In the course of being part of the HSP community for many years, it has often struck me how often HSPs seem to become "embroiled in drama," often involving abusive, needy, usary or outright crazy people.
|Bell Rock in Sedona, up close and personal|
What is really going on, when we have a "chaos monger" in our lives? Why do we choose them? And I'm sorry, but NO... we're not just "innocent bystanders," at least most of the time.
There are typically two really common dynamics at play... both of which are related to our senses of self... and, by extension, dubious self-esteem.
In one scenario, an almost compulsive "need to help" drives us to-- basically-- to surround ourselves with people who need "help." Many would argue that it's "compassionate" and "the right thing" to help those who are struggling... and that's a valid point. However... there is a price to pay (overstimulation, exhaustion, frustration) for being the perpetual "caretaker" for someone who doesn't attempt to solve their own issues and expects us to be eternally accountable for their issues.
|Red rocks of Sedona, AZ|
But how is it that we are actually accountable, here? Usually the problem is that we feel like we have no "personal value," aside from how it's measured by our capacity to "take care of" others... and "help them when they are troubled." In other word, we don't perceive ourselves being valuable as human beings, if we're not "caretaking." Think about it, for a moment... not on the "surface," but at its deepest level... who would you be, if you were not always taking care of your needy friend's latest crisis? Who would you be, if you were not lamenting that all your time and bandwidth was being used up, by someone else?
These are not intended as "blaming" questions... merely as a deeper line of self-inquiry.
The above, of course, is a fear based response... often learned in childhood and youth, from our families of origin who perhaps marginalized and diminished us unless we were "useful."
Closely related is a second scenario, also fear based: It is a general fear of "strong" people who have their lives together. We fear we are "small and inadequate" in their company, and that they couldn't possibly be interested in spending time with us, because their lives seem so much more successful and "together" than our own... and so we fear they would "abandon" us, once they discover the "truth" about how small and seemingly insignificant and boring our lives are. In short, we lack a sense of "worthiness," in their company.
So, when we put the two together (as sometimes happens), not only to we choose to "hang onto" people who are using us and causing us grief, but we also end up feeling afraid to choose the company of those who would actually be good for us, because we fell like we are "less than" they are.
There is not an "easy fix" here... but the road to healing and moving to a better place with ourselves starts with simple awareness of our own patterns; of the choices that are causing us grief.
What do YOU think? Do you often feel like you're surrounded by people who need to be "taken care of?" Does their presence exhaust you? Does it feel like they just have "insinuated themselves" there? Have you ever considered that you-- by your direct or indirect actions-- INVITED them to be there? Does it sometimes feel like you wish you had "more together" friends... yet you feel intimidated by people who seem to "have it all together?" Please leave a comment and share your experiences!