By Dr. Marta Adelsman
Life Coach in Communication and Consciousness
(June 20, 2018)
When we give to others, we may sometimes feel people to whom we give take advantage of our unselfishness. We slip from feeling good about our giving to feeling like victims of our generosity.
Sometimes we allow doing-for-others to disrupt what we want to do for ourselves. When we perceive others have begun to take us for granted, we move from compassion to victim-hood. Resentment creeps in. Then we feel guilty about feeling resentful.
When we fail to set a boundary and to say no when it doesn’t serve us to give, we train others to take advantage of us. Yes, believe it or not, we give them permission to use us!
Feeling resentful becomes our cue to change ourselves. Changing others is an exercise in futility. It’s our responsibility to set our own limits.
When we take care of ourselves in the same way we shower care on others – when we respect ourselves – then and only then will others respect us.
We can stop believing the myths we’ve developed around giving, such as:
- It’s selfish to give ourselves what we need. (It’s not.)
- Others’ needs always mean we’re the ones called to fulfill them. (They don’t.)
- We have to give, even when it’s at our expense. (We don’t.)
As you give, take your resentment temperature. If it’s above normal, I prescribe a healthy dose of self-care. Only you can set your boundaries!