I Sacrifice My Own Comfort
October 1, 2017 11:18am CST
I tend to give up my own comfort, hobbies, wishes and space to help others. I don't do it for something in return but to be helpful; however, I tend to over do it and cause my own situations to become overwhelming. Am I a pathologically wired altruistic person? Since I help out of love, no, but then again, when my own comfort escalates and the stress, depression and even hidden anger arises after the fact, it is harmful for me. If the person was enabled and not taking charge of their own issues after the fact, then I harmed them. I may think I'm being helpful but if the situation is a repeated pattern then I'm just co-dependent and enabling. It's hard to decide when to say no especially if it's a family member who is loved dearly. It's hard to decide when to say no when it's a long time friendship. What are my fears when I know I should step back? They won't like me anymore? Maybe though with those I'm not that close to I have no qualms saying no to some situations. So maybe I'm not so altruistic after all. I'm more worried of being shunned. Some days I don't care about that either so what am I? A mess it seems.
9 people like this
• United States
My mother in law can say the very same. She has helped her oldest oldest daughter and family so much, TOO much. She and my late father in law have sacrificed so much for them and have hurt their own financial situation greatly in the meantime. Now the grown grandkids are intruding on her life, and really they should not be living with her, but she says she does not want to be the ax. She does not want to be an enabler, but at the same time we know she would give the shirt off her back to help these grown kids. She does get stressed and her financial situation will get worse if these kids don't leave . . . thank goodness that my other sister in law has taken over her finances - at least someone is in control of one aspect of that situation.
• United States
Saying "No," to those who may need help of some kind is difficult. However, limiting the number of times help is given seems to be the best practice. Going to extremes when offer help again and again never turns out well.
• Otis Orchards, Washington
I had to put my foot down with my brother. He would call me and insist I do something for him that he could easily do himself. When I told him I would not do things for him anymore he became very upset, but I held my ground. I think we now have a better relationship. At least it's better at my end because I don't feel like I'm being overran by him. And you know what–he doesn't hate me or shun me or any of the other things you might think someone close to you will do if you tell them no. So let's practice. Say "No." Again–"No." Now say it like you mean it, "NO!"
4 people like this
• Dallas, Texas
You are doing what you think helps others best, it's a gamble in any case. You can't predict another person's behavior, even if you have helped them get back on their feet and if they continue to fall back on their face, it's not your fault but there are times you have to just let go and let things happen. It sounds easy but I know it is not. You are no doubt good at what you as a mentor to others, but you might need to slack off for your own health and sanity. No one is able to take on the whole world. No one is perfect. I would say that for people who lean on you too much, let them know this. Tell them that you have reached your limits. It may sound hurtful and bold but that message may be needed to get the other person to stop and think,l perhaps for the first time in their lives.
• Daytona Beach, Florida
Now that I am totally alone I have learned that I have to completely rely on myself. I talk to myself a lot and reason. I manage to get through every day and I even find that I can look forward to another day. It helps though that I have my cat Sid for company.
• United States
No it's a word that I have learned to say quite well over the years. This especially comes true with my children who are now adults. I want them to be able to be independent and stand on their own. They sometimes understand and they sometimes don't There are times when I do say yes but there is reason behind my saying yes.