Do you find yourself getting heavily involved in the lives of your friends, family and sometimes even people you barely know?

It can happen, especially if you’re a sensitive, caring person. Our boundaries can get a bit mixed up.

We can easily convince ourselves that what we’re doing is totally beneficial – until it clearly isn’t anymore.

For us, and often for other people too.

Do you give too much of your energy to others?

How many of these apply to you:

  • If someone close to me is upset or angry, then I am too
  • I give family, friends and sometimes people I barely know lots of help and advice
  • I frequently find I’m upset, annoyed, worried or anxious about things that are going on for other people
  • I think a lot about solutions for other people’s problems, or about what I think they are doing wrong
  • I find it stressful when people around me are making what I think are bad decisions and try to step in and help
  • I frequently feel tired and drained from my interactions with other people
  • I often have reactions (eg jealousy, judgement, annoyance) when I’m reading Facebook updates and sometimes get involved in drama and try to convince other people of my viewpoint
  • I post to social media hopeful of attention and validation from others
  • I don’t seem to be moving forwards on my own goals

I’ve highlighted the last one because, here’s the thing: getting caught up in everyone else’s drama and stories and being “helpful” and highly involved might be harmless to a certain extent, but if it becomes a pattern, it can mean that you forget to stay focused on your own dreams, goals and healthy habits in your own life.

If you’re not achieving your own goals, you need all the energy you can find to focus on that first rather than worrying about everyone else.

If you’re giving a lot, it can become unbalanced.

Over time, you might find yourself saying or thinking things like:

  • Everyone seems to need me, or want something from me
  • I’m sick of looking after everyone else
  • I’m feeling drained and exhausted
  • Everyone is always “at” me
  • My relationships are all unbalanced, no one seems to care as much when I’m the one who has an issue

It can all become a little toxic.

And the truth is, quite frequently, we haven’t been asked to get so heavily involved in other people’s lives, and all our worrying and “helping” may not even be helping them move forwards anyway.

Very often, people need to decide for themselves they want to make change and seek out the solutions that work for them, and until that point all the helping in the world isn’t really helping.

And worrying about other people or what they think of us simply drains our energy, without any positive benefit. It can easily become dysfunctional.

If you do get to this point, it’s time to act!

You might ask yourself:

  • What do I get out of being the go-to person or always being the helper/rescuer?
  • What do I get out of being caught up in other people’s dramas?
  • When I’m so focused on everyone else, what am I not noticing in my own life?
  • How much of my time and energy is focused on everyone else?
  • How much time and energy does that leave for me to focus on my own life?

Get clear on what you want.

Here are some questions you might think about to help you re-focus on your own life and your own goals. Write down your answers:

  • What are the main priorities in my life right now?
  • What are my key values and am I living in alignment with them?
  • What are my main goals for the next 3 months? The next year?
  • What is one daily habit I could introduce that would make a big positive difference to my life over time?
  • What is one habit I’d like to stop doing that would have a big positive difference to my life over time?
  • What would I like to learn more about through finding a new podcast series, reading a book or doing a course?
  • Who would I like to spend more time with? Doing what?
  • What new activity, exercise or project would I love to start?
  • Do I want to make any changes to my use of social media?

Further reading

Are you living with dysfunction?

Why do we defend dysfunction?

Let’s talk about boundaries

When boundary problems collide

If you're an entrepreneur and would love to learn how to align your energy and attract more clients, check out Kerry's group program: Align + Attract

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