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Doing Things For Others

Doing things for others can backfire.  If they didn’t do it for themselves and it doesn’t work, they can blame you.  You can be a built-in scapegoat.  You can start to be taken for granted.

Doing things for others can promote harmony.  It is the middle child syndrome.  You don’t want people to fight and maybe you can guess what compromise can work here.  You spend more time thinking of what would please others and less or no time thinking about what you might want to do or have in the situation.

Doing for others all the time can lower instead of raise your self esteem.  Have you lost all sense of what is truly right for you?  For example, in a restaurant do you have trouble deciding what to order and you are the last one to order after everybody else has placed their orders.  Then do you regret that you ordered whatever it was and that is proof that you don’t know what you want and you shouldn’t trust yourself to make those decisions..  Now you don’t enjoy your meal out.

Doing things for others can be rewarding if you make someone’s life a little easier when you could make it a little harder.  Often in these situations it is at little or no cost to you.  Spread a little joy.  Speak up when you really want to do something you want to do anyway and contribute this to the decision-making process.

English: A poster at the Occupy Boston demonst...

English: A poster at the Occupy Boston demonstration explaining the decision process in use. (Photo credit Tim Pierce http://www.flickr.com/photos/qwrrty/6209571577/.)

You may be the type of person who doesn’t want to rock the boat and negative feelings for you or for others can be very unsettling and you can get upset over somebody else getting upset.  You might think it is worth it to do this just to have peace.  Remember some very bad things have happened and no one who observes them happening does anything about it.  Sometimes you have to speak out for yourself and/or others.

It may be easier in a family to just give in in order to get out the door so to speak.  However, the people in the family who always get their way learn very little about how to compromise or share in any given situation.  They find out later that people outside the family group don’t necessarily share their likes and dislikes and they don’t have the experience of other people speaking up for themselves.    Finally such a person may be rejected by others outside the family because of his or her learned self-centered behavior.

Doing things for others can leave you out.

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