February 15, 2010

tenderhearted burnout

Being tenderhearted can be a blessing and a curse. It allows you to be open and compassionate to the feelings and needs of others but also leaves you wide open to being hurt by others, too.
I know a very tenderhearted young lady. This gal has always had a sweet, compassionate spirit. Being game for whatever activity her family or friends may be planning, she just enjoys being with people and feeds off their interactions with her. Her feelings are often kept private because they are so precious to her; so to find yourself in the position of a confidant to this gal is a privilege. A position that could easily be lost if abused. She has a very open affectionate spirit and a side that has been hurt before which she guards carefully. Confrontations make her cringe and she will often suppress her own thoughts and feelings to avoid arguing even at the cost of conceding her opinion. At times, she may even be so passive as to allow others to take advantage of her or be lost in the crowd because she is the person that everyone speaks well of but no one remembers to talk to. The flip side of this is that she has very strong convictions and well thought-out opinions. This translates into a woman who is confident on one hand and very humble on the other. Not a bad combination but one that needs to be valued if it is to be shared. All that to say that if this gal trusts someone enough to share painful memories with them and they are cruel or uncaring enough to repeatedly disregard the pain she is sharing, the value of their friendship comes into question.
As is too often the case, our focus tends to be on ourselves and we miss the opportunity to be a blessing, a shelter, a friend worth having. If you find yourself in this position with someone you care about, maybe it's time to pop the bubble and step out of your own little sphere of existance so you can be there for someone else. Otherwise the burnout may overtake them and you'll find yourself hopping up and down, trying to look over a wall that has gotten higher with each hurtful, self-centered, thoughtless thing you've done. So, yeah...I'm just saying.

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