Obviously, this world could benefit greatly from more kindness and compassion, because frankly, we live in pretty egocentric times. Nice people bring so much light into the dark places of this world, helping to elevate the vibration of the planet. However, sometimes kindness and care can be taken to the opposite end of the spectrum, where it becomes almost self-destructive rather than helpful.
You should care about others, of course, but not when it comes at the expense of your own well-being and happiness.
Here are 5 signs you care just a little too much:
1. People take advantage of your compassion and kindness often.
The moment you start putting others’ needs above your own, people will start to notice, and expect the royal treatment from you at all costs. Having a backbone doesn’t mean you don’t have sympathy for others; it means you have struck a perfect balance between looking out for people while also taking care of your own needs. It’s okay to say no sometimes if you feel overwhelmed or simply don’t agree with others – you have every right to stand up for yourself without being labeled as cruel and unfeeling.
If you don’t think your opinion or well-being matter, people will start to treat you like a doormat. If you don’t believe in your worth, people will walk all over you. It’s important to remember that you have an obligation to look after your own self first, because no one else will fill that role for you.
2. You hide your opinion in fear of others rejecting you.
People pleasing behavior begins in childhood, when parents praise a child for obeying them but discourage him or her from asserting themselves, according to Jay Earley, author of Finding Your Life Purpose. Impressionable children perceive this as a threat, because they believe that in order to feel loved, they must please others and do as they’re told. Otherwise, they will be shunned and scolded for realizing their own needs have not been met by blindly following others orders.
So, because of this learned behavior, you probably go along with the popular opinion in order to please others and not cause any rifts. This also means you care too much about what other people think. Remember, your true friends and family won’t care that you have a different opinion than them, because two people can’t agree on everything all the time. Remember, other people’s reactions have nothing to do with you, so don’t take responsibility for them. You should never have to bend over backwards to please others at the expense of your own well-being.
3. You put everyone else’s needs above your own.
Perhaps this is the most draining and saddening aspect of being a truly kind-hearted person. Some people will only see you as a means to an end, or a tool in order to fulfill a goal in their storybook if you continually give them they idea that you’ll do anything for them at any cost. Being nice does sometimes feel like more of a curse than a blessing, but remember that people cannot take advantage of you unless you allow it to happen.
Make sure you set clear boundaries with people and let them know when they have crossed the line. You can learn how to say no without coming across as rude and uncaring; after all, if you don’t look out for yourself, who will?
4. You don’t give yourself enough self-love.
When you devote all of your time to caring for others, you might pass yourself up for a good dose of TLC. Make sure to let others know when you just can’t pencil something into your schedule; only commit to obligations that you feel certain you can follow through with. You deserve just as much love and attention as you give others; in fact, without enough self-care, you can easily fall into a state of disarray and depression. Spend time helping others, but don’t forget to take care of yourself, too.
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha
5. You attract needy, desperate people into your life.
Remember that in this universe, like attracts like, so not surprisingly, being overly nice will attract those who also seek attention from others. In a way, becoming a doormat for others is selfish, because deep within, you look to others to fill a void that you have not filled yourself. You have not discovered your true self-worth, so others can’t possibly recognize it, either.
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Be sure to spend time developing yourself and practicing assertiveness when you need to; this way, you can start attracting people who are also kind-hearted, but don’t demand your love and affection.