Mind Over Heart: Pity is Not Love

on Friday, 29 July 2016. Posted in Candidly Teen

by Olan Tonsay

has tried breaking up with Krish twice but held back. Upon hearing her, he will just break down in tears, sobbing uncontrollably inside the fast-food restaurant.

At the Sight of Tears and Helplessness

Every now and then you get to see a street kid loitering on the roadside, tapping windows, stretching a filthy hand with sullen eyes, begging for some spare change. You cannot help being moved into giving the kid something from your pocket.

The sight of a guy in tears is more moving than seeing a girl cry simply because we seldom see a guy crying his heart out in the open. A guy sobbing on a sidewalk or at a corner of a room will draw pity from those who may be there at that moment.

Yup, many are moved to pity someone in a sorry state. It is a Filipino trademark to be easily get carried away with another person in tears or see an underdog being pushed around. Our minds give way to what we feel. 

The same may happen in relationships. One of the two individuals involved may easily be moved into giving way or submitting to the other with the mere sight of tears and helplessness. A youngster from Makati City who has been into almost weekly misunderstandings and quarrels with her boyfriend has attempted to end the relationship several times, only to ditch the plan several times as well.

Becoming Emotionally Dependent

Maita (not her real name) is a Grade 10 coed student from a well-known school in Bulacan. She has been in a steady relationship with a batch mate named Krish since last school year. They started out as friends and comembers in a cocurricular school club. They became close after a club project wherein they were both    committee members.

Krish courted her after the project, and after three months of persistent courtship and numerous acts of affection, he finally won Maita’s sweet yes. Their relationship was kept hidden from their comembers, but after a few weeks of Krish’s obvious display of affections, their relationship became known in school.

At first their fellow club members did not pay attention to their being physically close with one another. As weeks turned to months, Krish became even more expressive of his affection for Maita. It was then when some of Maita’s friends cautioned her about their increasingly public affection.

To their surprise, Maita was aware with what is going on between her and Krish. She just held back in asking him to lessen his public display of affection out of concern of hurting his feelings. Maita has come to accept Krish’s sensitivity. He would sulk and manifest depressive behavior. Early this year, it became obvious to her that Krish has a weak personality and has become emotionally dependent on her.

Aside from this, Krish became insecure when Maita got elected as their club’s vice president. Krish would hound her with text messages asking who are with her and what they are doing every time she attended the club meeting. Krish became jealous and suspicious. His behavior has caused her unnecessary worries, concerns, and frustrations. She started losing her feelings for him.

Maita has tried breaking up with Krish twice, once in February and another in May, but held back. Upon hearing her, Krish would just break down in tears, sobbing uncontrollably inside the fast-food restaurant they were in. Her heart melted with pity seeing him in that condition, aside from wanting to avoid being embroiled in an embarrassing scene.

Lately, she has decided to call it quits with him once and for all—but how?

Think It Over:

1. Why did Maita decide to break up with Krish?

2. If you were Maita, how would you decisively break up with Krish?

3. What caused Krish’s insecurity?

4. Do you think breaking up is the only solution for Maita and Krish? Why or why not?

5. Why do some youngsters become emotionally dependent on their boy/girlfriends and close friends?


Well-placed vs Misplaced Pity

Interdependence has been a visible human behavior since prehistoric times. Families bonded together into tribes, tribes into clans, clans into villages, and villages into towns or cities. Interdependence is an assurance for safety, security, and survival. Humanity has leaned on relationships to guarantee survival.

Interdependence and affinity bring forth intimacy. Families and relatives form intimate bonds. The ability of an individual to be affectionate and intimate is honed by the closeness of the family. The closer the family ties, the more wholesome the social development of a child is. This almost always results to a balanced personality and positive character.

Once a child grows further into adolescence, he or she learns to form intimate relationships. It starts out in friendships among peers and close friends. This can be further carried to a more intimate form of relationship, which is, having a boy- or girlfriend.

For most youngsters, entering into an intimate relationship with a special someone is one of the most cherished moments in life. Some say that if the relationship clicks, or the boy and girl involved in the relationship make a good match, it is bound to last longer. But not all good things last. Somehow, some youngsters “fall out of love” along the way for various acceptable and unacceptable reasons.

However, each individual has a soft spot in one’s heart. This soft spot forms a kind of emotional vulnerability. It makes one more open to reconsideration, second chances, and hopeful reconciliations. Unfortunately, it also makes one prone to misplaced pity like Maita. She has this soft spot that triggers a change of plan on her part.

She encounters difficulty when pity sets in, blurring her decision and prolonging her agony and that of Krish as well. In some way, Krish has manipulated Maita’s emotions by using tears as tool. Worse, there are some individuals, boys and girls alike, who use tears as a weapon to wield influence and sway other people     into submission.

To avoid vacillating in making decisions like Maita, you can consider doing the following:

• Temporary lull or silence. A whole day of silence, others would call it “silent treatment.” This would give you and your partner a brief respite from your tumultuous interactions. You can ask for it and justify it by requesting for some space. Whether he or she accedes to your request or not, do it. He or she will start wondering why.

• Writing a letter. An initial letter written with sincerity and tact revealing the ups and downs of the relationship can gently introduce your intent. This is a subtle way of letting him or her know what is wrong. Expect an immediate reply to your letter and a lot of why’s. You can explain the situation further if you choose to meet with him or her, but at least you’ve already made your intentions clear and there will be no more chance to be swayed again.

• Sincere but firm dialogue. A meet-up would become necessary to clarify your reasons and manifest your intention. Expect that he or she may exhibit his or her emotions to hold you back, but refrain from being swayed and focus on the task at hand.

• Request for someone to be around. When the previous dialogue still fails, then it is about time to call in a common trusted friend or the guidance counselor to be around when you decide to break up once and for all. Let your mind assert itself over your heart. Know that pity is not love.

• Pray for resolve. Stick to your decision knowing that your relationship has nowhere else to go. Pray for yourself that your heart will not wane in its decision, and pray for the other that he or she will come to accept the reality of the situation. 

Well-placed pity can help foster a fruitful relationship. Misplaced pity will only cause more hurt and prolong    the agony.

What now is has already been; what is to be, already is; and God restores what would otherwise be displaced. (Ecclesiastes 3:15, NAB)

Reflect on These:

1. Cite the difference between being interdependent and emotionally dependent.

2. What may happen if a friend or special someone is emotionally dependent on you?

3. What may serve as the “final straw” in your relationship? Cite an experience with a friend or special someone.

4. What can happen to a jealousy- and insecurity-infested relationship where there seems to be no solution in sight?

5. As a Christian youngster, how can you be decisive when there is a justified need to cut a relationship with a friend or special someone?


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