I had a heart to heart with K the other day. Now, this is and isn’t somewhat unusual. It is unusual because I’m K’s client and only see him once or, at the most, twice a month. We rarely communicate outside of my appointments. It isn’t unusual because we often have talks that go deeper than a normal client relationship.
K is in the mist of a major change in his life. This is something he suspected could happen a few years ago, and if it did, he thought he would be fine with it. But, he’s not. He’s a little freaked out. Now he wishes things weren’t changing and he needed to talk to someone about the situation.
I’m not sure he’s talked to anyone else about it. I’m not sure, given the thoughts going through his head, that he would even feel comfortable talking to anyone else. If some in his life knew what he was thinking, well let’s just say, it wouldn’t be pleasant.
I have a hard time understanding why so many people feel comfortable pouring their hearts out to me. It seems a bit weird to me because I have very, very, very few people who I ever pour my heart out to. I don’t have a me! My husband says people open up to me because I truly listen, I don’t judge, I don’t try to fix it, and I empathise.
Being empathetic is a problem for me. I tend to get too empathetic. When I know a friend (as I consider K) is hurting or upset about something, I sometimes can’t help letting it affect me emotionally. I sometimes wish I could be less like this, but it’s who I am.
I have it going through my head that he may not have a happy future., and that bothers me. He’s a great person. He deserves happiness. On the other hand, he knew several years ago if he chose the path he did, this change would most likely come about.
I have no advice for K. I can’t fix his problem, no matter how much I wish I could. And, as my daddy (and probably everyone else’s) used to say, “You made your bed and now you have to lie in it”. To me, that’s a bit harsh, but we do have to face the consequences of our actions. I can only hope it turns out for the best for K.
Is there really such a thing as too much empathy?