I do not know if my introverted personality has anything to do with this but if it does, I wish I could find a cure to curb my emotional weakness.
My tendency to get affected easily by the turnaround of things is beyond dramatic. Even without forcing myself to get into stranger’s shoes, normally, it is expected of me to get crashed and burned in the process. Empathy is both a curse and a gift. I defy the first… yet celebrated the latter.
People who are overly empathetic tend to get upset about things directly or indirectly affecting them. I guess it is their awaken sensitivity that plays a major role why people become empathetic. Apart from the experiences I’ve had, to me, being sensitive has made me become the emotional weakling that I am now. Something that I am fighting hard to overcome.
But how do we exactly win over our emotions? Is there a way to get immune to hurts and pains, to a lot of feelings that are bound to grind us down? If moral compass and our ability to feel compassion are factors that sets us apart from the rest of the animals in the kingdom, would you fear the possibility of getting overthrown out of the hierarchy if we get to discover a way to get impervious to emotions that are likely to get us more human? If we live by the law of nature, then perhaps, we know now who will roam the planet years from now. But the reality is, we do not live by the sword; we live the other way around.
Empathy is rooted from awakened sensitivity. It induces acts of kindness and compassion.
They say people are predominantly born with awakened sensitivity, so that makes compassion and kindness innate human characteristics—a truth that I have always believed in. Through years of struggle with painful experience, people learn to shun that sensitivity and enclose himself in a shell impenetrable and unaffected by human emotion. That was how many have become indifferent; apathy drags humanity down as our search for the elixir of human worth continues. Whereas our ideas of human nature are primarily based on personal experience and encounter, one cannot deny the truth that there is a part in every person’s heart for kindness, regardless of what one has gone through. That truth is what moves us to look after a child crossing the street alone or why we feel awful for failing to offer the seat to an elderly on the bus. Most people would say, guilt drove the latter but really how one can feel guilt without feeling kindness first?—a strong emotion to offer help yet did not materialize. Outcomes vary because our choices are limitless. We are free to choose what and how to react to certain situations and needless to say, the options are only ours to take. The humanity that is within us does not diminish the moment we fail to act positively on certain situations. It just stays right there, continuously moving and driving us to profess humanity at the right moment.
In the scheme of human behavior our nature to feel empathy does not necessarily delineates weakness. If it does, then why do we feel empowered when we act on the ground of compassion and kindness? And why do we feel more alienated when we do the opposite?
Generally, being true to your emotions— embracing yourself as the empathetic that you are and acting out on those seemingly negative stimuli to reveal the truth of who you are is not a sign of a decline in your emotional intelligence, otherwise it enforces your knowledge about you as an emotional being.
Despite having said that however, I struggle on telling these to myself. The more empathetic I become about a lot of things, the more I see myself as an emotional weakling. Experience, hurtful experience they say makes people stronger— whether it’s directed towards you or not, with or without personally being involved in the process— something that I also believe. So, I guess the problem lies in the fact that I am more concerned about displaying emotions that could be misinterpreted as a shortfall of my emotional strength. It is therefore, the fear of being viewed by society as nothing less than a ‘wimp’ that triggers disparaging belief on what is supposed to be a self-uplifting nature of any human being. Social stigma and perceived concept that empathy equates to emotional weakness is the culprit.
I do not know if others would agree or ignore my claim. All I know is that, being humane will not make me less human. I could be a ‘cry baby’, a ‘wimp’ or a ‘weakling’ or both and all combined. And it’s fine. I’ll embrace me in the name of compassion and kindness, of empathy, of being sensitive and introverted—of being me— and of being human.
Here’s to a more humane world ahead! Happy New Year to all earthlings!