Some of us really pride ourselves on being there for others, and if we don’t also have healthy boundaries and take care of ourselves, we feel drained, overwhelmed, resentful and burnt out. In this week’s episode of The Baggage Reclaim Sessions, I talk about why we don’t have to turn ourselves into a dumping ground, why we do it, and also share a few self-care shifts that allow us to respect and honour our needs.

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5 key topics in this episode

  • If you’re always the giver, the listener, the one who doesn’t need any help, who’s strong, how will people know when you need them? How will they know when you’re exhausted or unwell or whatever it is if you don’t say anything about it? If you give off this impression that you’re Teflon-coated?
  • There’s a big difference between “being there” for people and being a dumping ground. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the person is going out of their way to treat you like a dumping ground! On the contrary, they may have little or no awareness of the complex feelings accompanying your support. Still, if you treat yourself like a dumping ground, you wind up in the same place.
  • A big sign that you self-neglect to be there for others and so end up treating you like a dumping ground is that even thinking about your needs, challenges, etc., is considered ‘selfish’.
  • Thinking that self-care is selfish leads to unwittingly maintaining fragile and fraught interpersonal relationships that steep you in anxiety, resentment, guilt, and shame.
  • Hitting a wall with support and ‘being there’ for others may require what you regard as an awkward conversation. It’s not, however, that awkward if you both ultimately want the same thing: a mutually fulfilling relationship.

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