As long as I was giving, I didn't have to think about my own issues." A friend shed light on her underlying anger, resentment, and passive aggressive behavior, and it led her to therapy.
But over-givers have to strive to put themselves first, create boundaries, and also release their guilt about not taking care of everyone's needs. "People will be surprised at first, but it will lead to them having much more respect for your time." Not sure how to start putting yourself first? "The psychology of a taker is to get as much as possible from an interaction and give little to nothing in return," says human behavior expert Trevicia Williams, Ph D.
"They thrive on seizing the self-centered benefits of encounters and relationships with other people.
"I was the ultimate compassionate and unselfish person," says Mary Ann Lowry, an ADHD support coach.
"I had no idea that my excessive giving of time or literal gifts was my way of numbing and truly 'hustling' for my worthiness.
"Before you agree to do anything, take as much time as you need to really give the request your full consideration," says Laura L.