“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen,” wrote Elisabeth Kubler Ross.
Adversity… while it can give us empathy it can also be the source of intolerable anxiety.
Following are 20 things you should be aware of if you love someone in this way:
1. They can freely apologize and acknowledge their own mistakes. On the other hand it is almost a struggle for them to admit that someone has harmed them.
2. They are both lovers and warriors at the same time. Even if they might appear vulnerable to the ones they love, they are very protective about them.
3. They have an acute sense of perception. They can easily read your emotions.
4. The way they treat you is independent of how you treat them. As the relationship you share with your partner is not merely based on give-and-take policy, the way you treat him/her does not affect how they would behave with you in return.
5. They are concerned more about giving instead of taking. They might often go to the extent of depriving themselves for your sake.
6. Logic does not work here. Your partner would constantly worry about you. This worrying might seem to be irrational at times but there is no helping it. All you can do is provide him/her with comfort and assurance.
7. They will cling to you because they feel attached to you. They are extremely afraid of the prospect of you leaving them. So you should in turn help your partner fight it so that your bond can grow stronger.
8. They will forgive you for anything very easily, but you should not exploit them based on this ‘weakness’.
9. They are not only capable of experiencing emotions deeply, they can also feel other people’s pain on a physical level. This might cause a lot of distress but it brings about empathy at the same time.
10. Your partner is always anxious and power games are an unlikely phenomenon. Dominating you is not what they want.
11. You’ll discuss things that might not ever happen. Although these might not have any logical foundations, it indicates that your relationship is not based on mere practicality.
12. Your partner will ensure that you are kept out of harm’s way. At times they might even hurt themselves in the process.
13. At times it might seem that they are apologizing too much. Being very sincere, they are harder on themselves than they are on you.
14. They seem to be always cautious about disasters that might not ever happen in the future. They might have undergone such harrowing incidents in the past and they would not want you to go through something like that over again.
15. They form their own decisions and define their own limits. They might not abide by the three-day rule and may text you back within a minute.
16. Everything shall be measured down to the last detail. Although, indulging in this line of thought might bring about a sense of security, trying to resist it would bring about suspicion. Love is never about equality.
17. Paranoia means self-preservation for them. As they would start trusting you gradually, paranoid tendencies might subside but it will never go away completely.
18. They will not turn accusative unless they are very honest about their grievances. They will not try to make you feel guilty merely to have an upper hand in a situation.
19. Although they would hate to hurt a second time, they would not let their past woes harden their hearts.
20. They will be with you forever and they do not need a reason to love you.
“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain or touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares,” wrote Henri J.M. Nouwen.