I don’t really know where to begin or how to title this or what I’m trying to say.
I do know that this is not a poor me post. I’ve been thinking and agonizing over this post for a week or so, trying to find a way to write it without coming across like some kind of douche with a high opinion of himself. My solution is to just tell you that this isn’t what this post is about.
Empathy makes me really good at my job, especially when tempered with the well practiced cynicism and crankiness that I like to keep around. That’s the defense that I need. Why do I need that kind of defense? Well, because empathy can suck ass in a really big way.
There’s no off switch. Empathy can be like an open wound. Raw. Sometimes festering.
I use it to my advantage at work. I can even use it to my advantage in my personal life. I’m genuinely pleased when those around me are pleased. But the suck ass part is that I often take in the difficulties that those close to me have. As much as I feed off the positive, I definitely feed of the sadness and the pain. I’ve discovered that I keenly feel the pain of those I care for, and being who and how I am, I care quickly and deeply. It’s not so easy to throw up the cranky cynic in defense when it comes to them. And, let’s be honest, you can’t help everyone. The best you can do is support them. And support them, I will. At the same time, I need to find ways to support myself.
To Be Continued…