Look at the people around you, and you will discover that almost everyone seems to get emotionally involved, and go through the ups and downs of the people close to them. Sometimes, they also get emotionally involved with the problems of strangers too.
Look, for example, at how parents feel in relation to their children. They get anxious and stressed by whatever happens to them at school and with friends. Sometimes, this goes too far, making the parents nervous, restless and tense. This is an unhealthy situation, draining their strength and energy, and preventing them from having a sound sleep at night.
Is this necessary? You might say that you need to sympathize and empathize. Yes, you are right, but only up to a certain point.
A certain amount of empathy is okay, but when it becomes exaggerated it causes unnecessary emotional pain and suffering.
You need to realize that everyone has his or her own life, with its ups and downs, and things he or she has to deal with in order to grow and get stronger. You don’t need to solve everyone’s problem. What makes you think that you can do it better for them?
Too much empathy does not help anyone, but it can make you unhappy and emotionally depleted. Helping others is a good thing to do, but taking their problems on your back is absolutely not necessary.
Imagine you see a friend of yours slipping and falling into a muddy puddle, what would you do, help him get out of the puddle, or jump after him into the puddle in order to sympathize with him? Would it help if both of you fall into the mud? Of course, it wouldn’t!
A certain amount of detachment always helps, and is not a sign of inconsideration. A little detachment helps you be more practical and use common sense, and therefore, be of more help to others. It is a much more desirable situation than letting their ups and downs affect your moods and state of health.
There is no reason in the world why you should take anything too personally. There is no reason in the world to take responsibility for everything that happens to other people.
Love your family and friends, and help them whenever you can. However, there is no need to be affected by what they say, think or go through. This is a sheer waste of energy and time, which makes you suffer. Adopting this attitude does not mean that you become indifferent, uncaring and aloof. It is a totally practical attitude, and of greater help to the person with whom you empathize.