Why we care about others at our own expense

You can’t be selfish. It’s bad to think about ourselves ”- how often we repeat these phrases to ourselves … We condemn, reproach ourselves for the slightest attempt to do what we need, instead of giving up our own desires again to please another. We strive to be helpful, good enough for everyone.

And this desire can be understood. After all, altruists are wonderful people. Everyone loves them. True, for some reason they are not particularly considered. Where does the urge to abandon ourselves for the sake of the happiness of others come from in us? What is the reason for striving to become comfortable for everyone?

Look inside yourself. What is behind altruism? As a rule, an excessive desire to be good is born on the basis of a feeling of guilt, the feeling that you are not good enough, that no one just needs it, by themselves. It seems to us that we need to make an effort to earn respect and love.

To get to the new bottom of these feelings, try an experiment. It will take just a couple of minutes. Concentrate, close your eyes, then try to find this feeling in yourself: that you are not good enough, are to blame for everyone. You may find other negative judgments about yourself as you search.

Think about it. Pay attention: where, in what part of the body do these thoughts “respond”? Concentrate on them, allow yourself to be transported into a moment from the past when such experiences were especially strong. How old were you? Who was there? What’s happened? Why do you think there is something wrong with you? Analyze what happened to you a long time ago. “Look” your memories like a movie episode.

And then think about how these specific moments (or one of them) influenced you, your opinion about yourself, about others, about life. Perhaps this short experiment will help answer the question: how did it happen that you became a person who is convenient for others.

After doing the exercise and getting some answers, we will see that in trying to please everyone, we do it for ourselves first. This is our way of compensating for our negative experiences from the past. This is how we try not to feel guilty, bad, unnecessary.

We are not alone in this endeavour. And helping yourself always begins with the realization: if you feel guilty, this does not mean that you are really guilty. Just because you feel like you’re not good enough doesn’t mean you’re really good enough. Perhaps you live in captivity of cognitive biases because our brains often tend to interpret any facts in favour of what we believe.

But this is just a way to justify why we experience what we are experiencing. In fact, once upon a time, we just chose this way to protect ourselves from traumatic situations. Our ideas like “I am guilty”, “I am bad”, “I cannot be loved and accepted just like that” do not make us really guilty and bad.

What if the feeling that we are not needed by others just like that, without the sacrifices that we make, does not let go, causes pain and discomfort? Of course, it is best to “refer” it to a psychologist. In the meantime, “carry”, pay attention: it is impossible by an effort of will to get rid of the repetitive thoughts that are spinning in the head. It is impossible to destroy the obsessive image. But you can choose where to focus your attention: on these ideas or on objective reality.

Yes, in order to completely destroy the belief in your own inferiority, you need the work of a specialist. But this new does not mean that we cannot help ourselves without therapy. Try to observe what will happen if you do not try to destroy these emotions, but also do not follow their lead. A strong feeling is more likely to take over. You will lose control and awareness and succumb to it again.

It’s okay, don’t berate yourself. After all, the task of the psyche is to control your behaviour through emotions. But when we allow the feeling to be, allow ourselves to experience it, it is easier for us to look at it from the outside. And it also passes faster, leaves us, since we do not immerse ourselves in it.

Repeatedly doing the exercises described above, we begin to separate ourselves from our feelings, we cease to be identical with our ideas and experiences. Sooner or later, we will master the art of consciously choosing, doing something for someone else, or remembering ourselves. We will learn to free ourselves from negative attitudes, make decisions in our favour, and allow ourselves not to be liked by others and not to be comfortable for them if we want to

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