A reader asks me: "When an empath asks you to be 'supportive,' what does that mean to you? As far as what behaviors or actions does that include from your perspective?" My response:
Ah, it could mean so many things really. If someone I was dating was asking me to be supportive, I would assume what that person really meant was that they were not feeling fulfilled somehow, i.e. I was not filling a need for them. The thing is, when I am in a relationship with someone, I am constantly devoting energy to fulfilling their needs. Have you seen the film Watchmen? Do you know the sex scene with Dr. Manhattan and Silk Spectre where he has multiplied himself to please her, but also to take care of some other business? That's sort of how it is. On the one hand I feel like I have a greater ability to please whoever I am with because of my flexible sense of self makes it easy for me to be the perfect lover for a variety of people. On the other hand, there is something somewhat artificial and slightly creepy about it, I imagine.
But my point is this: from the beloved's perspective, all their needs should basically be getting met. If they have a problem with the fundamentals of the situation, i.e. they in some ways are uncomfortable with the fact that you don't think the same way they do, or don't have the same sorts of emotions or interactions with people that they do, then that is it for the relationship. That is a deal breaker. If that is not the problem, then there is always something else that I can do, or some new approach I can try that could fix things.
But when my beloved says that I need to be more "supportive," that doesn't necessarily mean anything to me other than I am failing in some way to meet their needs. It's like a baby's cry. Who knows what it is about, frequently even the baby doesn't know why they are upset. The only solution, essentially, is for you to go through the list of most likely ailments until you come up with a cure. Is it because the child is hungry? Tired? Has an upset stomach? All those could also apply to your beloved. Or maybe the beloved feels stifled, or smothered, or isn't getting enough respect, or feels like s/he always gives and never gets in return, is never listened to, feelings like worry or hopelessness are quickly listened to only to immediately provide a solution (sometimes empaths don't like that, they think it is dismissive of their feelings -- they would rather you empathize with them about the problem than have it solved). You go through the list of things most likely to be causing the problem, maybe take the "supportive" suggestion as a cue to review other recent events and try to pinpoint what exactly has caused the empath to ask you specifically to be more supportive. Why did they choose that particular word? Maybe they are jealous, maybe they feel insecure about their own decisions, maybe they want you to suspend your own rationality and worldview and adapt theirs. It's possible, it is all possible, but changing my world viewpoint is one thing, when it comes to denying objective realities, that is harder. It requires Herculean strength for me to be irrational. I can do it, but it's like holding my breath. Which is funny, because it usually just involves holding my tongue.