Are you overly responsible? I’m not just talking about over- thinking decisions so that they are the RIGHT ones…Making the right career choice, the right partner choice, the right diet choice, the right choice on how to spend your money, or how to prioritize your time, etc.
Do you also feel responsible for your loved one’s feelings, your co-workers’ opinions of you, your child’s happiness and success, your client’s results if you provide a service, how your spouse talks to you, and on and on.
In other words, do the outcomes of the world rest squarely on your shoulders?
For example, if our spouse talks to us meanly, or a client makes an accusatory, reprimanding comment, does that become a dramatic endorsement of who we are?
I still fall into this trap. We must be worthless if our spouse is mad at or disappointed in us. We must be a bad parent if our child says we’re selfish. We must be stupid if someone is incredulous about how we handled our affairs. We must be defective if we continually show up late, etc.
Bottom line. When we feel overly responsible, we can be very dramatic and exaggerate what’s really happening. We can feel very hurt because we always want others to see us in the most glowing, positive light, and when they don’t, we beat ourselves up and feel embarrassed and humiliated.
When we feel overly responsible, we want others to follow our logic. We want to feel in control so that we feel safe.
There’s another term for “overly responsible,” and that’s codependence. Yes, I talk about it often because it’s SO prevalent and so damaging to relationships.
I grew up with a lot of dysfunction and little family harmony, with a dad who didn’t know how to love and respect himself. So he took this powerlessness out on me, my mom and brother.
I care about family harmony because I didn’t have it. And it’s foundational to a healthy family unit and society. It absolutely affects everything. Healthy relationships = happiness = true prosperity.
How can we stop this pattern of being overly responsible?
We have to STOP being so terrified of what people think of us. As long as we are doing our best to not hurt our self and others, we need to give ourselves a break, mentally and emotionally.
There will always be people who play judge, jury and executioner and find us guilty because their beliefs differ from ours. They fear things about decisions we make or words we speak.
They truly feel threatened. We don’t control that. We’re lucky if we feel safe within ourselves and don’t revert to fear and thus the need to protect our identity, our personality, our EGO.
I believe it’s an illusion. We appear that we are separate from each other, but in reality, we are not. So when I feel the need to protect myself from someone’s judgment, I need to remind myself, “This person is mirroring something to me, a belief that I have about myself, that makes me feel insecure.”
Usually if we look further, the belief we have about ourselves is that we’re not enough.
One of the kindest things we can do for ourselves is to be a Worthy Self-Advocate. Give ourselves the benefit of the doubt. Our self-talk may sound something like this.
“You are doing enough! You are a good enough parent, business owner, spouse, child to your parents, sibling. You are behaving adequately! It may not be perfect, but that’s okay. You’re making progress because you’re a work-in-progress. You don’t need to be fixed anyway. You’re having a human experience that is meant to be messy and dysfunctional at times. You don’t have to be happy all the
If you are happy, it’s cause to celebrate. If you aren’t happy, it’s time to reflect and observe. Either way, you’re OK!”
Then we can decide if now is the time to take action or pause. Pausing IS doing something. The decision will be made FOR us. We will find life unfolding as it does, NOT how we think it should be.
I invite you to attend a workshop this Thursday, January 18th from 6-8pm at my home (2476 Pheasant Run Drive, Maryland Heights, MO 63043).
We will use emotional freedom technique (EFT or tapping) to help you stop being overly responsible and start becoming a Worthy Self-Advocate.
To register simply reply to this email and bring check or cash for $25 (this is not our usual way to register. We’re doing this because we had to re-schedule last week’s workshop due to inclement weather).
P.S.: If you want to join others in a small group setting and make YOUR life work first by loving, accepting and forgiving yourself, come to the Frontier to Freedom class.