Are you constantly attracted to ‘fixer-uppers’? Perhaps he’s in the process of a really bad break-up and tells you all the stories of how badly he was treated.
Or maybe he’s just lost his job and he tells you how unfair his employer was. Or maybe it was a huge business deal gone wrong and now he’s in debt.
In all these scenarios, they are always the good guy and someone else has done them wrong. If you’re an empath, which means you easily tune in to someone else’s mental or emotional state, you have a tendency to fall for the stories.
You feel that you want to rescue this person from all the bad people in his life.
He only talks about all the wonderful things he did for his partner but he was unappreciated, unloved and scorned by his partner.
He will tell you how efficient he is at his job; that he knows more than anyone else in his field but his boss was mean and manipulative and threatened by his expertise.
This works the other way as well where a man becomes the rescuer to a woman who has been in one bad relationship after another.
She is the victim and you are the knight in shining armour who will save this poor creature from all the demons in her life.
Now, while I am fully aware that there are many people in abusive situations who don’t have the means or the tools to get themselves out of truly horrendous circumstances, this article is meant for people who have a choice and are capable of taking care of themselves but choose to use their circumstances to get the attention of a rescuer.
In other words, they play the victim. Here, I am addressing the rescuer.
We need to get real and ask ourselves why we do this time and time again. One of the reasons is that we have an ideal in our minds of this perfect person and we project that image onto the people we meet.
So we see their potential; we see what they could become in the future. We blame their former partners or their bosses for having treated them so badly.
We feel that with our support and nurturing, they will blossom into their true potential.
The sad truth is that after devoting months or even years into nurturing their ‘potential’ you begin to realise that they are simply repeating their patterns with you as their new partner or with a new boss in a new job.
You end up feeling drained and cheated out of years of your life when you could have been building a strong, healthy relationship with someone you truly deserve.
So how do you spot the difference between an energy vampire and a well-adjusted adult? From the energy vampire, you’ll hear why they didn’t succeed and it’s always 100% someone else’s fault.
A well-adjusted adult is not perfect. They have had their share of life’s challenges but they take responsibility for their problems as well as finding their own solutions.
They will not be looking for a new partner in the midst of their problems to support them through it.
They will first resolve their issues, learn from their mistakes, and take the time to heal before looking for a new partner.
They will also have a clear picture of what they have to offer in a new relationship. While we all need love and support during trying times, as adults we need to step up and take responsibility for our circumstances.
Only then do we grow into our own potential. We observe how we contributed to the problem. We learn the lesson and consciously choose to make the changes so we do not re-create the same circumstances.
If we believe that we are completely innocent and the other person is completely guilty, then we give them all the power.
We can only change what we claim as our responsibility. None of us are perfect but if we are living consciously, we are constantly learning from life’s challenges and becoming better versions of ourselves.
So if you find yourself rescuing yet another person, perhaps it’s time to stop and ask yourself why you’re stuck in an unhealthy pattern.
Could it be that it’s easier to fix someone else’s problems than it is to face your own? Do you feel fulfilled when you can rescue someone else? Does it make you feel superior?
Broken people attract other broken people. Well-adjusted adults attract other well-adjusted adults. The choice is yours. Become the person you want to attract.
Kas Naidoo is a relationship coach and matchmaker. She can be contacted via [email protected]