- May 23, 2009
You have me curious... how would that one guy in particular test you? And how would you respond?
My Mom once told me that I must have been born with a disclaimer on my forehead that says, "Tell me about your most personal problems." Because of that, and, knowing all the things God rescued me from (as an adoptee,) I've always felt a deep commitment to try to help people. But what I didn't realize when I started out was that in a lot of cases, I was enabling and not helping, and I had to learn the hard way that there is a difference between people who actually want help and will work hard to change, and those who just want attention.
So the most common comparison I would hear was, "Oh. You're just going to leave/abandon me just like (my mother, my father, every woman I've ever met, every person who ever said they'd be my friend.) You're just like all the rest... You're going to fail me, too. Thanks a lot. I actually thought I could trust you/that you were a real friend." But when you point out the hard choices they need to make in order to improve their situation, there's always an excuse or reason or someone else to blame as to why they think they can't or won't do it.
This is where I've learned to ask God to give my discernment button a good swift kick ASAP. And I eventually got to a point where I can't stand even hints of emotional manipulation at all anymore. I will very quickly do my best to disengage from anyone who starts to put forth that attitude, because I know when someone gets to that point, they have nothing to give and are becoming an emotional vampire who will only suck the life out of the people around them.
It's certainly not that I don't feel for people who have suffered abandonment. I've struggled with those feelings myself.
But I also know there's a distinction between using that kind of attitude to get others to do what they want versus a person who is truly interested in getting better (because that's a lot more work), and also cares about others along the way.
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