When someone's in trouble do you feel drawn to the nearest phone box - not to call formore qualified help but to execute a quick superhero twizzle. Then off you fly to therescue yourself clad in stomach-clenchingly tight latex?!
Has your burning desire burnt out?
Most of us in the caring professions have a strong desire to help others but it's important to notice when thisgoes out of balance. It's not just the fuel tanks of our cars that are expensive to fill! You know yours areflashing 'empty' when:
You've lost your sense of humour and even your dowsing pendulum refuses to tell you where it is
Your heart sinks when the phone rings in case it's someone else 'wanting something'
You've become so prickly and irritable people dive into doorways to avoid you
You lie awake with a gibbering 'monkey mind' or wake up in the early hours with your heart racing -and it doesn't feel like it's on a fun run
You find yourself sighing and weeping so often you've practically created your own weather systemwith a depression threatening
Many of us become conditioned as children to get our self worth from being helpful, competent or useful butunless we investigate those behaviours we can end up helping as a knee-jerk reaction rather than in amature, considered way.
Six Questions to Healthy Giving
So before you step in to help, ask yourself:
Is this something you're doing willingly or just to avoid feeing guilty or judged
Is this something that someone else could more easily or competently do
Is the help you give going to stop this person learning an important lesson
Are you empowering this person with your help or are you reassuring yourself of your power to fix
Are you helping in an unspoken hope of the favour being returned? Much better to say so. The otherperson can then decide if they want to pay the price or not.
Do you need to put clear limits or conditions on your help (this may also enable the person to acceptyour assistance more easily)
The Rescuer is Rescued
The consequences of chronic over-giving are very weakening and become a cry for help in themselves.When we don't look after ourselves we can become a drain on those around us who may feel obliged to baleus out financially, emotionally or even physically. So the cycle of the 'rescuer needing to be rescued' starts.
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