Are you overly responsible? I’m not just talking about over-
thinking decisions so that they are the RIGHT ones…Making the
right career choice, the right partner choice, the right diet
choice, the right choice on how to spend your money, or
how to prioritize your time, etc.
Do you also feel responsible for your loved one’s feelings,
your co-workers’ opinions of you, your child’s happiness and
success, your client’s results if you provide a service, how
your spouse talks to you, and on and on.
In other words, do the outcomes of the world rest squarely
on your shoulders?
For example, if our spouse talks to us meanly, or a client
makes an accusatory, reprimanding comment, does that
become a dramatic endorsement of who we are?
I still fall into this trap. We must be worthless if our spouse
is mad at or disappointed in us. We must be a bad parent if
our child says we’re selfish. We must be stupid if someone is
incredulous about how we handled our affairs. We must be
defective if we continually show up late, etc.
Bottom line. When we feel overly responsible, we can be very
dramatic and exaggerate what’s really happening. We can feel
very hurt because we always want others to see us in the most
glowing, positive light, and when they don’t, we beat ourselves
up and feel embarrassed and humiliated.
When we feel overly responsible, we want others to follow our
logic. We want to feel in control so that we feel safe.
There’s another term for “overly responsible,” and that’s
codependence. Yes, I talk about it often because it’s SO
prevalent and so damaging to relationships.
I grew up with a lot of dysfunction and little family harmony,
with a dad who didn’t know how to love and respect himself.
So he took this powerlessness out on me, my mom and brother.
I care about family harmony because I didn’t have it. And it’s
foundational to a healthy family unit and society. It absolutely
affects everything. Healthy relationships = happiness = true
How can we stop this pattern of being overly responsible?
We have to STOP being so terrified of what people think of
us. As long as we are doing our best to not hurt our self and
others, we need to give ourselves a break, mentally and emotionally.
There will always be people who play judge, jury and executioner
and find us guilty because their beliefs differ from ours. They
fear things about decisions we make or words we speak.
They truly feel threatened. We don’t control that. We’re lucky
if we feel safe within ourselves and don’t revert to fear and thus
the need to protect our identity, our personality, our EGO.
I believe it’s an illusion. We appear that we are separate from
each other, but in reality, we are not. So when I feel the need
to protect myself from someone’s judgment, I need to remind
myself, “This person is mirroring something to me, a belief that
I have about myself, that makes me feel insecure.”
Usually if we look further, the belief we have about ourselves
is that we’re not enough.
One of the kindest things we can do for ourselves is to be a
Worthy Self-Advocate. Give ourselves the benefit of the
doubt. Our self-talk may sound something like this.
“You are doing enough! You are a good enough parent,
business owner, spouse, child to your parents, sibling. You
are behaving adequately! It may not be perfect, but that’s
okay. You’re making progress because you’re a work-in-progress.
You don’t need to be fixed anyway.
You’re having a human experience that is meant to be messy
and dysfunctional at times. You don’t have to be happy all the
If you are happy, it’s cause to celebrate. If you aren’t happy,
it’s time to reflect and observe. Either way, you’re OK!”
Then we can decide if now is the time to take action or
pause. Pausing IS doing something. The decision will be
made FOR us. We will find life unfolding as it does, NOT
how we think it should be.
I invite you to attend a workshop this Thursday, January 18th
from 6-8pm at my home (2476 Pheasant Run Drive, Maryland
Heights, MO 63043).
We will use emotional freedom technique (EFT or tapping)
to help you stop being overly responsible and start becoming
a Worthy Self-Advocate.
To register simply reply to this email and bring check or cash
for $25 (this is not our usual way to register. We’re doing this
because we had to re-schedule last week’s workshop due to
P.S.: If you want to join others in a small group setting and make
YOUR life work first by loving, accepting and forgiving yourself,
come to the Frontier to Freedom class.