August 11, 2020 at 10:36 pm #364512AnonymousInactive
Hope you are safe. I know times are tough, and I really pray that things get better soon.
I’ve been reading Tiny Buddha forums for a while now, and they give me a sense of home, of familiarity, of comfort to know that I’m not alone.
It inspired me to share my story today.
I have always been an emotional person. A feeler, kind, empathetic and compassionate. Over time people have taken advantage of my kindness and empathy. Although I genuinely believe in the goodness of a person, and practicing non judgement and compassion when I meet someone and talk to someone, after a while I feel emotionally exhausted- when all my energy and love is being consumed without being reciprocated.
I feel broken and empty sometimes. I have really, truly begun to accept myself and love myself a bit more over the past year, after certain incidences, but there are times where I am afraid of my own insignificance in this endless Universe. My worries always included my environment, or the people around me before, but with healing, and more knowledge about myself, now a more spiritual side is opening up where I am in tune with my intuition and emotions.
This brokenness, I think, stems from my reluctance to accept parts of myself, and my fear of being a disappointment to the people around me because over the years I have molded myself into a person for other people, rather than staying true to myself.
Now that I am discovering the beauty of my own self and establishing boundaries, I am slowly losing people. This conflict makes me inner (abandoned) child afraid but at the same time I know that I need to look after myself otherwise I’ll become lifeless.
I consider myself a visionary, a dreamer, and often it causes conflict with the ideas of the people around me- who think small, and it’s very rare for me to truly connect to a person because I haven’t been able to find a lot of people who work on the same intellectual spectrum as me.
This entire conflict, of being with people, and needing to be away from people is making me emotionally exhausted, and manifesting into physiological problems that make me even more unhappy.
I am truly blessed to be able to share with you all. Thank you for listening. I am working on a better self and healing, but sometimes it feels overwhelming and I feel like this community of people really understands.
(Also, a huge shout out and thank you to anita. She helped me once with a post about toxic family members- and I am better, I have created boundaries with them for the sake of my own peace, and with a lot of effort, at least one of them, is understanding their patterns and trying to work on a better relationship with me.)August 12, 2020 at 9:24 am #364545
You are welcome. Thank you for your appreciation, and I join you in praying or wishing that things get better soon.
I agree that you are a “feeler, kind, empathetic and compassionate”- exceptionally so, having just read your perfectly kind, empathetic, compassionate, intelligent, insightful and well written reply to another member.
“Over time people have taken advantage of my kindness and empathy. Although I genuinely believe in.. practicing non judgement and compassion when I meet someone and talk to someone, after a while I feel emotionally exhausted- when all my energy and love is being consumed without being reciprocated”-
– “judgment”, or “being judgmental” has a negative connotation, and it is indeed a negative practice in the world, the reason for a lot of human suffering/violence in the world where prejudice is so common place. But we have to evaluate people before we invest too much in them so to not get exhausted. A person has a limited amount of emotional resources, so we can’t give it all away, exhaust ourselves and become useless to ourselves and to others.
We have to evaluate people, in a sense, judge them in some way, so to figure out whether to spend time with them or not, whether to invest more or to withdraw. If you withdraw from investing in a person who will not be helped as a result of your investment, you will be available to help someone who will benefit from your investment.
“I feel emotionally exhausted- when all my energy and love is being consumed without being reciprocated”- if all your energy and love toward a particular person truly helped that person, he or she would have reciprocated. If a person does not reciprocate your energy and love, it means that you didn’t help that person. I will elaborate a bit: many people want someone to listen to them, but they don’t want any input more than: I-hear-you, and you-are-right. They don’t want to look inward and correct what is wrong. So all you can provide for these people is a listening ear and telling them you hear them and that they are right and doing things well, a listening cheer leader of sorts.
– These people will feel better because you are there to be their excellent listener and cheer leader, but they will not be helped to improve their lives. What happens then, is that they feel better as a result of your investment and then proceed to make bad choices for themselves, build tension as a result, needing yet more help from you, so to release the built-up tension.
Basically, you provide a tension-release service to them.
If you were a therapist, paid by the hour, there will be a benefit to you in providing this tension release service, but without being compensated, what is in it for you, and what’s the point of exhausting yourself for the temporary, short-lived feel-better that you provide?
There is more to your original post. I only responded to the first paragraph that follows your introduction. But what I wrote here is enough for one post. We can communicate further, if you’d like.
anitaAugust 13, 2020 at 12:23 am #364653AnonymousInactive
Thank you so much for your kind words. You are one of the people I really look up to.
“A person has a limited amount of emotional resources, so we can’t give it all away, exhaust ourselves and become useless to ourselves and to others.” – Absolutely. It makes a lot of sense now. I will keep that in mind.
I have been raised in an extremely judgmental society. I have been personally judged for a lot of things, and it hurts. But I guess my mind has been so confused about how to differentiate between using your judgement in the right things that I go to an extreme of non-judgement.
“Many people want someone to listen to them, but they don’t want any input more than: I-hear-you, and you-are-right. They don’t want to look inward and correct what is wrong.” That is so true. Sometimes I feel like my time and energy goes is wasted- because even though I spend so much time with the person, they end up doing things that hurt themselves.
Ah. I understand now. Thank you. Maybe it is time to break that tension release service- but it feels so scary. I know that I will have to establish firm boundaries but I have become so used to this, I feel guilty, spend hours thinking about what I could have done or justify my actions to the other person.
Yes, anita. I would be happy to communicate further- and learn from you. Thank you.
SAugust 13, 2020 at 9:00 am #364686AnonymousInactive
Thank you for sharing this post, S. You write about many things that others including myself can relate to. It does seem to happen that when we start to set boundaries with people who need to have boundaries set, that these people tend to not like our boundaries. This seems to be kind of a universal issue but I think it shows us we are on the right path. The other people probably like that we always say yes, or always give, or take their abuse, or whatever it is. Once we say no, this rocks their world. But our job is to take care of ourselves in the way that supports our own emotional wellness and equilibrium. If the users in this world don’t respect our boundaries, it can make us feel badly about ourselves. As we grow and change, as we mature and they don’t, then we find less and less in common. There is a transition time as we look for others who are less difficult or cause fewer problems to have in our life. Sometimes we mistakenly feel it is our duty to fix other people or that we have no value unless others like us. It can challenge this lack of self love within us when they get mad at us for setting boundaries or changing how what we allow others to bring into our lives. I know when I set a boundary with a difficult person and then they challenge that boundary, I often feel like I am back to square one. They were supposed to respect my boundary and be nicer to me and instead I feel guilty that they get upset. Something many of us work on and can seriously relate to.August 13, 2020 at 9:28 am #364689
You are welcome and thank you for your kind words.
“Maybe it is time to break that tension release service- but it feels so scary. I know that I will have to establish firm boundaries but I have become so used to this, I feel guilty, spend hours thinking about what I could have done or justify my actions to the other person”-
– You rationally agree that “it is time to break that tension release service” (let’s refer to the habit of Providing Tension Release Service as PTRS), but you know that fear (“it feels so scary”) and guilt (“I feel guilty”) will follow, as they already have, when you break the PTRS habit. It is so because we are creatures of habit, like other animals, and emotions= chemical reactions enforce our habits.
Once we learn or adopt a certain behavior, we are chemically and biologically not meant to change that behavior. Initiating and going about changing a habit is an option available only to humans because of our evolved thinking/ using an elaborate language to think, read, write and think, and it takes a long time and persistent practice.
Being caught between good rational thinking aimed at ending the PTRS habit, and powerful emotions aimed at continuing the same habit, is indeed emotionally exhausting (the title of your thread: Emotionally Exhausted”).
Understanding this concept, that it is relatively easy to change our thinking, but very difficult to change our emotions and habits, and expecting the difficulty, will make the change of habit possible. When you consider setting a boundary and you feel very scared and guilty- you won’t get that alarmed and distressed because you expected this to happen, and you have a plan- what to do when overwhelmed with the expected fear and/ or guilt.
When feeling guilty you are used to “spend hours thinking about what I could have done or justify my actions to the other person”- not spending hours doing that is possible, but it will require an alternative plan: what to do instead of spending hours thinking what you could have done, etc.
“Now that I am discovering the beauty of my own self and establishing boundaries, I am slowly losing people. This conflict makes my inner (abandoned) child afraid”- would you like to elaborate on that: who are you slowly losing? I am asking because it is most important to attend to this clearly stated conflict.
anitaAugust 15, 2020 at 1:05 am #364808AnonymousInactive
Dear Rose of Yellow
Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
“But our job is to take care of ourselves in the way that supports our own emotional wellness and equilibrium.” – I really agree with this. Thank you for the kind reminder.
“Sometimes we mistakenly feel it is our duty to fix other people or that we have no value unless others like us.” I am really guilty of this. But most importantly, as you said, it is our maturity and our self love that helps us create a healthy equilibrium, and it is important to move on from people who are difficult.
SAugust 15, 2020 at 1:23 am #364809AnonymousInactive
As always, your words are full of wisdom.
“Once we learn or adopt a certain behavior, we are chemically and biologically not meant to change that behavior.” So true- especially, as you said, when they are creating powerful emotions. Now I know why I feel emotionally exhausted- everything makes more sense.
“but it will require an alternative plan: what to do instead of spending hours thinking what you could have done, etc”- I will think about this. I’m very used to my old habits but I will try and create a new habit for sure. And give myself time and compassion while doing it.
“Who are you slowly losing? I am asking because it is most important to attend to this clearly stated conflict” – I used to be a people pleaser. In some ways, I still am. This PTRS habit strengthened because of my people pleasing tendencies and the gratification and rush of excitement I felt when people came to me. Sometimes I feel like I am almost always, available for everyone all the time. A listening ear, maybe a help- anything. I just find it hard to say no- but most importantly, I know how it feels to have no help, and go through things all alone, and a reminder of that situation and all the emotions associated with it makes me feel like I don’t want anyone else to go through it.
But as I said, this was making me emotionally exhausted. So for a long time I stopped talking to people. Rather, avoiding people, insteading of being assertive. And with this, people have stopped coming to me- or acknowledging me.
My entire life I have always felt ignored and misunderstood- but, I promised myself I will never make anyone else feel this way. All this empathy and kindness, slowly wore me out. So I tried escaping the situation. But now after understanding all of this- I started reaching out to people, but with boundaries.
Now you can definitely imaging the shift my personality has gone through- from someone who is available all the time, the agreeable, sweet, people pleaser- to someone who has started creating boundaries, assertive, and bold enough to express what I feel. (I still need to learn tactful handling on situations) And this has made me lose a lot of people who had a certain image of me in their minds, and now cannot accept the fact that I’ve changed, it’s a bittersweet feeling.
I have always tried so hard to fit in, and mold myself according to people, but when I realised that I never really understood myself or knew the things I wanted because of how hard I tried to please other people- I stopped. And started working on things I liked.
I can be really frank and rude sometimes. I’m better at communicating via text, and make my words appear sweeter. But in person- I am really honest, and what I say and how I say it doesn’t necessarily intend to come out the way I want it to. In contrast to the people pleaser I was- always saying the right things and agreeing with people- this is a change. And because of this, people have stopped talking to me unless they really know me.
Also, I struggle with the fact that I am the one who is constantly reaching out to people. Always. Still irks me, but I guess that’s me. Most of the friends I have don’t really check up on me, and when they do, I feel angry and don’t feel like responding. I can’t believe even after the self love and healing phase, I’m unable to manage and handle my relationships with other people.
I hope this makes sense. I guess this was a really long post but once I started typing, I couldn’t stop.
SAugust 15, 2020 at 6:44 am #364816
Your recent post is not “a really long post”, not at all too long for me.
“My entire life I have always felt ignored and misunderstood- but, I promised myself I will never make anyone else feel this way”- I think that you recently promised yourself that you will never ignore and misunderstand yourself- the very person who was ignored and misunderstood for so long.
You shared that people who accepted the person “who is available all the time, the agreeable, sweet, people pleaser”, now reject the person who “has started creating boundaries, assertive, and bold enough to express what I feel”-
– You became the always-available-agreeable-sweet-people-pleaser so to accommodate the original people in your life who ignored and misunderstood your true self. Fast forward you are losing people who.. choose to ignore and misunderstand your (returning) true self.
You started, as all children start life assertive and bold enough to express how you felt (hungry, tired, uncomfortable, affectionate, curious, joyful, angry, etc.)-> then you hid that person so to win positive attention and approval. Fast forward-> you are bringing back that assertive, bold person that you were in the beginning (in responsible, reasonably self controlled adult ways, of course, ex: “tactful handling on situations”).
“I am really honest”- you hid your honesty so to fit in with the expectation that .. you will not be honest, and instead say “the right things and agreeing with people” – right things for someone else, regardless if it’s right for you, or not.
“I can be really frank and rude sometimes”- the feeling that you are being rude when you are honest and assertive is probably attached to when your behavior is not rude at all. It’s probably one of the misleading feelings that maintain the old behavior, and which will continue for a while.
“I struggle with the fact that I am the one who is constantly reaching out to people. Always. Still irks me, but I guess that’s me. Most of the friends I have don’t really check up on me, and when they do, I feel angry and don’t feel like responding”- can you elaborate on these three sentences, particularly the last part, about your anger when people do check up on you?
August 15, 2020 at 9:58 am #364826AnonymousInactive
- This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by anita.
“I think that you recently promised yourself that you will never ignore and misunderstand yourself- the very person who was ignored and misunderstood for so long.” Thank you.
“The feeling that you are being rude when you are honest and assertive is probably attached to when your behavior is not rude at all. It’s probably one of the misleading feelings that maintain the old behavior, and which will continue for a while.” Yes. It will take some time. But I will get there.
I guess, if you’ve heard about splitting- I tend to do it a lot. My mind filters things as good or bad, positive or negative- but life exists in all shades of grey. It certainly applies to people a lot.
I went through a really rough time this time last year- one of my lowest points in life. And people didn’t reach out to me- probably because I’m high functioning as a person so they didn’t realise what was happening. If you’ve read this quote by Robin Williams – “I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless and they don’t want anyone else to feel like that.” That’s my motto.
I was the kind of person who would check up on people, text them, and listen to them- and that was the only way they ever acknowledged me. People do come to me for my empathy and advice, but as an individual, I’ve been sidelined and ignored unless and until they need my help.
I have a rather intimidating personality- most of the things I talk about are either intellectual, or philosophical, mostly serious, and my friend circle likes to talk about pop culture and celebrity gossip.. and that’s not really my thing. I have to stick around because it’s really difficult being alone away from home, and finding a new group or new people would be difficult halfway through my journey in University.
During my lowest time, I stopped messaging people. I didn’t reach out. I shut people out- and to be honest, 90 percent of them never bothered checking up on me till they realised that they had stopped getting attention. The rest 10 percent I am really grateful for.
So anyway, I think the one thing that is holding me back is that, I haven’t really forgiven a lot of people (my old friends) for this. I think that explains my anger and not wanting to respond to them. Because I know that they didn’t bother, and they can do it again. I’m trying to find my people, but it’s a struggle because I don’t want to end up being hurt again.
On a good note, with my assertiveness and boundaries- and also the fact that I’m discovering my likes and dislikes, I have found some new groups and activities which feel amazing.
SAugust 15, 2020 at 10:53 am #364827
“I haven’t really forgiven a lot of people”- it is not required that you will forgive everyone. We discussed the concept of being judgmental earlier on, and I said that evaluating people is not a negative thing. It is positive and necessary for healthy, functional living. Those friends who did not reach out to you after you have given them so much (the 90%)- let them go. You can even tell them your reason, if you want to.
Those who reached out to you (the 10%)- they are your people.
anitaAugust 15, 2020 at 11:46 pm #364881AnonymousInactive
Thank you, absolutely.
I wish I had more things to talk about currently, but after this correspondence I feel a bit lighter.
I hope things are okay on your side. I wish I could hug you right now.
If you ever need me, I’m here.
SAugust 16, 2020 at 4:50 am #364882
It’s okay, you not having more things to talk about currently. Anytime you do- I’m here. Thank you for the wish to hug me, and offer to be here for me. Virtual hug to you!