how do you know if you're giving too much?
There's a new guy at school. He's lonely and desperate for friends but a bit shy and awkward, but his parents are wealthy - let's call him Richy Rich. He uses his money to buy friends, giving sweets, gifts, paying for things, buy buy buy, and giving too much.
The result? Richy has more people around him.
But are they friends? What if the money dries up, will they return the favor and share what they have?
No. Richy Rich will be dropped like a well dressed and uber fashionable hot potato.
Did you know you have an emotional piggy bank?
Okay, well that's hardly surprising as I just made it up. Stick with me.
Every time you give to others you take from your emotional piggy bank, and every time you look after yourself you add to it. And as with any piggy bank, it needs to be kept topped up to help you feel some security, and in case of a rainy day.
If you give too much without replenishing, it soon becomes empty and in the case of an emotional piggy bank that means you feel tired, exhausted, overwhelmed, frazzled, stressed, anxious and ultimately depressed. Not good.
So it's important to keep it topped up, and when funds are low to look after yourself.
What happens when you're a people pleaser?
The thing about people pleasers is we are over generous and give more than is necessary, which at first sight may seem a very noble thing to do, but it comes from a place of fear.
Remember how Richy Rich tried to buy friendship? It's the same for people pleasers. In an attempt to be liked, accepted, loved we try to be all things to all people, always there to lend a helping hand, always available at the end of the phone to offer support and comfort, always available to do whatever is expected of you.
But the fact is, people will like you or not like you based on lots of things - a shared view of life, a similar sense of humour, shared interests etc. and your ability to do things for them isn't what a genuine friendship - or relationship - is based on.
And these genuine friends don't deplete your emotional piggy bank, they replenish it by giving their friendship, understanding and support.
You'll know who these people are by how you feel when you're with them - you'll feel relaxed, valued and listened too, and afterwards, replenished rather than exhausted.
This is why self reflection is so important: it helps you to recognise your feelings so you can act on them.
So running yourself ragged isn't going to increase the number of quality friendships you have. It's more likely to have the opposite effect, because you do such an amazing job of changing to suit people, you become a watered down version of yourself.
I know lots of people worry about appearing selfish by taking care of their own needs and if all you do is stuff your own piggy bank without ever giving to others, then yes, that's pretty selfish!
But that's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about balancing the books: care in = care out, with a bit in reserve for a rainy day.
How's YOUR emotional piggy bank? Do you keep it topped up, or are you running on empty?
If you need help saying no, check out Take Control: Say No, details below
Take Control: Say No!
Stop agreeing to do things you don't want to - enough is enough!
It's time to drop the guilt and take control.