I'm always amazed at the number of clients I treat whose lives have centered around helping others. And I'm not necessarily talking about people jobs require them to serve others, such as firefighters, teachers, nurses, and the like. Rather, I'm referring to men and women who regularly and continually place other people's needs and wants above their own.
Their time is most often occupied with tasks meant to make others, not themselves, happier. They seemed to be trapped into the notion that their life's purpose is to be abundantly generous to others and that to do otherwise - i.e. spend more time on themselves - is simply selfish, and therefore, bad. This couldn't be further from the truth.
You'll find one of best discussions of this subject in Cheryl Richardson's Heal Your Life article, Are You a Member of the Overgiving Club? Not only does she offer great insights into "self love" but she also describes the concept of "extreme self-care," which, as she explains means, "taking my care to a whole new level - a level that, to me, seemed arrogant and selfish, practiced by people who had an inappropriate sense of entitlement."
I think this is definitely an article worth reading, especially if you're one of the millions of Americans who wake up each morning wondering how you're going make everyone else's day happier than yours.
By Kathleen Dwyer-Blair, LCSW, BCD, Director
At Nassau Guidance and Counseling, our client care consultants are extensively trained in assessing your needs and finding the therapist who is best matched to your concerns, personality, and availability. Our policy is to set you up with your first appointment within a week of matching you to a therapist who fits your needs. Call us today at (516) 221-9494 for more information.