“compassion and loyalty make people weak and easy to exploit” … Person of Interest
Recently, I was watching an episode of “Person of Interest” on Netflix and one of the characters, Terry Easton, made this statement: “careful, compassion and loyalty make people weak, and easy to exploit,” which got me thinking if this was indeed true. Does being compassionate or loyal make you appear weak or receptive to being treated poorly by others? --- Just asking for a friend.
I was taught from an early age that compassion is far from being a passive word. It implies strength, courage and the determination to act. I mean it is compassion that drives organizations like “CARE” to provide much needed services to people living in dire situations and war-torn countries while risking of their own lives. But when does compassion make you weak?
Many times, I have found myself in romantic relationships and friendships where I have this need to alleviate any suffering or pain my friends or partner may be experiencing. I usually tend to throw myself in the midst of their struggles, and over extend myself at the expense of my own progression in life. Many times, in love, my efforts have made me appear weak, unappreciated and resulted in me being taken for granted—I guess you can also chalk it up to being with the wrong partner. But when do you take a second to realize that maybe your compassionate efforts are needed elsewhere? When do you stop being a blind martyr? At which point do you get the courage to differentiate between showing compassion to someone in need and helping them be independent by stepping away? When do you allow someone to fall flat on their face in order for small changes to take place? When do you recognize that you aren’t mother Theresa and that you too need self-care, love, and compassion from others? When is it ok for you to remove yourself from someone else’s struggles, in order to find a calmer and more grounded solution without having your emotions attached?
I ask these questions because I find myself struggling with letting go of someone who does not serve me right but yet keeping them at arm's length in case they needed me. I know, what a complex right? There has to be a way to be compassionate without self-sabotaging your own life, desires, needs and sanity.
Any thoughts or feedback with the questions posed?
Three women going through life.