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18 Reasons Trying To Help Others Can Be A Mixed Bag

C.R. writes:

Giving to others can affect us deeply, both positively and not so positively depending on the situation.

Where do you draw the line drawn between over-the-top giving (emotional, material, etc.) and true charity or kindness?

Where is the line drawn between catering to unreasonable demands and making the positive choice to keep peace?

Placating vs. peacemaking?

Surrendering? Appeasing?

Trying to be everything to others, or being a “rock” when you feel like a pebble inside.

Are you trying to make everyone else but you happy, or are you pleasing and helping others for the right reasons?

  1. You deny your own tastes and interests so much that you don’t get to develop and recognize your own talents and tastes.
  2. You people-please in order to feel needed, and end up being sick of everyone needing you.
  3. You give because you get a narcissistic reward from feeling like you are the benefactor, the strong one.
  4. You may find that you truly feel alive and vital when helping others, and feel the spiritual rewards are much, much greater than the effort helping others entails.
  5. You feel you learn more from giving to others (think: teachers, therapists, etc.)
  6. You feel built up resentment but are afraid if you say “no” you might lose a friendship–or your reputation.
  7. You injure close relationships by being only available for those on the periphery of your life or when your job or volunteer efforts seem to “take over” your life (sometimes affecting those in the helping professions, firefighters, police, and other brave and important public servants, etc.)
  8. You become more modest and humble when you can identify the strength in the people you help (those who work with disabled adults or children, etc.)
  9. You become more arrogant because you begin to believe that you have all the answers.
  10. You’re afraid people won’t like you if you stop placating, appeasing or giving them unreasonable amounts of your time, advice, or money.
  11. You realize you have low self-esteem which is why you say “yes” to everything.
  12. You realize you have developed solid self-esteem through your ability to help others.
  13. You get cheated, swindled or scammed because you care so much about people liking you you’re afraid to say “no.”
  14. You get your heart broken because you’re afraid to stand up for your rights.
  15. You lose a friend or break a heart because you finally explode when you can’t stand the fact that you allowed another to take advantage of you for so long.
  16. You love peace and loathe conflict so much that the decision to avoid all but the most unavoidable conflicts gives you strong, inner peace.
  17. You learn more about your deepest self from making life better for others.
  18. You express your spiritual beliefs/belief in the Creator by giving to others and you feel it is reveals a very important part of the meaning of life.
18 Reasons Trying To Help Others Can Be A Mixed Bag

Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC is the author of Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and Move On Without Wasting Time or Money and is licensed in addiction and psychotherapy with over 25 years experience as well as a consultant to organizations and companies in the fields of mental health and addiction. He is the executive director of an outpatient behavioral health program. Learn more about Richard here.

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APA Reference
& C.R. Zwolinski, R. (2017). 18 Reasons Trying To Help Others Can Be A Mixed Bag. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 15, 2020, from


Last updated: 7 Jun 2017
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