For anyone who has followed my blogs, you know that I advocate an attitude of lovingkindness. I strongly believe in practicing love and kindness in a world filled with hate, greed, and a me-centered consciousness. It is a powerful tool that, used along with tolerance and compassion, will bring about the positive change our world so desperately needs.
We as HSPs are equipped to lead in this fight. Our strong empathy gives us an advantage in that lovingkindness tends to naturally inhabit our nature. No doubt, we have the advantage in feeling and practice. But many of us are at a disadvantage too. We struggle with drawing the line.
And a line must be drawn. Unfortunately, we live in a world where energy vampires, narcissists, and all-around nasty people also live. Their ranks seem to multiply exponentially each day. These people will abuse and manipulate anyone they meet.
Highly sensitive people are sought-after targets. Our empathy and compassion provide fuel for their insatiable appetites for exploitation. Our thin boundaries (defined as a porous and transparent border between us and others) crave intimacy. By nature, we are open and trusting. Sometimes so much so that we overwhelm our systems.
People view us as caring and compassionate. So, they seek us out for comfort and an encouraging ear. This is one of our gifts to others. But when another person turns that act of kindness into abuse and manipulation on their part, this is when they become destructive to us. This is the invisible line that we often find difficult to draw.
But draw it, we must. When we encounter these people, we must learn to shift, from that person to ourselves, the lovingkindness that we naturally espouse. A challenge for the charitable soul that lies within.
True lovingkindness includes us. If we are to give into the exploitation by such people, we are not practicing lovingkindness. We are contributing to the cruelty that they inflict by allowing it to happen. Here, the loving and kind thing to do is to assertively stand up to and refuse to be damaged by the offender. In this way we say with our actions that their behavior is unacceptable. Letting them know this is spreading the truth. Whether they choose to accept it or not is their responsibility.
I am not advocating lashing out at them. This is never appropriate, and we are not immune to falling prey to it. But taking a calm, collected but strongly assertive stand to protect ourselves is necessary.
Being kind to yourself as well as to others is the ideal. Knowing when and to whom to apply that lovingkindness is the paradox. Knowing and understanding this will help you define your boundaries while continuing to embrace your highly sensitive gifts.
Copyright 2021, Monica Nelson