Some people are natural givers. Givers are the kind of people you want in your life. They are very dependable and reliable; but do you ever think about what those favors and sacrifices have cost them? If you are a giver you know exactly what I’m talking about. You love to help and be supportive but you know at times you wish that you had more time to yourself. It’s hard to recognize when you are giving too much of yourself, but here are some signs that let you know when you’re doing too much.
1. Spreading yourself too thin
It is nice to help out a friend, that’s what friends are for. But when you go from helping friends to helping co-workers and even neighbors, you have taken too much on. Maybe next time stop to evaluate your own life before you agree to take on 10 other things for someone else.
2. Always saying “yes”
Being able to say no is hard for some people. It is one of those things that depends on the type of person you are. Some people have absolutely no problem saying no.On the other hand, there are people who are “softies” and find themselves always saying yes. Don’t make “no” your new favorite word, but learn to pick and choose what you say yes to.
3. Everyone dumps their problems on you
This role is very endearing because it means that you are caring enough that people think of you when they need some support. You are their shoulder to cry on and their rock to lean on. Usually people in this role love the opportunity to be there for their friends or family in their time of need. However, when it gets to the point where people call you to fix any and every problem in their life, no matter how minuscule, that becomes a problem. Everyone loves to help but when it starts to become a burden maybe you are doing less helping and more enabling.
4. It makes you feel good
You overlook the ill effects of your helping and giving because it makes you feel or look like a “good” person. Pull back from “helping” that isn’t truly helpful and is more about you proving to yourself or others what a good person or family member you are, how selfless you are, or how nice you are.
5. You’re a busy bee
The word “busy” is part of your daily vocabulary, saying things like, “I am so busy!” “I am too busy to…” Hummmm, why is that? Because you’re too busy giving to others which leaves not enough time for you?
6. You crave alone time
Maybe when the kids are out of the house, finally finish a big work project, or in the future you will have time, but that could be when?
7. You’re overboard on everything
- Binge shop
- Over-consume wine
- Binge on chocolate
8. Job burnout
Work more than 10 hours a day as part of your standard way of operating.
9. Tick tock tick tock
Not enough hours in the day to get it all done.
10. You find yourself in situations that don’t involve you
You have all this stress and drama and wonder where it came from. When actually there was no direct link between yourself and the actual problem. You became so involved in friends lives and trying to be there for them, that their problems became yours. There needs to some sort of separation between the effects of their problems and your own life.
Receiving and giving are like yin and yang. There must be a balance. You cannot give without someone to receive your gift. Similarly, you cannot receive if nothing is given. You must have both. Giving means being part of something bigger than you – making a positive impact on other people and/or on community, by simply being present and giving of your authentic self.
Making more balanced choices for giving is part of your development. Over-givers are in the process of re-patterning generations of self-sacrificing habits, re-attuning internal operating system to self-love, and proving that if you take care of yourself you can accomplish and help others even more.
For additional information about self-care, life balance, and moving out of the habit of self-sacrifice, or if you can see yourself in these signs, email Dr. Amanda Itzkoff at Amanda.Itzkoff@gmail.com. To schedule an appointment, call our offices at (917)-609-4990.
Amanda Itzkoff, MD