In general, someone could act as though they are merely an extension of others. The reason for this is that they could tend to say yes if another person asks them if they will do something for them.

And, even if they are not asked to do something, they could still be doing things for others. Naturally, this is going to mean that they will give a lot of their time and energy to others.


If they had an unlimited amount of time and energy, it wouldn’t matter that they behaved in this way. But, as they don’t have an unlimited amount of time and energy, their own life is going to suffer.

However, thanks to how they live their life, they might not have much of a life. So, they could have a job that is soul-destroying, very few hobbies, rarely exercise or find time to relax and recharge.

One Outlook

Now, if another person were to point out that they do too much for others and are neglecting themselves, they could dismiss what is said. They could say that this is not true and that they like to be there for others, or something that is very similar.

Assuming that this is what they say, it will show that they believe that being there for others is the right thing for them to do. Yet, if they were to think about let alone change their behaviour, they could soon feel guilty and ashamed.

A Heavy Weight

But, although they can believe that they are behaving in the right way, as they are depriving themselves, there is likely to be a time when they won’t be able to behave in this way. Before they end up in this position, though, they can have moments when they are unable to function.

During these moments, they can feel totally drained and unable to do a great deal. For example, they might not be able to get out of bed, or, if they can, they might not be able to do much else.

One Conclusion

When this happens, they can believe that they are just unwell and go back to how they were before, once they are back on their feet. If they were to see their doctor, they could end up being diagnosed as having something wrong with them.

If this takes place, it could settle their mind and give them the sense that they know why they often feel so worn out. Nonetheless, as they won’t get to the bottom of why they go through these cycles, their life will continue to go in the same direction and won’t get any better.

Another Scenario

Now, assuming that they were to get to the stage where they can’t behave in this way anymore, they might look into why their life is this way. What they might soon come to see is that they lack boundaries.

In other words, they have an issue when it comes to being there for themselves and saying no to others. The outcome of this is that as they give so much to others, there is very little left for them.

It’s Normal

What they could see is that saying yes to others and being there for them is what feels comfortable, while saying no and being there for themselves doesn’t feel comfortable. At this point, they could struggle to understand why behaving in a way that is not serving them feels comfortable.

If they were to think about how long their life has been this way for, they could see that it has more or less always been this way. What this is likely to illustrate is that their early years were a time when they were not treated as an individual who had their own needs and feelings.

Back In Time

Throughout this stage of their life, their mother and perhaps their father might have seen them as nothing more than an object who was there to meet their needs. Thus, instead of being able to receive what they needed to grow and develop in the right way, they would have been greatly deprived and deeply wounded.

To handle this lack of attunement and love, they would have had to repress their feelings and a number of their needs and develop an outer-directed false self. Not being connected to themselves and being focused on their parent or parent’s needs would have been a way for them to survive and try to meet their needs.

An Adaption

In other words, they had to play a parental role as one or both of their parents were not there for them. There is a strong chance that one or both of their parents had been greatly deprived and deeply wounded during their formative years.

Due to how underdeveloped they were, they would have unconsciously done what they could to mould their child into the parent that they didn’t have. Their child would then have been there to give, not there to receive.

Drawing the Line

With this in mind, they were treated as though they were here to meet other people’s needs at this stage of their life and are not worthy of having their own needs let alone meeting their own needs. The truth is that they are not here to meet other people’s needs and are worthy of having and meeting their own needs.

To change their life, they are likely to have a lot of inner work to do. This is something that will take courage, patience and persistence.


If someone can relate to this and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.

Author's Bio: 

Author, transformational writer, teacher and consultant, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis cover all aspects of human transformation; including love, partnership, self-love, self-worth, enmeshment, inner child, true self and inner awareness. With over three thousand, six hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

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