If you’re over responsible you have trouble asking for help, give more than you take, and listen more than you share. You say sorry more than most people and tend to look out for the needs of others more than your own.
You might also assume it’s your fault when something goes wrong. Even when that something is totally outside your control.
It’s likely you feel responsible for other peoples’ feelings. For that reason, you’re the one who makes amends or goes out of her way to repair rifts in your relationships.
It’s possible you’ve never considered yourself over responsible, in spite of all this evidence in black and white. That’s because you have such a low view of yourself that the label sounds too complimentary to apply to you.
That brings us to the major cause of over responsibility in adulthood, and that’s having unmet needs in childhood. Those unmet needs alter our view of ourselves so we feel we don’t matter or won’t be loved for who we are.
How unmet childhood needs makes you over responsible
Being a parentified child can make you take on more responsibility than appropriate for your age. You get used to caring for others and putting your own needs aside.Being a parentified child can make you over responsible. You get used to caring for others and putting your own needs aside. Click To Tweet
You learned that your needs were a hindrance because they never got any attention. Rather than support, you received contempt when you expressed them.
To avoid the pain of rejection and abandonment when you expressed needs, you pushed those needs down and focused instead on making sure everyone else was okay.
Childhood emotional neglect meant your parent’s failed to respond to your emotional needs. You were taught to cater to your parents needs instead, especially their desire to avoid emotional intimacy and connection.
As a result, you keep your feelings to yourself and seek acceptance and love through self-sacrifice. You fear if you need anything, people will reject you or think less of you.
How being over responsible impacts you
Over responsibility affects you in your work and career. You play small because that’s what was expected of you growing up. Staying out of the way and hiding your true self helped you stay in your parent’s good books.
When you enter the workforce, you may never consider putting yourself forward for a promotion. You dread standing out or coming across as if you think too much of yourself. In your past, standing out got you punished and rejected.When you enter the workforce, you may never consider putting yourself forward for a promotion. You dread standing out or coming across as if you think too much of yourself. Click To Tweet
You do your best to remain invisible which is toxic for your income because no one moves up the rankings by hiding. If you don’t ask for what you want, people assume you don’t want it.
You’re an excellent listener when other people have problems. But no one listens to you when you need to talk things out. Largely, that’s because you won’t share your problems with anyone else anyway.
When you finally do decide to talk, you may be stuck with people who don’t have the capacity to listen. These are toxic types who gravitated to you because they knew they could use you in this way. And you let them.
You have poor boundaries which makes it hard to enjoy social interaction. As a result, you begin to isolate as a way of protecting yourself. All while craving the connection and intimacy that being over responsible deprives you of.
You worry constantly about whether people like you and accept you. You feel like someone’s always mad at you and that you have to be perfect to be loved. After a while, the toll on your health and wellbeing become too much and you retreat.
How to overcome over-responsibility
1. Self Care
If you’ve grown up with unmet needs, it’s difficult to know how to do self care. We have no idea what would comfort us because we’ve never been taught to check in with ourselves.
More often, we’ve been conditioned to ignore or suppress our body and brain’s cues that we need something. And we become disconnected from our internal knowing.
Spend time getting to know yourself. I’ve said it before but journaling your thoughts and feelings is an excellent way to help you understand yourself, your wants and needs.
2. Emotional Intelligence
Stop running from your feelings and feel them instead. We’ve been taught to deny our emotions because no one ever helped us with them. We learned our emotions push people away rather than fostering connection.
So-called negative emotions like anger and sadness can feel scary. We worry if we surrender to them, they’ll take us under and we may never resurface. Allow yourself the luxury of a day in bed if the feelings get intense.
3. Set boundaries
Start saying no to things you don’t want or that don’t feel good to you. Rather than letting someone monologue at you, share your thoughts and feelings as much as they do.Start saying no to things you don't want or that don't feel good to you. Rather than letting someone monologue at you, share your thoughts and feelings as much as they do. Click To Tweet
If they don’t reciprocate by listening, ask them to give you the same courtesy you give them. If they refuse, it’s time to reevaluate your role in the relationship.
Are you the giver in most relationships and the one people rely on? Practice asking for help even though it feels uncomfortable.
Being overly self-sufficient is part of being over responsible. It prevents you from experiencing the intimacy and connection you desire.
Healthy friendships and partnerships require you to ask for what you need. It’s not selfish but gives the other person an opportunity to know you better. No relationship thrives without give and take.