Are you familiar with the term “you cannot pour from an empty glass?” This metaphor refers to putting others needs before your own.
Your glass is full!
You feel healthy enough to help others, but your good intentions lead to chips and cracks in the form of emotional pain.
When I refer to helping others, I am not referring to small acts of kindness or occasional favors for family members or friends. I am referring to sleepless nights, drained bank accounts, and promises that are not kept. You become emotionally exposed, fissures are prominent. You spill out negativity and become frustrated with others, but mainly with yourself. Does this sound familiar?
A recurring theme during sessions with clients, conversations with friends, and through my own personal experiences, is feeling obligated to support others at the detriment of self. We rationalize and label our random acts of kindness to being selfless. But your desire to support others may uncover psychological, physiological, and emotional cracks that manifest as: poor self-esteem (an overwhelming need to please others), depression, fatigue, and anxiety to name a few.
- It is healthy and necessary to set boundaries with family and friends.
- You are not responsible for securing the emotional or financial wellness of others.
- You should never feel guilty or shamed into caring for others.
- Saying “no” does not make you a “bad person.”
Here are a few signs that you may be overextending yourself.
- You feel used and taken advantage of by others.
- You are uncomfortable with the decisions you make to assist others.
- You are experiencing, interrupted sleep, insomnia, or hypersomnia.
- Your appetite changes, you find yourself overindulging or not eating at all.
- You are always tired and in a state of constant fatigue.
- You are not able to take care of your personal financial or family obligations.
- You are experiencing mental and/or physical distress.
- Your partner is upset with your constant need to help.
If you are experiencing any of the feelings or emotions discussed and your experiencing emotional, mental, or physical distress, please consider meeting with a Licensed Mental Health Professional. Speaking to a Licensed Mental Health Professional can provide insight and the necessary tools to combat mental and/or physical illness. Here are two websites that can assist you in finding a qualified therapist.
Therapy for Black Girls: