Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Problem of Caring Too Much

I know that the title for this post sounds really cheesy and cliche but for me (and I suspect a number of other people for various other reasons) this can actually be a fairly serious problem.  I like to think of myself as a fairly encouraging and supportive person, I always want my friends & the people I admire to know that I think they are amazing & that I am here to support them.  I think this is a good thing however it can be taken too far to the point where I am not really doing it for their benefit anymore but rather in some attempt to try and make up for the fact that I cannot seem to help myself but trying to "help" them too much when in reality all I am doing is smothering them.  This is when it becomes a problem as it is no longer a kind or generous act even though it may appear superficially to be it is in fact a very selfish act.  This can be particularly devastating for people with self esteem issues that aren't really aware of what they are actually doing (I know I went through a phase of doing this and it was just awful both for me and I am sure for the other people that got caught in it) as to them they are just trying to help and be friendly whereas to the other person they just feel overwhelmed and smothered and so will try to get away from them and create some distance in order to try to get some relief, which the person on the other side will see as a rejection and a confirmation that no one really likes them which pulls them further down the depression hole.  It is a horrible situation which is awful for everyone involved as even though there is no intention to hurt anyone that is almost always the end result.  Thankfully for the most part I've learned to manage and be aware of my feelings and state of mind enough to avoid that situation but there are still times especially when I've been feeling kinda down and especially if I've been feeling really lonely that I'll kind of hone in on a friend especially if they have been sick or having a hard time and really try to "help get them better" which often starts sincere enough but can quickly shift into the more selfish side of things where I am really just trying to use them to make myself feel better.  I still really hate it when I realize that I've fallen into that as it just makes me feel terrible because I've ended up going against everything I hope to do for people which is be a friend and a support to them when in that case I've been much more of a burden then a help.  This is one of the reasons I have a very hard time in general asking anything of anyone really as beyond the feeling of me being worthless & them being important I am afraid that no matter what they thing that I am being a burden on them as I am asking them to spend time/effort/energy on something for me & how dare someone like me do that.  I am trying to work on it but it is one of the areas where I have to admit I have had very little success with.  Anyway I'm sorry this post is a little more down then most but I've been thinking about it lately and I figured that if it could help one person who might be in either situation then it would be worth it as sometimes a little bit of knowledge or a little bit of understanding can make an absolute world of difference!

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