Most of us have been taught that it is more noble to give than to receive. While giving can be a wonderful, heart-warming experience, giving too much of our time and energy can be detrimental to both our physical and emotional health, leading to anxiety, overwhelm and burnout. Take this quiz to see if you are giving it all away.
1. I force myself to do things even when I don’t have the energy to do them.
2. I ignore my body’s “no” signals when I think someone’s needs are greater than mine.
3. I hate conflict, so I’ll do whatever it takes to avoid it, which often means doing something I don’t want to do.
4. I feel obligated to answer the phone when it rings even when I really don’t want to.
5. The amount of time I spend listening to others far exceeds the amount of time that others listen to me.
6. If I don’t answer all the emails I receive I feel guilty.
7. In order to provide luxuries for my family I work more hours than I want to.
8. I schedule my work time around my clients’ needs rather than around my own.
9. I can’t say no when people in need ask me for money.
10. When I’m out to dinner with people who have less money than I do, I feel obligated to pick up the check.
11. I volunteer for my place of worship or other organizations even if I don’t have the time.
12. People won’t like me if I say no.
13. I’m the person everyone calls when they need help: a babysitter, chauffeur, or someone to fill in at work.
14. My children’s happiness comes before mine. I’ll do whatever it takes to make them happy.
15. I have a hard time saying no to my partner because I want him/her to be happy, even if saying yes makes me unhappy.
16. I feel selfish if I don’t share what I have with others.
If you answered true more often than false, you may want to find ways to create more balance in your life by getting clear on your values and priorities and learning more about boundary setting. Please don’t hesitate to call if you’d like to explore this issue further. Remember that you need to receive as well.