The way we think, act, and interact is influenced by the roles we play in our lives. Titles and roles influence our outlook on life, which in turn influences our expectations of others.
If you’re a parent, a child of ageing parents, a mentor, an employer, or a close friend, you may feel obligated to be responsible, helpful, and selfless in meeting their demands. For the time being, it may be okay to proceed in this manner. Regardless of how long it takes, we’ve come to terms with the fact that they’ll need our support.
In order to become an over-seer, we may end up doing too much for others out of habit, guilt, and as a default response. Consider the situations in which someone says, “Let me, I’ll do it, I’ll take care of it.”
Isn’t it easy to relax and let them handle things? It’s possible to lose the ability to think for ourselves over time. Because we don’t have to think about that particular decision or issue anymore, we relax and opt for an easy life. The other person may even be expected to handle that issue; it’s their job, and they always do it.
Our efforts may go unappreciated when we’re expected to be a regular support provider and our contributions are increasingly taken for granted. This can lead to feelings of resentment and frustration. When we’re being so thoughtful and involved, we may think it’s reasonable to expect at least a “thank you.”
In some cases, however, we need to take a step back and reevaluate our strategy. “We teach people how to treat us,” Eleanor Roosevelt once said. It’s our fault if we let someone else’s bad behaviour go unchecked, put up with disrespectful or inconsiderate treatment, or go out of our way to make others happy all the time. Even if we didn’t mind or tried to understand their bad behaviour at first, we’ve taught them over time that we’ll put up with their treatment of us and that it’s acceptable to put up with it.
Others may not realise how much trouble we’ve gone to in order to assist them. We may have a duty to make people aware of what our support means in practical terms from time to time. We’ve agreed to help, but it may necessitate cancelling, delaying, or rescheduling other plans. Even though we’re happy to help, it may have taken a lot of time and effort. To expect others to be clairvoyant is to assume that they know exactly what we’re getting into when we agree to do so much for them.
And we’re not doing anyone any favours if we don’t get anything in return or appreciation for what we’ve done. You can show respect for others by looking at things through their eyes and appreciating what they’ve done for you. That means we may have to teach new colleagues, children, and relationships that there isn’t a bottomless well of love/money/time/attention; we need them to learn about respecting our boundaries.
Individualism, self-improvement, and risk-taking are all essential to a person’s development. We can be supportive and ready to help when things go wrong, but the best lessons in independence come from making mistakes. Increasing one’s knowledge, developing new skills, and discovering one’s own resiliency and inner strength and resourcefulness.
When we’re constantly being’supervised’ or managed, advised, and instructed, we rarely learn these things. The difference between learning to drive with an instructor and driving on your own after passing your test can be summed up in one word: ‘tough’.
We may need to ask ourselves how this situation has arisen, how we’ve come to feel aggrieved about doing so much. To avoid making them feel as if they owe us something, perhaps we have brushed off their compliments and gratitude. Perhaps we felt embarrassed at their enthusiastic praise for our help. Gratitude and a simple “thank you” are often all that is needed to acknowledge someone’s compliments.
Despite the fact that we adore and cherish our loved ones, we may find ourselves growing to dislike them if we go above and beyond for them, especially our family members. We need to take responsibility for our role in creating this situation. Begin by becoming more aware of your own triggers and identifying them. They may be motivated by feelings of guilt, a desire to stay involved, or an unwillingness to delegate.
Pay attention to what you’re responding to, no matter what it is. As a result, you’ll be more appreciative of the work you do on their behalf, which will make you a better friend to them.