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    avacad0
    Participant

    I always thought that the only way to exist is by being nice and never saying no to any favor. It worked for years until it didn’t. The older I got and the more responsibilities I had the less I was able to juggle being nice to everyone. But the funny part is that the less I was able to manage to do favors for everyone the more addicted I was getting to doing favors. It sounds like a contradiction, but in reality it is really what addictions look like. You are not managing your regular responsibilities and yet you keep turning to the place of escape.

    Being that I was unaware of all my emotional pain that I was carrying around and I was trying to block it out, I kept looking for ways to fill myself up from the outside. And for me it was by doing everyone favors. The harder the favor the better, I would view it as a challenge that I will overcome.

    When I became aware of what was going on with me I had very mixed feelings about it. On one hand I had feelings of relief that I don’t have to work so hard to please everyone, but on the other hand I felt very bad that all my niceness came from a place of weakness.

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    Chavy
    Participant

    Yes, it’s so so hard to view ourselves as worthy enough not to need and depend on outside validation. I recently got a job offer which i kind of wanted, but I knew it wouldn’t work out with my schedule. And, at the same time, I wanted to please that person bc she’s a person in authority. In the end, someone else was hired, but my point is that i need to feel good about me because of me. I need to remember and embrace my positive qualities and not push my self down. Codependency is a real addiction.

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    Carver
    Participant

    Being that I was unaware of all my emotional pain that I was carrying around and I was trying to block it out, I kept looking for ways to fill myself up from the outside.

    I think this says it all. It sounds like a form of projection where you so desperately believe that helping others is the only way to help–or to at least distract–yourself.

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    CTab
    Participant

    I think the red flag here is how far out of your way you’d be willing to go to please someone who may not be able to reciprocate: that this is itself what validates you; being an asset to someone else. Maybe that means you’re only able to derive value from altruism, but I don’t think this indicates a weakness on your part–just too much of a good thing!

     

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    Mitchell
    Participant

    Hey Avacod0,

    I’m sorry you’re struggling with this. I think it’s interesting that you said that you “felt very bad that all [your] niceness came from a place of weakness”. I don’t think this should take anything away from all the good you did for people. All of us have weaknesses and things we struggle with. Most of the time, when people try to repress or block out that weakness they take it out on others. It can lead to a lot of isolation and lashing out. So I think that the fact that you dealt with it in a way that helped others says a lot more about you than you give it credit for.

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    Chavy
    Participant

    I think the red flag here is how far out of your way you’d be willing to go to please someone who may not be able to reciprocate: that this is itself what validates you; being an asset to someone else. Maybe that means you’re only able to derive value from altruism, but I don’t think this indicates a weakness on your part–just too much of a good thing!

    I relate to this so much! I think the litmus test is whether or not we can still feel good and validated even when we don’t get reciprocated.

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    Carver
    Participant

    In response to Chavy's post #5384:

    100% agree with you there. For whose sake should we do our good deeds for? A friend of mine recently mentioned she got into a bit of a heated argument in her English class because she said that people only help others to feel good about themselves. I think on a subconscious level this is true, but whether the “goodness” we feel is derived from empathy or self-validation is something only we can determine

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    Chany
    Participant

    But the funny part is that the less I was able to manage to do favors for everyone the more addicted I was getting to doing favors. It sounds like a contradiction, but in reality it is really what addictions look like. You are not managing your regular responsibilities and yet you keep turning to the place of escape.

    I love how you made this analogy. I think it’s so true and its so difficult to fall out of this trap once your caught in it. I was recently reading something about helpers high and that it comes when we do do something kind for others and it can actually be very beneficial for the do-er as well but again anything to an extreme even kindness is not healthy. Knowing how to say no is more important than saying yes because it is the NO’s that allow us to properly come through on the YES’s in life after we prioritized what those YES’s are.

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    Chavy
    Participant

    In response to Chany's post #5420:

    I can very much relate to this but in a different way. I’m very needy and not as self sufficient as I’d like to be. I do have a tendency to become co-dependent and expect or rely too much on others when I can find whatever i need in myself. I rely a bit too much on others for my self-worth. @Chany, I also feel that my “addiction” can turn into a vicious cycle: Look for the validation, get it or don’t get it. If I get it, I feel great. If I don’t get it, I feel empty and look for it more and more until I realize it’s time to stop and start looking within. Do you relate to that too?

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    Chany
    Participant

    @chavy yes it sounds very similar to me. What’s important i think is realizing the cycle and catching yourself prior to looking for it. Not sure if that makes sense. I think we all look for validation its the extremes that are no good. If you feel like you’re doing it to an extreme try stopping yourself once a day or maybe once a week?

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    Chavy
    Participant

    In response to Chany's post #5507:

    Hi @Chany, I feel relieved that you’re able to relate and feel less alone.Yes, that makes sense. I am kind of doing it in extremes but I’m trying to turn my phone off at certain points of the day and not look at my phone the second it buzzes. Not looking at my phone (when it’s on and next to me) is SOOO hard to do!!!

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    Chany
    Participant

    In response to Chavy's post #5508:

    Yes- do that, control yourself and keep trying for longer durations, its like a muscle and the more you exercise it the stronger it will become and it will be less tempting. I notice the more i give in to the checking of my phone the stringer the habit becomes the more i refrain initially it’s difficult but then it reaches a point where it gets easier.

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    Mitchell
    Participant

    I agree. Like everything, dependency on your phone is something you have to work at to overcome. The more you work at it, the easier it will be.  They even have apps to help with things like this, such as ClearLock, QualityTime, and Pause. These are meant to help you unplug, and turn your attention to what really matters.

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    Chavy
    Participant

    In response to Mitchell's post #5565:

    Yes, I am working on it. I’m using the DBT skill called STOP to help me. Thought apps can be helpful, I don’t think i would use one bc it might reinforce my problem. I want the solution to come from me – not from the phone.

    In response to Chany's post #5515:

    Yes, it definitely is a muscle to work at! It’s so true that the more you give into the impulse of checking, the stronger it becomes. And, so much easier said than done… You need to STOP, identify emotions, work through them… There’s a lot to it. I guess that’s with anything worthwhile in life.

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    Mitchell
    Participant

    In response to Chavy's post #5591:

    This makes sense. The best change comes from within, and I really respect that you’re taking the initiative to get there yourself. Good luck!

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