3 Ways to Care Less and Love More

ARE YOU A PEOPLE PLEASER?

Helping other people can become compulsive for you and detrimental to them. You can easily become 'hooked' or manipulated into solving other people's problems for them, if you 'care too much'.

People have ruined their lives by 'rescuing' their friends, family or colleagues.

Amy got into a huge amount of debt and almost lost her job and home after a couple of years in a relationship with a man addicted to gambling.

Gradually she started to pay off his debts and before long she too was in serious financial difficulty herself. She felt so ashamed about the situation she was in that she couldn't talk to any of her friends or family and became very lost and isolated in the madness of her partners addiction. She became very anxious, had panic attacks and was unable to work.

Of course we all help other people out. There is nothing wrong with that. But if you have a pattern of trying to make other people happy, feel anxious or resentful towards other people and feel that no-one is looking after you, it could be because you are a 'people pleaser'.

CAN YOU REALLY HELP THEM?

Consider the possibility that when you are trying to help other people you could actually make things worse for them. If individuals do not face the consequences and feel the pain of what they are doing, they will not change and unfortunately keep on making the same mistakes again and again.

They do not learn how to sort out their own problems and learn to take responsibility for themselves and their actions. Worse still, they feel powerless and become victimised when they need and expect you, or someone else, to bail them out.

TOUGH LOVE

If you really want to help, learn some tough love:

1. Say NO!

You need to say no from a place of love. You are saying no because you care, not because you don't care. Like refusing to let your children have coke and sweets for breakfast.

2. Manage your own feelings

Don't get caught up in feeling flattered or responsible because they have come to you for help.

Learn to sit with your discomfort when someone else is unhappy. If you are feeling uncomfortable you tend to react in the same ways - making them feel better so that you can feel better.

3. Watch your energy

Do not put more of your energy into solving a problem than the other person. You know those times when you get dumped on, end up running round like the proverbial chicken and they walk away feeling much better - 'thank you very much!'.

You feel burdened and resentful. Take notice. The balance is wrong and you either need to do less or the other person needs to do more in order to restore the equilibrium.

Copyright © 2013 Common Sense Counselling

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