Pathological Altruism is Helping That Hurts
Negative feelings, so negative things can be positive. People think feeling angry, needy, or sad is bad or wrong and we teach them that those are not only normal but they can be really good for you to understand. Those who feel them deal with them basically. Let’s talk about the OP because the opposite is true to something that people think is good is not so good like pathological altruism. That’s a phrase I have to teach a lot of patience, pathological altruism it’s a mouthful.
Pathological altruism is sort of how it sounds, where people are helping others but at their expense. They don’t realize this so they’re helping, helping, helping often with the idea that if I help enough, someone’s going to help me. But what ends up happening is they become furious because no one helps them. They don’t realize that’s the string attached to the help. It ends up being really disruptive in that way because they themselves don’t know how to ask for what they need. Which goes back to our neediness. People who have pathological altruism as one of their defenses gives, gives, gives and then gets angry when nobody gives back.
They’ve missed a little portion of not being able to tell someone what they needed. This is a moment where the student becomes the teacher so beautifully and you’ve learned that over the – overtime but it always comes back to these three emotions. Same with us we do the neediness, anger, and sadness. So people have trouble with neediness, they cover it up by saying I’ll help you and then I won’t have to say I need anything from you, you’ll just know. We don’t just know, people don’t just know, that’s why communication about these things is so important.
People forget that people can’t read each other’s minds and assume. Let’s say, in a marriage you assume because you’re married that this person should know you well enough to know your needs but it’s really actually the opposite. If we don’t tell them our needs they don’t realize that. It’s important to make sure you are comfortable enough to know, “I have to tell people what I need or else I’m not going to get it.”
How many times have we heard someone say, “they should know,” you should know by now the opposite is true. They say, “I know how she’s going to react, or how he’s going to react. so I am not going to do it.” It’s like all you have to do is tell her but it’s revealing neediness and they don’t want to do that.
You hear this all over, “I got divorced because he didn’t know my needs and he couldn’t anticipate my needs.” That’s not love, that’s Fantasyland. It’s just the opposite if you’re in love and it’s your partner for life why wouldn’t you be able to ask them? Expose that neediness, or anger and talk that through.
When it comes to anger, people don’t want to be angry at their mom, their dad, or their spouse because they think, I love them, so I shouldn’t be angry with them. Where it’s actually the opposite. If you don’t feel angry toward someone then it means you’re not really even invested in that person. If you do feel anger or feel needy towards somebody that’s just telling of how much you truly care about that person.
There’s some famous saying, the opposite of love isn’t hatred, it’s apathy. True love, all love, always comes with high emotions. That’s a sign that you’re invested. Don’t forget, Pathological Altruism is helping until it hurts.