How to stop helping others

There is a certain type of person who is always selfless, helping others. They don’t mind lending a hand to help out and almost never expect anything in return. Actually, considerate people who think of others’ interests and act in favor of them (and not only their own) are the kind of people who are making this world a good place.

The necessity to help others is a natural humanity’s quality. We are social creatures and in order to survive we need to work with one another. It grants us satisfaction. Besides, because of this connection, by helping others you are also helping yourself.

Helping others and putting them before you

But then, there may come a point when maybe you are putting anyone else’s well-being before your own. It’s often that people who receive help don’t really know when to stop asking for it. So they can’t know if you’re being disturbed by the assistance you’re giving. If you keep accepting, they will keep asking. If this is the case, then you should probably learn how to say no. If, for whatever reason, you don’t feel like helping at the moment, you shouldn’t force yourself to do something you don’t want to do. Of course this doesn’t mean you have to be rude. That would probably make things worse. But a polite negative answer once in a while won’t hurt anyone.

This may be difficult at first. Try and start by refusing to help with small things. Explain in an attentive manner why you can’t be of assistance at the moment. Then, proceed to go and do something for yourself, anything at all. Take a coffee break, listen to your favorite song or go do a productive task. Anything that gives you some time for yourself is good.

It’s fine with being what you are, but …

There may be several reasons why you feel the need for helping others. Maybe that’s how you were educated or just because this is the way you are. And that’s fine. In fact, being a thoughtful person is an admirable trait in this day and age. But pleasing as many people as you can at the expense of your own person could be a dangerous thing. You could start forgetting who you are and what you really want because you’ll always be thinking of what everyone else is expecting of you. It can become a sort of Superman complex. You’d be taking it as your duty to save the world at the expense of your personal welfare.

The most important thing of all is to remember to give your own self the first place. Make your own time and happiness your priority. Keep in mind that this is not a selfish thing to do. It’s actually taking care of the person who needs you the most: yourself.


Originally published at Miha Matlievski — Fail Coach.