Giving is a good thing, right? Yes, but not when you are giving too much of yourself away in the process. Overgiving can be a problem for many people, and particularly women. While we want what’s best for those we love, and usually give to others from a place of care and concern, giving too much can leave us feeling depleted and also block others from giving back to us in the way that we deserve.

What’s more, people that tend to overgive often attract people who take advantage of their kindness and caring nature. This can throw them off balance in their relationships, including those related to work.

You might be giving too much if you feel emotionally empty or alone in your relationships. Perhaps you worry that the relationship will end if you give less or maybe you are not able to communicate your needs properly. Either way, these sort of issues will prevent you from developing healthy, balanced partnerships.

Here are some ways that you can stop overgiving:

  • Keep track. The idea here is not to give only to get something back, but you do want to ensure that your giving is not one-sided. Ask yourself some probing questions to this end. Are you doing the majority of the work to keep a relationship afloat? Are you taking on too much on the job without getting comparable recognition or compensation? You can think of these examples as red flags. Check in with yourself from time to time. If you don’t feel like you’re getting back what you’re giving, pull your energy back a bit until things come back to balance.
  • Make yourself a priority. Overgivers tend to prioritize others over themselves. That’s a giant problem. If you don’t prioritize yourself, no one else is going to prioritize you either. Treat yourself just as well as you do others in your life. You deserve it.
  • Assess your need to please others. It could be that you are trying too hard to satisfy the people in your life to stay in their good favor. You can never please everyone, so don’t spin your wheels trying to; continually keep an eye on your desire to make everyone happy so that you don’t overdo it.
  • Take note of how you act when someone gives something to you. Do you feel guilty? Or immediately experience a need to give something back to them in return? If so, learn to thwart this type of thinking in its entirety. You should be treated well. Try reciting an affirming mantra like, “I deserve kindness,” until you really believe it.
  • Check in when you’re apologizing. Do you find that you are often saying you’re sorry for not being able to do something or to help in some way. That’s another red flag. You can only do so much and should never apologize for not being able to do more. Set limits and catch yourself when you begin to say you’re sorry.
  • Let go of control. You can’t control everything either so stop trying. When you do, you’ll be surprised how other people step in and do their part.
  • Ask for help when you need it. Sometimes we overgive because we are afraid to show weakness or ask our friends or colleagues for help.Other people want to help too so learn to give them a chance.
  • Become comfortable with saying no. It is okay, and often highly necessary to say no when you are already overwhelmed and overcommitted. Never shy away from saying no when you need to.

As you can see, giving is a wonderful thing, but overgiving can quickly become a problem and leave you feeling drained. Ensure that you are checking in with yourself to maintain balance in this regard. Let your big heart go out to yourself in addition to everyone else around you!