By: Colleen Andre, LMHC
Do you seem to be helping everyone else except yourself? Giving constantly but having nothing in return. Do you find yourself feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, and resentful? You ask yourself, “How did I end up here?” Everyone else labels you as the nice guy. You are the one who is always available and willing to help. Yet you find yourself never having your own time or needs met. But, you feel too guilty to say no.
This behavior on the outside seems so giving and beautiful, but it can easily be poisonous and deadly. Life is all about balance. If you continuously give with no return and no recharge, you eventually become drained and empty. You do not get the opportunity to value yourself.
Here are 5 negative drawbacks of being a constant giver:
Taken advantage of by other people
Growing stressed and feeling overwhelmed
Bitterness and anger builds up
Becoming more absent with your friends and family
Life becomes dictated by other people’s needs
These consequences not only affect you personally but those closest to you. Your partner, children, friends are constantly being rescheduled or overlooked due to your duties or commitments. Loving others does not always mean giving everyone your complete time and energy. Loving yourself and valuing your needs will lead you feeling more refreshed, confident, and happier. In fact, loving yourself gives you the power to better help others. Here are a few tips to help you set healthy boundaries so you can feel more refreshed
Give yourself time once a week to fully engage in what you like, not what Susie Q wants just because she is your best friend. Do what you enjoy! Give yourself a minimum amount of time whether it is 30 minutes, an hour, or maybe a whole day for the activity. Do not sell yourself short but cutting down the time because someone or something “needs” you.
Let your voice be heard:
Communicate what you need or do not need. It is difficult for people to change their behaviors if they do not know how it is affecting you. A person may continuously ask or pile on work because they are unaware of your burdens or stressors. You are responsible for helping them become aware.
Slow to say “yes”:
You may have heard the phrase slow to speak quick to listen, the phrase also applies to the word “yes.” Do not always be the first to volunteer or accept responsibilities. Listen to what a person is requesting and asking from you. Be slow to respond. You have the right to take time to consider, especially if you are a giver. Simple statements such as “I need time to think about it.” or “let me get back to you back the end of the week” can give you time to digest and create a healthy boundary between you and takers (those who constantly take from others with no return.)
It is exhausting to live your life directed other people’s needs. You do not have to be dictated by guilt or fear of letting others down. You can be happy and confident as giver. Practicing these three tips can help protect you from unnecessary burdens and rejuvenate you inwardly.
If you need more assistance in growing in confidence and self-appreciation, call Life Counseling Solutions at 407.622.1770 to set up an appointment or free 15-minute consultation with me.Or, make your first appointment online by clicking here.
About Colleen: Colleen values the importance of a comfortable and non-judgmental atmosphere. At the heart of her work, she seeks to create a safe environment in which clients can feel at ease while working through life’s difficulties. Her specialty is working with women and adolescents struggling with anger management, trauma, and anxiety. She also enjoys assisting those facing multicultural or racial issues. Ultimately, her goal is to help clients uncover the source of their distress so that they can begin to heal.See Colleen’s full bio.