Giving too much of yourself

Are you a giver? Do you love to say yes to anyone and everyone that asks something of you?

Do you sometimes say yes, when you shouldn’t? One of the best feelings comes when helping others and making a positive impact on the people we care about. Who wouldn’t want the best for their friends and family? Conversely, when you begin to care too much and good intentions become people pleasing, it can take a heavy cost on your personal happiness.

There are times in everyone’s life where they need a little extra help from family or friends, this is perfectly acceptable. Maybe they need a shoulder to cry on, a loan to pay bills, help with transportation, or something else. When there is a mutual give-take relationship, where both sides do a little both, this is healthy and supportive.

The problem arises when it’s one-sided helping, one party does all the giving and the other party is always taking. This type of relationship can lead to a codependent dynamic. DO you have a family member who relies on you for everything and you think if you don’t help them, they won’t make it? Do you have a friend who requires you to pay for everything when you are together or is always asking for money? You feel you can’t say no because they have no other options. It doesn’t matter who it is, if this happens constantly, you might be trapped in an unhealthy helping situation.

There are people who are drawn to those who need help, is that you? You may be really good at helping people, you like taking care of others, and being the hero.

Here are some signs that you are giving too much of yourself.

  • You always say “yes”, you can’t bring yourself to ever say “no”
  • You don’t have any time to do what you want or to recover
  • You want to solve everyone’s problems, and they ask you to
  • You get pleasure from helping people, but you aren’t ever happy
  • There seems to be drama everywhere, but you hate drama
  • People aren’t ever able to help you in return, no matter how much you help them
  • You use your own resources, no matter how depleted, to help others and they never get replenished

When you constantly give to people you take away their challenge and opportunities to grow. It’s important for people to learn how to stand on their own feet and manage their choices. Maturity comes with life experiences and generally those experiences are uncomfortable and unwanted. However, if someone always has that person that will never let them fall or stumble, they can never adapt and become who they are as an individual.

You never want to see someone you care about in pain, but think about a time in your life that was rough, how did you manage to get passed it? Did it change you in any way, help you or hurt you? What did you learn from it? There have been many things in my life that I didn’t want to do, but I did because I needed to grow up. Adversely, there were lots of things that I wanted to do that ended up hurting me. It’s important that everyone have their own journey and it’s good to help people on their journey, but not to remove every obstacle that stands in their way.

-Karrlita F.