enough of these things myself, then the temptation to write the world off as a bad place and limit my contact with other people is strong.

The piece by my friend made me feel sad initially, that such expressions of acceptance are, for her, a rare occurrence right now.  Then, I felt hope, because at least one person refused to respond with fear, hatred or anger.  As the post mentions, in that area, there are more than enough reasons, historically, for the local population to feel those things.  Maybe the world isn't such a bad place.