I was just asked the question of whether it should be explained to the dissociated hero the motivations that lead her to be cold and unfeeling in her relationships. My reader had found my essay on dissociated heroes and discovered that his girlfriend could be described as one. Especially in a break up situation, explaining what is wrong with the hero is probably a bad idea. While it can be a relief to discover the motivations behind a person’s actions, especially when that person has hurt or aggravated us, we have to remember that people are defended for a reason. To forcibly break down those defenses is in some ways very cruel.
Of course, most Empaths are not attempting cruelty, they are attempting to bring clarity. Empaths, who are very attached to clarity and authenticity and so tend to listen carefully to others’ observations of them, have a tendency not to see that their efforts at explaining the faults of another when unasked are seen as an attack rather than as a help by the average person, and by the dissociated hero in particular. If a break up has already occurred, chances are that the defended hero is not interested in learning more or becoming more self-aware. Questions to ask before attempting to educate a former mate or best friend are, “Is this person aware of the affect her actions have on others, or does she react based upon how she believes the person should react according to his role?” “Does she normally just want to move onward and forward without looking back at the past?” The answers to these questions will reveal how disconnected the Hero is from her inner self. The more disonnected, the worse an explanation will be received.
Most dissociated heroes are not interested in becoming self-aware. That very self-awareness points them in the direction of their inner feelings of unworthiness. If the Empath or the unwitting person decides to inform the dissociated hero of what motivates her, the Empath is likely to be attacked or even completely ignored in return. If the Empath doesn’t mind the verbal and psychic abuse likely to head her way, konking the dissociated hero on the head with unwanted knowledge can be a sufficient release of frustration, and also has the added benefit in that the Empath can assuage any feelings of having not done enough to save the relationship.
Perhaps in some cases a revelation might be helpful. I have found this only to be true if the other, when not under stress, has committed to a lifetime of personal growth, and understands the challenges, AND when under stress walks his/her talk. Even those that do commit to growth can reach their limits and simply may not be able to see past their own defenses. This applies to all of us, not just dissociated Heroes. Growth happens in its own time, and usually it happens most gracefully with the consent and inquiry of the one undertaking the growth. So, as long as my reader is ready to take the consequences, it may be worth it to him to attempt to educate the Hero.
I have to say, though, that when I was involved with a dissociated Hero, my attempts to educate her led to the break up of not just our friendship, but several other relationships in our group of mutual friends as well. Not only that, but the information I gave the Hero fell on deaf ears in that years later she asked for my help in getting out the same sort of dramatic situation Heroes tend to create that I had complained of. At the time her request for help was mindboggling, but that is how disconnected from reality dissociated Heroes can be. People really do learn in their own time and sometimes not even with help, and not even with cold hard experience.
Let me know if you have further questions or comments on this topic. I know this is a hot one for Empaths, who are driven to be authentic and truthful, and fix whatever needs fixing. Sometimes the motto to follow is to cause the least harm and let others to their own paths without our input, especially when it has been made clear that it is not wanted or valued. Sometimes that entails simply cutting our losses and walking away, without the reconciliation and the understanding we might want, or they might want, given that we’ll suffer damage by staying in the relationship.