COMPULSIVE HELPING

  • How is it possible to know the difference between genuine help and compulsive helping?
  • Is it not normal to want to offer help to someone, to ease their burden and to show kindness?

Of course it is, but, Compulsive Helping is when the individual finds it impossible to say no each and every time they are asked. A compulsive helper will always help regardless of what the situation is whether it is convenient for them or not. This can result in the compulsive helper building up resentment against the other person or persons and feeling like a doormat. When this happens the compulsive helper begins to resent being asked.

A compulsive helper takes on too much responsibility, thus taking the responsibility away from the other person. Some of the help offered maybe genuine and an act of kindness but it is important for the individual to look at their motivation behind helping. Does the compulsive helper get their self-worth from helping others and would they struggle if no one wanted them to help them? Will they always help regardless as to whether it is detrimental to their own health, relationships, job and general wellbeing? Do they struggle to say no?

It is important to remember that we are talking about addictive behaviour, we are talking about extremes, and we are talking about situations where the compulsive helper is so absorbed with helping others that they lose their own identity.

Recovery is about self-discovery, self-improvement and building on self-esteem without relying on constantly helping others. It is about self-care first and everyone else second! Recovery is about recognising the difference between compulsive helping and genuine acts of kindness and most importantly it is learning to say no!