In my last post, I ended up writing about empathy & why I still have to see any of the good sides of that quality to possess. I try to think something must be fundamentally wrong with me on a DNA level where I’m unable to see someone suffering & then trying to go above and beyond to “save” them from themselves. As often as I hope to admit, this has led me to destroy my mental, physical & psychological sanity – and there’s nothing good about this.

I’ve seen countless people who are of great character, and personality, full of liveliness from within, and yet somehow are on a path to self-destruction. The greatest enemies are the ones we create in our heads & the battle between the angels/demons is hard to conclude. 

The simple reason why I’m trying to save people was when I was at my lowest; there was no one to save me. I know what it means to be broken, mentally tarnished/torn, physically beat where you don’t have any capacity to get out of bed. Maybe the path is so complex that it’s very easy to run yourself into the ground even when thinking that you’re trying to get back up. You don’t know if you’re swimming for the bottom of the ocean or the surface & if it’s prior, you find yourself in deeper water than you started.

When you’ve gone through so much since a young age, you don’t want even your worst enemy to go through the same. Life is chaotic for everyone; we don’t have to make it harder than it is. It wouldn’t hurt to help people once in a while. But the sad fact is that when you’re trying to help someone altruistically, people doubt your every motive because we don’t live in that world anymore. We’ve become so obsessed with ourselves that we forget that other people are hurting just as much or even more. 

When you’re trying to help, you are likely to be seen as a creep, or your motives will be judged constantly even if your intentions are pious – I’ve been on the other side of this more than my fair share.

I hate this trait because it sucks out the energy from within if I’m not successful at a given task. I try to take time off from work, studies, and play, where I try to detox after a bad experience. I’ve also learned that just because you are willing to jump on a grenade for something, others won’t do the same for you – and you have to be okay with that. Humans are very complex creatures; even some of the best psychiatrists and clinical psychologists don’t have answers to why people act – the way they act. 

It’s also easy to be swept up by someone you’re trying to save, and see them happy, safe and joyful again. Still, an empath tends to forget that energy goes from one side to the other. Empaths need to recharge, too, because if they don’t, they will land themselves in the same spot as the one they were trying to help (Takes one to know one).

The truth of the matter is that human beings are simply far too complex for us to reliably use body language and facial expressions to determine what’s going on inside their minds. There’s a tremendous variation in how people feel and express emotion. Each individual has their own unique way of doing so. Even within a single person, we see extreme inconsistency from situation to situation, and that’s before we factor in variables like whether they’re trying to mask how they’re feeling, how comfortable they are with the people around them, what their emotional state is like on that particular day, etc.

Most importantly, everyone feels and expresses emotion differently. A completely innocent person might react to news of a death they didn’t cause with a complete lack of emotion, a drastic outpouring of emotion, or somewhere in between. All would be valid responses, the nature of which would not be a reliable indicator of whether they killed the person or not. And I’ve faced the same in dating; I can like someone & can think that they feel the same, but it is almost impossible to make a judgment until the person conveys the same. Often, even after the person shares the same, they can completely change their mind for no reason the next day – and we have to be okay with that. Everyone is gunning for something better rather than being patient, and that’s the reality of life.

So, the moral of the story: with few exceptions, we simply cannot watch a person and read what’s going on in their mind based on how they look. Yes, some people are terrible actors. If someone is doing an inferior job of feigning sadness, we might be able to tell. Still, the reality is that we just can’t know most of the time because everyone expresses emotion differently. So probably don’t try to save anyone unless they ask for it. Things can go from cute to creepy pretty fast.