Why putting others needs ahead of yours is a mistake

hero mistake mokey
hero mistake mokey

Well-meaning people often tell you that being a good person means you have to put others’ needs ahead of your own. However, I recently learned this is a mistake. Here is why.

First, by doing this you often take part in unhealthy relationships. The foundation of the co-dependent relationship is when one person feels obligated to help someone else. Why do we feel this way and what can be done instead?

The idea of a hero is strong in many cultures. It is unavoidable that we internalize and feel that we need to be a hero in our own lives. A hero usually denies his own need to “do good” for others. Never mind that the “good” that they do often makes things worse. It is also the case that we seem to need to prove our own worth and value by how “useful” we are to others. So sometimes we overdo things and do more harm than good.

For example, I used to always listen to my friends and be there when they need it. Sounds perfectly admirable right? Well, the problem was that I was taken advantage of and got dumped on emotionally by those friends who knew that I was a patient listener. They would tell me their problems and then when I wanted to share something with them they didn’t have time. So I had to let those “friends” go.

There is nothing wrong with giving, but if you always give your life is out of balance. You have to be open to receiving just as much as you give. Otherwise, you will have nothing to give or want to give.

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*PS Apparently I channelled Mokey. This is the same thing she said in the episode: “The Incredible Shrinking Mokey” that I watched hours after writing this post.