Excessive Kindness: Another Way of Self-Sabotage
In life, we meet all kinds of people. Some of them encourage us to move forward with their kindness and help. Others, on the contrary, make it more difficult. Each one of us chooses who to keep close and who to push away in order to avoid setbacks.
You’ve probably asked yourself why some people are always willing to help. And you’ve probably also asked yourself what motivates them to do so, even when you’re not asking for help. These people are characterized by their kindness. They’re always willing to lend a hand.
We could be inclined to believe that kindness is always good because it helps us feel great and useful. However, as with everything, too much kindness is something you should avoid. It then becomes toxic kindness, a way to ignore our own needs in order to help others.
Sometimes we’re so kind to others that we forget about ourselves and let everyone else stomp on us. We believe in always being nice and, as a result, we start to make ourselves invisible.
Excessive kindness: A way to make yourself invisible
Sometimes we give so much to others that we stop thinking about ourselves. Consider the typical situation where a mother does everything for the well-being of her kids and worries so much about them that she forgets her own needs.
Now, we’re not saying that doing things for other people is wrong. However, focusing on doing only that is actually bad for you. You’ll find yourself wanting to please everyone else, either because they ask for your help or because you think they need it. Therefore, you commit to helping them feel better at any cost.
Whether you believe it or not, too much kindness can be awkward and uncomfortable because you’re not letting the other person do what they want by always being there to help them. You could be focusing so much on what they need that you end up ignoring what you need.
This way, you’re contributing to making yourself invisible through your own actions. Being always worried about others is a way of putting yourself last, of downplaying yourself.
When your kindness makes it hard to say no to others
It can also happen that you value kindness too much. Because you believe that you must be kind, you don’t set boundaries and end up saying yes to every little request. And, of course, you’re willing to do anything just to be a good person.
What’s wrong with this? If you’re doing things that don’t pose a problem to you, then there’s obviously nothing wrong. But imagine that just because you want to be kind, you have to go through an uncomfortable situation. Would you be willing to feel bad just to be kind?
Many times we fall into this trap and think that we must accept everything we’re asked to do, that we must please others so that they like us. But what about ourselves? There’s nothing good about extremes. You can show kindness while still establishing your own boundaries.
Cons of excessive kindness
Toxic kindness comes with many obstacles. Reflect on the following disadvantages of being too kind so that you don’t neglect yourself for others:
- Low self-esteem.
- Less self-awareness.
- Less authentic relationships.
- Feeling guilty.
- More codependent relationships.
- Increased anxiety.
- Need for approval.
These are only a few cons of toxic kindness. It’s a vicious cycle where we neglect ourselves. We feel we’re not worthy and establish relationships where we’re always expecting the other person to need something. So, when that other person isn’t around, we don’t know what to do. And being alone with ourselves starts to become difficult.
“I stray further from myself when I put others first at all times.”
Strategies to help you avoid excessive kindness
Although excessive kindness can become a part of ourselves, there are things we can do to start being kind in a healthier way. By changing this aspect, we’ll value ourselves like we deserve and have more authentic relationships.
- Set boundaries. Let people know what your limits are. Tell them the things you don’t like, the things you won’t be willing to do, what makes you uncomfortable, etc. By doing this, they’ll know what they can or can’t ask of you.
- Try not to feel guilty. Sometimes you have to say no. Stop feeling guilty for not doing someone else a favor or for not being there for them all the time. You don’t have to, and that doesn’t mean you’re not kind.
- Make a list of your priorities. You can be there for others without neglecting yourself. Organize your priorities and decide which come first. By doing this, you’ll know how much time you have available for others.
- Be more self-aware. Learn about yourself and what you want so that it’s easier to set boundaries. You’ll understand your feelings, thoughts, and why it’s so hard for you to put yourself first in a better way.
As you can see, it’s all about paying a little more attention to yourself. It won’t be hard. After all, if you show kindness to others, you can do it with yourself too. Don’t forget that kindness is important, but only in the right amount.
The price of being excessively kind to others is leaving yourself behind. Being kind the right way means trusting and valuing yourself.
In addition, keep in mind that although your intentions are good, some people may take advantage of your excessive kindness. They know that they’ll get what they want from you because you never say no to them.
Focus on yourself, know your priorities, and establish some boundaries. You have the power to decide what’s best for you!