In many cultures a giver is considered a kind person. Many will like to be around a giver since they are guaranteed of his/her help whenever in need.
Some of our religious beliefs have also conditioned us to believe that in order to be a good friend, wife, daughter, employee, mother or partner that we must give. And not just give a little, but give, give and give until there isn’t anything left and then God will reward you.
Even if we are tired, even if we don’t really have the time, money or energy to offer, we’ve been conditioned to give to others instead of receive ourselves.
Unfortunately sometime the giving ability fails to be accompanied with a rational mind. A rational mind that makes the giver adept as to when to give, what to give, and to whom to give; without damaging self and others in the long run.
Be it in a family set up, work environment or day to day relationships, givers are great people. However if the giving is not moderated, then one would easily sail into an unhealthy habit of dysfunctional helping and giving
When you give yourself too much, you end up like a bank that gives too many withdrawals but receives no deposits; you will soon be bankrupt.
While giving to others is a good and loving act, giving to the point of sacrificing your own health, wealth and happiness is not loving or good, because living this way is not loving to a very important person — you.
The following 10 signs should be the red flags that you have ventured into an unhealthy habit of giving too much:
1. You never say “NO”
Have you ever been asked for favour which you outrightly knew was way out of your ability or resources but still accepted to assist?
Unhealthy givers have a problem saying no even when they know they should. Giving a nod of approval to a request yet inside you are cringing is a danger sign that you are over giving yourself.
Learn to say no with or without an explanation and move on.
2. You have no time for self
With the inability to say no, an unhealthy giver finds him/herself with too many things to do for other people and no time for themselves.
Creating time for self is one critical component of success in life since it helps you replenish your faculties. To be healthy you must create your own time for some rest and relaxation.
Your brain and body must refuel and recharge to be productive and happy. Do yourself a favour and schedule some “me” time. Its the best body’s fuel to be your best self.
Let your “me” time be a non-negotiable.
3. You become a problem dumpsite
Have you become this one person who all his/her colleagues, friends, neighbors and relatives always turn to in almost an autopilot mode when in trouble and seeking solutions?
While you may feel content with offering solutions to people and sorting their lives, you must realise that you are human and not God. You have your limits and it is okay to turn away some people or ask them to seek professional help.
When you become the dumpsites for all of your society’s problems, you will soon start stinking. To be healthy, avoid the temptation of wanting to be everyone’s’ therapist.
4. You loose your joy
Over givers often have this guilt feeling when they cannot give even when they lack in resources. By mentally beating yourself to pulp you end up having stressful moments that are unwarranted.
If you find yourself feeling guilty for situations beyond your means then be wary that you are sliding into an unhealthy habit.
Let your joy be you strength at all times; whether you are able to give or not.
5. Your work quality is compromised
Since you cannot say no and you end up having no time for self, your ultimate work outcomes get compromised. You deliver poor quality assignments and end up frustrating your clients.
Great work performance demands concentration and good time.
Start checking out how you spend your day and where most of your active time is allocated.
A healthy giving habit should help others to be reliant on themselves without compromising on the outcomes of your life commitments.
Do not miss an important family time just because you were assisting a colleague to fix a problem over the weekend when the same could have been done by someone else in the office
6. You go overboard on nearly everything
Once you are deep into this unhealthy habit, other bad habits come through your door uninvited. If you find yourself binge shopping, over-eating and over-consuming wine, chocolate or anything, then you need to go slow on your giving habits.
Your binge habits is reflection of covered frustrations resulting for this unhealthy giving.
7. You experience burnout
One certain things that all over givers will certainly experience is a serious burnout.
Since you have slaved yourself to the joy and exploitation of others, you end up doing more than your mental and physical capabilities.
You will fall down and collapse while those you though you were rescuing go on with their lives.
By wanting to look so kind you end up working too many hours and fatiguing your body beyond its ability.
8. You find yourself in situations that have nothing to do with you
Do you always find yourself with lots of stress and drama and wonder where it came from since you cannot see the direct link between yourself and the actual problem?
You probably became overly involved in your friends or colleagues lives and trying to be there for them, that their problems became yours.
There needs to be some sort of separation between the effects of their problems and your own life.
9. You start feeling resentful
Over giving has an unspoken need which rarely gets fulfilled – the silent need to be appreciated for all your efforts.
Unfortunately many at times the beneficiaries of your unhealthy habit just walk away after they are sorted.
The human soul in you gets frustrated and becomes resentful or angry afterwards, feeling unappreciated and unsupported. You also feel taken advantage of.
10. You compromise your integrity
A healthy giver will always operate within the boundaries of integrity. If you find yourself being dishonest or somehow compromising your integrity by making bogus excuses or covering for another then you need to know your level of assistance is getting out of hand.
When you violate your personal moral code in the name of helping someone else so as to look good then you are in the danger zone
What to do then?
The moment you become aware that you are about to over-give or are over-giving, take what I call a “Power Pause,” which is a moment in time where you press the pause button on the outside world and tune into your inside world, to find a solution that supports you instead of sacrifices you — gives you power instead of takes it.
Stop, breathe, and ask your Inner Wisdom, “What would enough look like?” Wait for an answer, and then do that, and no more. Just give enough. This may feel uncomfortable or impossible at first, but that’s normal. Still only give enough and no more