Becoming affiliated with an individual’s problem(s) is an inevitable occurrence within the daily lives of most people. Friends and family turn to us to achieve emotional support and to furthermore confide in someone they likely trust, and it is difficult to remain isolated from their conflict when this occurs.
Being present in the life of someone who has turned to you when they are experiencing some type of issue is a key component of a healthy and trustworthy relationship. It is important to offer a listening ear and advice to someone if that is what they seek, and to refrain from doing so would be a poor reflection of mutual respect. However, if you begin to take another persons problem and alter it so it becomes a problem of your own and becomes about you, a re-evaluation of the situation is key in order to restore its original balance.
So often we encounter individuals who make the problem of someone else one of their own. They explain how the issues being experienced by another person in their life have become a burden to them and are creating extra stress, and in doing so they ultimately disregard the persons who is actually being burdened and encountering stress from their problem. Using the problems and conflicts of another person as a means to earn attention and sympathy from others is an incredible selfish thing to do, and it has come to my realization that this attempt to receive attention is a relatively common occurrence in contemporary society.
It is arguable that when a friend or family member comes to you and asks for assistance, they are doing so because they have a positive relationship with you and trust you with their problems. Allowing their problem to consume you and present itself as extra baggage in your own life is unnecessary and disrespectful, and it is an improper way to help such person. Listen to the person who has confided in you and offer them advice, but do not make their issue on of your own. Remain equally isolated in their conflict as you are involved and refrain from using their issue as an excuse to seek sympathy from others.
If it isn’t your problem to bear, don’t bear it. Be there for someone, but do not transform their stress in an attempt to earn sympathy from others. Chances are that is not why they came to you in the first place.