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How to Stop Doing it All for Others

Updated on May 7, 2011

Are you Everything to Everybody?

Just like computers, people need backup. If you look around and realize you don't have any backup, than you might be one of those people who is everyone else's backup. Fact: Trying to do everything for everybody with no help to cover for you if you are feeling sick, tried or need a break will wear you down into the ground. I know all of you know the type of person I am talking about ~ maybe you are that person. They are the ones you can always depend on, even at the last minute, to be willing and able to carry the burden of putting aside their own concerns to help someone else with a task or responsibility. They are the ones who take care of all the sick and elderly, adopt all the stray animals and cover for those who can't come to work on time or who just are a little slow to handle their assigned tasks. They are the super responsible and dependable souls who keep the world a-going while everyone else seems to frolic in their own self-pity or dysfunction.

Why Not Start to Take Care of Yourself?

If you are one of those do-allers, than you need to do a better job of taking care of yourself. Believe me, I know from experience. You need to remember first of all that there is in fact probably no backup for your life ~ you are more than likely the most competent and most expected by your circle of associates to make it through just about any set of circumstances. Face it, you are the strong one. By the time people notice that you might need some help, you could be sick in the hospital or out on the streets. People see you as needing no help ~ that is how you trained them to see you. So, it is up to you to recognize the need to help yourself.

  • Say No. Admit to yourself that you can't do everything. Nor should you have to do more than your fair share. Just start to say no every once in a while to give yourself room to breathe. People might be shocked when you tell them no for the first time. They might even get very upset. They will get over it. You are not responsible for everyone feelings, especially their happiness. If they dump you because you say no, you are better off without them in your life. Which gets me to my next point. . .
  • Stop adding users and abusers to your life. As a do-it-aller, you attract them like a magnet. Do you really need any more in your life? No. You don't have time for them. You can't save the entire world. Just let them go.
  • Meet new people outside your current circle. Meet people who don't know your role as the caretaker of all problems. With these new people, try to just be yourself as a real person instead of a person without needs, wants or desires. Sharing some of your hopes and dreams with new people might just give you the courage to act on them.
  • Thank yourself. Do things to celebrate how great you are and all that you do for others. Do not allow yourself to build resentment waiting for others to thank you. You are really just hurting yourself. Do something to celebrate you. Take yourself out for a nice meal or buy yourself a treat.
  • Think of what means the most to you and to your life. Make sure to always go back to what matters most when you prioritize your life. Otherwise, you might look back on your life with the regret that you spent all your time doing what others thought was important. Examining what matters to you will help you stay grounded, make plans and remind you of your own needs and desires.

Love to You

You do it-allers make the world go around. Love to you and all you do. Celebrate yourself. Give yourself the biggest gift of loving yourself. You are a person with needs, wants and desires. It is okay to acknowledge what you want for yourself and to go after what you want. Don't let yourself get burnt out. Remember that you are your own best caretaker. Take care of yourself.


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    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Dear truthfornow, Yes, Yes, Yes. You said just what my dad use to say to me "You can't save the world, Amy". Trouble is, he was my role model and I watched him keep trying to save everyone. He once gave a car to a man who couldn't get to work because he had no transportation. He was the most dependable man I've ever known and every man I've ever compared to him, fell terribly short. He was humble, quiet, but effective. He didn't do his good works for accolades as he didn't tell anyone, but I saw him. I want to live up to his example, but, at times, I feel like it's killing me. I have finally broke ties with some vampires. I do not feel the least bit guilty, but rather, assertive, liberated and responsible in making the right choices. I am not a martyr and do not aspire to trying. I am more productive and much happier when I do what I need to be my best. That does not include being a doormat. Thank you for this very well written, very relatable piece. You certainly live up to your name. Thank you.

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 6 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Hi Dim. I know someone who is always taking care of everyone else, and I often ask her who is going to take care of her. It is so hard to break the patterns.

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain

      l could hardly believe what l was reading here. You sounded like my daughter or my best friend who are always telling me that l´ll make myself ill if l try to carry everyones´burdens.

      You have worded this hub so well., l´m sure anyone like me will recognise themselves and hopefully do something about it.

      l think your final bullet point about thinking of what is the most important thing in our lives is the real crux of the matter. We could be helping people who are not deserving while neglecting our nearest and dearest.

      Thanks again for a most helpful hub