Are you endlessly giving and doing for all of the people all of the time?
Do you feel you are the one people come to when they need something because they know you’ll get it done, no matter what?
If you’re nodding your head, then you are one of my exhausted, overgiving sisters, and this episode is for you.
Click below to learn why you might be overgiving and over-functioning + steps you can take to start creating more balance in your life, so you don’t end up bitter and resentful!
Prefer the audio? Listen to the episode here.
I know many of you struggle with overgiving in your life because you’ve told me!
Personally, as a recovering over-functioner and over-giver, I know how easy it can be to fall into the trap of seeing ourselves and our actions as being “nice” and a “good” person.
We’ve been indoctrinated to believe taking care of ourselves makes us selfish and bad. So many of us were raised to define our goodness by putting others before ourselves, but if the cost is self-abandonment, it is unhealthy.
There is nothing wrong with giving when it comes from a place of authentic freedom and love. Unhealthy giving comes from a place of fear and need- like fear of rejection, fear of disappointing others, the need to provide value, and/or the need for external validation.
Giving is loving. Overgiving is dysfunctional.
When we give from a place of need and fear, what can happen is we end up resentful, angry, exhausted. We can feel like the people in our lives are taking advantage of us and our generosity. Every relationship is a dynamic, which means each individual is responsible for their 50%.
We need to ask ourselves, “Am I being taken advantage of or am I serving myself up on a silver platter of self-sacrifice consistently?”
Understanding the codependency connection when it comes to overgiving is important because there is almost often a codependent angle or aspect to this behavioral pattern.
If you are exhausted, resentful, and feel like you do everything for everyone all the time, you might be a high-functioning codependent.
High-functioning codependency is feeling overly responsible for the feelings and actions of others at the expense of your own desires, needs, and well-being. It can manifest as over-functioning, over-giving, and auto-advice giving in relationships as an attempt to control the outcomes.
It can be difficult to find the line between being legitimately helpful and caring in an authentic way and high-functioning codependency. Especially because, traditionally, women are socialized to be the caregivers and nurturers. Overgiving can feel like a natural role.
It took me years of therapy and personal growth to stop being codependent with almost every person in my life. If anyone had a need or issue, I would drop everything to help because their discomfort or pain made me feel uncomfortable and like things were out of control.
Can you relate? If so, just know, it’s not your fault. There are many possible underlying reasons why we over-function and overgive, and understanding them is the first step to changing your behaviors.
There are steps you can take to break the pattern of codependent overgiving and bring more balance into your life.
What’s required to heal is a willingness to look at yourself and your behavior with radical curiosity instead of judgment.
This includes self-judgment as well as judging others. In the past,
- I would often blame the other person in my mind for taking advantage of me, rather than understanding my own role in putting myself in that position.
- Refuse to accept help from others and rush to fix everything for everyone else.
- Turn someone perfectly capable and competent into an under-functioner, because they got conditioned by my overfunctioning behavior to step back and let me do all of the things.
- I ended up feeling angry, unknown, and used.
If you identify with this, I get how hard it can be to allow people to do things for you, but healing codependency means shifting towards more mutuality in your relationships.
Your worth is not based on the value you can provide. Once we understand we are inherently worthy simply by virtue of being alive, overgiving doesn’t feel as urgently necessary. But ya gotta do the work.
Inside this week’s downloadable guide you’ll find clarifying questions to help you uncover your Overgiving + Codependency Blueprint. Raising your awareness of the unconscious ways that you’ve experienced might be impacting your behavior is how healing begins, so be sure to get your guide here now.
When you are overly invested in the situations, decisions, and the feeling states of the people in your life, what can happen is, at the end of the day, there is nothing left for you. And you deserve not only to take impeccable care of yourself first but also to have equity in all of your relationships.
No matter what your family or personal history is, no matter how long you’ve been operating this way, you can decide to make a power pivot and change your life.
If you are ready to go deeper with this work, my fellow relationship expert (and fellow recovering codependent), Mark Groves and I would love to have you inside our Crushing Codependency course starting on April 6th!
Over 6 weeks, you’ll learn how to build real self-awareness, self-knowledge, and self-love so you can stop looking to others and what you do for them to fulfill you so you can break the cycle of codependency in all of your relationships.
I hope this episode empowers you to hit pause on your overgiving autopilot and get into radical curiosity and action. Have an amazing week, and as always take care of you.