When you caring too much

We all need a hug from time to time!  Source

When my children were growing up I wanting to teach them the importances of caring for others, being kind and generous, reaching out to help, showing compassion. To learn gentleness in a world that doesn’t value gentleness. My youngest was always a very caring child so it wasn’t difficult to teach him these values.  However I noticed that as he got older he would take on the problems of others and want to solve them. This meant he carried the weight of other people’s problems on his shoulders when he didn’t have the skills or strength to do so.  You cannot do this for very long before it starts to having a major impact upon your health.   

Whilst I still think it is important to teach children these things, it is also very important to watch out for signs in those children and young adults who “care too much” (and as someone described to me "the recusers").  Its important for them to understand that the world is full of people who take advantage of kind caring people and have no qualms in taking and never giving.  

Sadly this means that those gentle caring children learn a very tough lesson as adults, they simply can’t always be as kind or as generous as they would like to be, as it comes at a cost to their own health and well-being (physically and mentally). At times we all need to put ourselves first and be tough, learning to say no. 

This isn't just an issue just for children, some women (and even men) find themselves in this very position and all of a sudden before they know it,  they are juggling so many different activities (from the church fete to caring for granny) that they can no longer care for themselves, let alone their own families and things start to fall apart. They think they are doing good deeds, and they are - however they cannot do everything, we cannot be "superwomen" and "supermen".  Learning to say no guilt free, is hard for those people who have a very caring nature as these are the ones that don't like to upset or offend others. But it is a lesson that needs to be learnt even with the help of professionals.  

We don't want these wonderful caring people to stop caring, we don't have enough kind generous people in the world. We just want them to learn their limitations and not to take on more than they can handle.

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Comments

  1. That's a really difficult one - in the process of becoming more like Christ, we need to love more and care more and help out at every opportunity... But as you say, it's important to not let it take over to the point of burden. And when we have a family, that is our first ministry, our first "mission field" so-to-speak, and that is where our first loyalty and caring lies. Not that this means we ignore the rest of the world or stop caring for others... that's just where more of our caring needs to go and then we help others out as we have opportunity, without it taking us away from our own family too much. Again, that can be difficult to balance. But it is important. When I think about things like this, as a woman, I try to turn to Scriptural examples to see how God thinks women should balance these things - and there's lots of examples there. There's single women like Dorcas who put all their time into sewing clothes for the needy, and there's married women with children like the Proverbs 31 woman who though her household was her first priority (I believe it was her first priority because of all the time she spent providing for her own household), she still found time to reach out her hand to the needy and help them in some way... And so you go on. :) The Bible really is a handbook for life. :)

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    1. Whilst most people can create the right balance, its those few that can't and end up all in a muddle. It is also knowing what you are capable of and not over stretching it to the point of doing nothing well. Prioritising ones life is helpful for those who over do it so they learn to focus on what is important first and if they have the time left, focus on other things.

      But we certainly need to keep on caring - but one person doesn't need to care for everyone, it can be shared around!! The Bible is our handbook and it is full of advice:)))

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    2. I've encountered this problem a lot of times in life - and some of it stems from the fact that some people seem to do ALL the caring, while others are quite rude. When one person does all the outreach and it is never reciprocated, the friendship is rather dull and dead... and it leads to a lot of hurt. And you end up so exhausted from always doing all the reaching out and caring, too. Unfortunately, while some people do care, in today's society there are far to many who don't care AT ALL and feel entitled to being treated right. :(

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    3. How often do the "usual people" show up at church to organise activities, run the school fetes and at work, the ones that clean the kitchen. Almost always the same old faces. And how often is the microwave left dirty at work because most don't care (or leave the sink full of dishes), such a common problem :((

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  2. It is a very difficult lesson, and one that I continue to learn. Who are the ones who will always take advantage, and never give? And who is worth spending a lot of time with or on? It is such a delicate balance. It is especially hard when the greedy people in your life are family. That is when it is really hard to move oneself and the worthwhile people to the front of the line.

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    1. I have had a few friends that take and never return and it can be quite hurtful. Those friends that you do all the running about with and make all the effort and they never call you. It can be very sad. Its one of life long lessons:))

      Have a lovely week.

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  3. Often being overwhelmed stems from "fear of man" rather than "fear of God." We may think that love for others is the motivation for doing too much, when really it is fear...Fear of what others may think of us if we say no, or fear that the need won't get met if we don't meet it ourselves. Praise God, that the Bible tells us Perfect Love casts out all fear.

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    1. When I wrote this I had one particular situation on my mind and the reason why the person was being so kind and generous, he thought they wouldn't be his friend if he didn't. Just as you write - spot on. However I have spoken to others and find this is quite common and part of some peoples insecurities and something they need to learn otherwise it really can create all sorts of problems.

      I think we all do it to some extend, especially when younger.

      Have a lovely week

      xx

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  4. Hi Joluise,

    Your post is so true - no one is "superwomen". Life happens and we sometimes get off track, but children need to know that is ok. They also need to be taught not to let friends or anyone take advantage of their kindness.

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    1. It's one of those tough lessons in life sadly.

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