You feel compelled to "rescue" others, to "fix" their problems for them. Yougo beyond empathy; you take responsibility for their pain. At the same time, you minimize and invalidate your own pain. You may do this by labeling others' struggles as "more painful" than yours; you play “suffering Olympics” - and you lose every time. When you do try to prioritize your own needs and feelings, you feel guilty. A part of you believes others won't survive without your help.
When you really think about it, your huge efforts to please or help others, or contribute meaningfully to society, are motivated by your tireless effort to justify your existence. You believe that if you can only find a way to be more useful, you will feel more worthy. In the words of Brene Brown, you engage in "thehustle for worthiness."
We all have an inner critic - but yours is so mean! You have probably been told you are hard on yourself. Your expectations for yourself are sky-high, perfectionistic. You rarely feel “good enough.” Too often, you feel inadequate, an imposter, despite your tireless efforts to perform well and please others. This breeds anxiety, shame, and self-doubt.
Despite being there for others 'at the drop of a hat,' you have a hard time reaching out yourself; the worse you feel, the harder it is. You tend to smile and say you’re fine when you’re not - even with people who you suspect may actually want to know. Deep down, you are afraid that the other person will judge you, dismiss you, make you feel worse. Or, that you will be "too much of a burden." When you do reach out, you tell yourself you are "weak" or "needy." You're just so used to being the strong one!
You Don't Have to Work Through this Alone!
The good news is that these issues can be worked through, and therapy can be a powerful tool! I can help you feel more entitled to your own feelings and needs and free yourself from people-pleasing, rescuing, and compulsive helping. You can learn to re-centre yourself in your own life and relationships, and to treat yourself with the kindness that you show others. Reach out to book a no-cost consult to learn more.