Jesus taught about empathy, but in a surprising way: In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the law and prophets. (Matthew 7:12). Quite remarkable teaching because he didn’t condemn our needs as selfish. He used them as starting point for learning how to love. In a way he was saying, “You know how terrible you feel sometimes? That’s how others feel sometimes. You know how being loved and understood by another person helps you deal with those feelings? That’s also what helps others. Give them what you also need. (Cloud and Townsend)
If we take our needs to those people who are safe (not toxic) and they in turn take their needs to us, love is created, and the law and prophets are fulfilled.
When you see pain in others, empathy compels you to do something good – to help, to listen in silence- just to be there. Sometimes you shed tears with them. We were created to do that – love relationship. We spend time listening to her not because that will make her like us but because she needs to be understood. We help someone with a problem not so we’ll feel better but because she is in trouble.
Relationship is about we, not I. When it’s about “I” there is no relationship. There is no entitlement in we. Only “I” is entitled. It’s so important to see “we” if we’re going to have a healthy relationship.
I noted that there are those that are highly skilled manipulators. They’re good in taking advantage of you. Once they help you, or love bomb you, they make you feel you owe them your life. That’s a toxic relationship and they can drag you through the mud and bury you there. You don’t hear from them until they need you. These are toxic people. And if you fear being alone you will do for them what they will never do for you. This is when you do something terribly strange: WALK AWAY. In other words, love yourself. It’s frightening but you’ll learn to acclimate with your new freedom for being real you. STEPHEN COVEY calls this the 8th habit of highly effective person – finding your voice. Realize your glory.
Townsend and Cloud says it’s okay to say NO.
Jesus says to do to others as you would others do to you.