Imagine you found a sick puppy on the side of the road. Of course, you want to help her, your heart breaks for her, but if you so much as bend over to pick her up, you’ll puke your intestines out. Not to mention you’re fatigued from chemo. That’s right buddy: you have cancer.
That sounds like a pretty extreme example, but this is what I imagine when I find myself overextending myself to others. Would you expect a person dying of cancer to nurse you back to health from your cold? Of course not. Not only would that be extremely selfish of you to expect that, it wouldn’t even benefit you.
When we halt our lives to help those we care about, we’re practically doing the same thing. It isn’t fair to yourself to pause your dreams and give away your free time, for an arbitrary badge of martyrdom. The ironic thing is that most of the time, your sacrifices go unnoticed—honestly, they should.
Why should someone feel sorry for you because you elected yourself to their every beck and call? As far as they’re concerned, this was your choice, and it is ultimately your choice.
I think empaths are the most powerful people in the planet; we have an ability to read people deeper than most people can. We don’t have to view our characteristics as weaknesses, we instead have to practice self awareness and selfishness.