Are you constantly saving your partner, family and friends from their dramas? Do you feel drained by carrying your partner’s, family’s and friends’ emotional baggage? Would you like to end this cycle once and for all, and free your energy to focus on creating more empowering relationships instead?
Rescuer and Victim
Opposites do attract. Family members, partners and friends who play the victim, poor me, blame others and take no or little responsibility often seek to be rescued by others. Conversely, people who have an unmet need to help others attract family members, partners and friends who need to be rescued. In order to fulfill those needs, the rescuer and victim attract each other. They are a perfect fit in the sense that they fulfill each others’ needs, however in the process they create a disempowering dynamic.
Rescuing your partner, family and friends can take many forms, including:
Always paying for coffee, meals, going out, holidays, gifts, bills, etc because they can’t afford it rather than enabling them to be financially responsibility;
Doing your siblings’ chores or homework because they can’t be bothered, they are too tired or it is hard work;
Overprotecting your loved ones from emotional hurt rather than allowing them to learn their lessons and growing as people.
How Much is Enough?
While it is wonderful to want to help others and to be of service, the real question is how much is enough? What amount of help is appropriate and when is it too much?
There is a difference between being empathetic and supportive, and taking on board too much of your partner’s, family’s and friends’ emotions and feeling really upset because they feel upset. When you are too caught up in the problem with them, you lose your objectivity to offer a different perspective on a problem to help them.
This is where being clear about the lines of responsibility helps us to understand whether we are creating an empowering or disempowering relationship with our family, friends and partner.
You are personally responsible for four things: how you think, how you feel, how you act and how you influence your family, friends and partner. Your family members, partner and friends are also responsible for four things: how they think, how they feel, how they act and how they influence you and others.
When you start to take responsibility for how other people think, feel, act and influence others, you are taking on too much responsibility because this is beyond your control. In the process you are disempowering both you and your partner, family members and friends.
Rescue You, Rescue Me
What is interesting about a rescuer, is that they rescue everyone except themselves. They are so busy taking care of everyone else that they often neglect their own wants, needs and goals. Isn’t it time you rescue yourself from this disempowering dynamic so that you can live the life you desire and have the relationships you seek with your loved ones?
By far the biggest contributor to people taking too much responsibility for others and rescuing them are their own limiting beliefs. For example, if you were brought up to take a lot of responsibility for your siblings when they were growing up, have you left this behind as you and they grew up, or are you still treating your adult siblings and loved ones as children who need to be taken care of? Other beliefs such as needing to please others, feeling unloved, feeling less important than others, etc can also have us take on too much responsibility for our loved ones.