Gratitude boosts mental health9 August 2019
Expecting the worst – is it more harmful than helpful?20 July 2023
Natalie came to see me because she felt compelled to be the “fix it” person for just about everybody in her life. She seemed to be drawn to people who blamed others for their woes and leaned on her to “fix” their problems. And she found it very hard to say no even when no was the right thing to say.
Because Natalie was kind and generous she listened endlessly to their moaning and complaining, she patiently suggested strategies they might try but they never did, she dried their tears and assured them things would improve.
Without realising it, she had become a cushion, a background option, a pseudo therapist and a strategist for their emotional work.
Not surprisingly, she was being worn down by their negativity and her sense of responsibility for stuff that wasn’t even hers; she was tired, feeling overwhelmed and didn’t seem to have the energy or motivation to do the things she used to enjoy.
I have met many people like Natalie, people who have trouble saying no, even when no would have been the right thing to say, who take on too much at work, who have trouble expressing their own needs, who puts others’ needs before their own.
With the help of hypnotherapy, Natalie learned what it feels like to stop having conversations with people who don’t want to change, to stop appearing for people who are indifferent to your presence, to stop giving your time and energy to people who are not ready to reciprocate.
Your instinct might be to do everything you can to earn the good graces of everyone you can, but it is also the impulse that will steal your time, steal your energy and steal your enjoyment.
When you begin to be in your own life with interest and commitment, not everyone will be ready to meet you there but that doesn’t mean you have to change who you are. It means to distance yourself from people who are not prepared to be with you. You have a right to be you, to take responsibility for your own life and to allow others to take the responsibility for theirs.
As Natalie began to see how she had been sacrificing her own well-being for the sake of people who were not ready to change, it was wonderful to witness the lightness coming back into her face and the renewed energy and focus in her.
She reconnected with some old friends and resumed hobbies and interests that had been neglected. She began to place a value on herself and her time in a way she’d never done before and things really started to change for Natalie.
She still sometimes has those old urges but she now knows the difference between true compassion and the urge to be the “fix it” person for others.