A lot of my clients have been struggling with over-giving lately, so I wanted to share a little more about what it is and how to begin to heal it.
There’s generosity and then there’s over-giving. With generosity, you’ll feel excited, loving, or passionate.
With over-giving, you might feel good about helping out a friend but you’ll also feel drained, frazzled, or overwhelmed.
Over-giving is when a friend asks for a favour and you don’t quite have the time or the energy but you find a way to fit it in anyways. You might say to yourself, “I’m able to do that. I can make that happen.” or “It’s my sister, I have to help.”
But it drains your energy as opposed to giving you good energy the way generosity does.
If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed frequently, it’s probably because you’re over-giving in some area of your life: at work, with your friends or your family.
You might over-give because:
- There’s less conflict
- You get more compliments and thank yous
- People might feel like they “owe you”
But the challenges with over-giving are:
- Less time and energy for you and your hobbies
- Less time and energy for other acts of generosity
- Less genuine relationships, because you say YES when you really want to say no
- Less money for the things that are important to you, because your time, energy and money are going to places that don’t feel aligned
Yes – overgiving costs you money. When you spend time doing things you don’t really want to do, you come home drained and you’re less likely to have the energy to do things that are good for your financial health:
- You’re less likely to ask for the raise
- You have less energy to put into your own business
- You have less time to focus on where you want your career to go
- And you spend on money on things that don’t feel totally aligned
For example, your friend is having a hard time and begs you to go out for dinner with her to talk it out. You don’t really have the energy to go but you don’t want to let her down so you go and buy a fancy dinner that you weren’t even in the mood for.
How to Decrease Over-Giving and Get Your Energy Back:
Even by reading this article, you’ve already started to shift this pattern. And you can start to notice the pattern in your day to day life. Even if you say yes to a friend who asks if you can cat sit for them and then feel a bit uneasy afterwards, notice it. Even if you decide to cat sit anyways, just noticing when you’re doing this pattern will help you to begin to shift.
- Listen to Your Gut Feeling
How you know whether you’re being generous or over-giving is based on a gut feeling. With generosity, you’ll feel excited, loving, or passionate about the task. With over-giving, you’ll feel tired or stressed or uneasy. Start listening to your gut more to super charge your awareness of over-giving.
- Learn Where it Came From
Any deeply ingrained pattern likely comes from childhood. Ask yourself, “Who did I over-give to the most during childhood?” Journal or record a voice note exploring this question.
- Take a Baby Step
Maybe say that you can cat sit but only for 2 days not 3. Or when the friend asks you to meet her for dinner, say you’re not able to but you can hop on the phone to chat it out.
Notice what happens. Sometimes your friend or family members won’t like it when you say no but that’s okay. They don’t have to like it and you get to protect your time, money and your energy so you can be even more generous when it feels aligned.
Be generous when it feels GOOD. And learn to be even more generous with YOURSELF.
You got this,
P.S. If this resonates with you, I want to invite you to a FREE 60-minute call where we’ll dive into this topic even deeper and see how it’s impacting your life and how to begin to change. The most effective way to get your time, money and energy back, is to work with a mental health professional and so I’ll share how Core Energetics can support you to align your time, energy and money with your values. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll schedule a time to chat.