Are you one of those people who do not know how to refuse other people? Whether it's a simple request for help or an uncomfortable request, you always tend to agree, don't you?
Anyone can ask for help - friends, family members, and even strangers. And although helping others is good, we should never sacrifice our own well-being for the sake of this.
Don't neglect your well-being
If you love yourself enough, then know when to say “no”. If you continue to suffer for the sake of helping others, it will negatively affect your relationships with your surroundings. You can say “no” with a firm refusal without fear of appearing rude. When someone asks for help, you have two choices. And if you are used to caring for others more than about caring for yourself, it can be difficult to refuse them. But you still need to start somewhere.
To understand your desire to help people, first try to get to know yourself better. Dr. Stephen Karpman introduced the concept of the “Karpman Drama Triangle” into psychology. According to this theory, all people can be divided into three categories: the persecutor, the victim and the rescuer. As a rule, all helpers belong to the third category.
The Rescuer is the embodiment of a knight in shining armor, ready to come and save every lady and girl out there. Dr. Karpman believes that the knight's need to help others is caused by his hope for recognition for his heroic deeds.
However, in reality, such "rescuers" rarely receive recognition and are more likely to become puppets of "persecutor". This is why it is so important to draw the line in time when it comes to helping others.
“Obsessive help can be detrimental both to you and those around you. As a rule, such people believe that their own needs are not important, and therefore focus on other people’s needs. This helps them hide their unfulfilled desires and deny that they have problems.”
Dr. Karpman argues that obsessive helpers and rescuers create two problems at once. First, they ignore their personal problems, and second, they make people feel helpless. The inability to solve their own problems makes them look for self-affirmation in doing someone else's work.
How can you get rid of the rescuer mentality and start living for yourself?
1. Practice introspection
Next time you feel the urge to help someone, stop and think. Ask yourself if this person asked you for help at all. Sometimes hidden hints aren't enough.
Think about how your own shortcomings and weaknesses have helped you become wiser. Are you ready to rob another person of their ability to develop without your intervention? Don't put yourself in his place. Would you like it if someone suddenly intervened and helped you solve the problem without them asking you first? You can sometimes help without being actively involved.
2. Set healthy boundaries
You don't need to solve other people's problems. Instead of constantly being overly involved, draw clear boundaries for your help, promising yourself you will help only those who directly ask for it.
You don't have to find the best solutions for those around you. Ask questions that will prompt them to find solutions on their own.
3. Take responsibility for yourself
Obsessive helping is a defense mechanism that you can control if you're willing to take responsibility for your actions. Try to understand your own feelings and needs, and then become responsible for them. If you suddenly become uncomfortable, limit your help.
Think about why you want to help this particular person so much. Are you trying to ignore your own problems by doing so? If you feel the responsibility but don't want to help, be firm and say “no”. You don't have to save everyone in the world!
Understand that your habit of helping everyone around you is actually a defense mechanism that holds you back.
If you feel yourself being consumed by toxic energy, try another activity to find refuge. For example, start journaling.
All this will help you to improve your well-being and provide help to those who really need it.
Learn to say “no” to other people so you can say "yes" to yourself.
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