I have worked with great people who burned out because their tendency toward helping others has led them to work too hard, unappreciated, with diminishing returns. These people carry a huge burden. Even when they understand intellectually that they are exceeding their role, and that the people they are trying to assist need to step up, they still can’t bear to let them struggle, because that would feel unhelpful. Their family upbringing, culture, religion, or personality may demand that they act as supportive to others as possible, and suffer guilt if they fail to accomplish this. Fortunately, a mild tweaking of perspective may allow people with accommodating tendencies to overcome this burden and find peace.
To be overly generous with time is not a virtue. This practice compromises health and cannot be sustained.
People seek my help for a variety of issues, but a majority of my clients all suffer from one common dilemma: they are too available. They often find themselves inundated with tasks and drowning in a river of requests, with no idea how they arrived at that point.
Some are natural givers who freely offer their time and assistance, which makes them feel good. Unfortunately, takers always outnumber givers and are happy to squeeze as many favors as they can. Others make themselves too available due to a sense of obligation or vulnerability. They perceive their status as shaky, so the thought of declining a request feels like a risk to their job, friendship, or relationship.