Tell me if this sounds familiar.
A friend reaches out to you to ask for your help. You feel great that someone would think of you in this way.
“They want MY help? Wow, how special I feel!”
And, of course, you jump in to assist them.
Except, they don’t really want your help.
What they actually want is to dump all their heavy feelings on you.
On top of that, they also want you to do stuff. For THEM.
What’s going on here?
If you have a compassionate bone in your body, you’ve run into a situation like this before.
The phrase, “No good deed goes unpunished” seems particularly appropriate here.
What’s going on is that most people who need you don’t actually need you. You just need them to need you.
Let that sink in for a second.
We don’t see people as they are. We see them as we are.
As a result, we sometimes feel like we have no option but to be there for others. We feel like a bad person if we don’t do our part.
This is something I struggled with for most of my life, and I’ve finally broken the curse.
I’ve learned to set boundaries, to put my mental health first.
Now, that doesn’t mean I don’t help people when they need it. I’m just MUCH more thoughtful about how I approach any given situation.
I ask myself questions:
“What’s really going on here?”
“Does this person actually need my help?”
“How do I feel about this?”
“Am I trying to just boost my own insecurities by helping this person?”
This may seem cold and analytical to you, but it’s what it takes to protect your mental health.
These kinds of vampires don’t suck your blood. They suck you of your vital energy by taking up as much of your time and agenda as possible.