I noticed an unsettling trend today in things I was reading: extreme thinking with no balance. For example, one thing I read said we need to feel compassion for narcissistic people because they are so wounded. Yet, other things say we need to offer them no pity- just cut them out of our lives the moment we see even one narcissistic trait.
Neither solution is good, in my opinion. If you have only compassion for a narcissist, she will play on that, & use & hurt you constantly because you give no consequences for these actions. However, if you quickly deduce someone is a narcissist & cut them out of your life, that isn’t necessarily the right solution either. What if you judged this person wrong & they were only having a really bad day? Or, what if God has plans to use you to change that person? Some narcissists who are low on the spectrum can change, after all- maybe God wants to use you to change her heart somehow. In either case, you could be making a mistake by eliminating this person from your life too quickly.
I believe in order to be a mentally healthy person with an empathetic heart, you need to be balanced & avoid such extreme thinking. To understand that yes, someone who has abused or bullied you was deeply wounded, which is why he or she did those awful things to you, yet also understand that does not give this person a free pass to abuse.
Many victims of abuse in particular seem to think this way, without balance. Most commonly, I think, feel compassion & pity for their abuser or make excuses for the behavior. Often, they even accept the blame for the abuse. How many wives whose husbands beat them have you heard say, “It wasn’t his fault! He was drunk/If only I had done what he asked, he wouldn’t have done this!”? They don’t realize that while yes, it was terrible what happened to their abuser, that doesn’t give him or her the right to abuse anyone!
This extreme thinking & balance also fits judging the situations other people are in. How many people have very definite opinions on something so controversial as medical marijuana? Many people think it’s horrible- there is no excuse to use it! Others claim it is extremely helpful in alieviating pain when nothing else does. There don’t appear to be many people with more balanced thinking such as, “I’ve never tried it, & I doubt I ever would, however I understand that person is in such pain constantly, that he is desperate enough to want to try it.”
If you tend to think more extreme, then I would like to encourage you today to try to open your mind a bit more. Try to see things from other people’s perspectives. Imagine yourself in that person’s position. Ask God to give you a more caring, compassionate heart & perspective. Out of balance, extreme type thinking isn’t beneficial for anyone, but understanding, compassionate thinking will benefit everyone.