Are You Too Giving?

Are You Too Giving?


Celli Arenas

Are you giving too much?   Well, there is a difference between functional and dysfunctional helping and giving.  One should not stop helping completely, and just shut down. However, one should set helping boundaries when telltale signs of unhealthy helping appear.

HelpfulThese are a few of the “Twelve Red Flags of Dysfunctional Helping and Giving”:

1.  It’s increasingly obvious that your help and giving fosters dependence, irresponsibility, incompetence, or poor character.

Burn states, “Sometimes we have to face the fact that our good intentions have gone bad. Continuing to help and give under these conditions is a waste of our resources and isn’t really helpful. Remember healthy helping promotes other people’s growth, independence, and the development of their positive potential. Unhealthy (dysfunctional) helping does the opposite. Use you’re helping energies and resources to help people and causes that will truly benefit from your help.”  Know when to pull away and allow a person space to grow independently.

2.  The other person continues to violate.  Violations include numerous agreements, requires many bailouts, and hasn’t used the help to do as promised.touch

From the upcoming book “Beyond Declarations of Codependence: The Psychology of Dysfunctional Helping & Giving” by Shawn Meghan Burn, PhD, “At this point, it’s time to stop believing them and giving them chances, at least for now (once you get strong evidence that they are ready to use your help to progress in life, you might try helping them again). When people use your help to escape responsibility over and over again, it’s best to summon the strength to terminate your helping. Continuing to give to people who don’t uphold their end of the deal is a waste of your time and resources. If you continue, you’ll become increasingly angry and resentful.”  When it has been demonstrated that the other party won’t compromise.  You must let it go before you make yourself angry and resentful.  images-1

3.  The help or giving causes one to stagnate, or become stuck in an age-inappropriate earlier stage of development, or prevents them from developing needed life or professional skills.

Burn suggests, “You can be too helpful and in the process create people who can’t take care of themselves or do their jobs well. Unhealthy helping can doom others to be less than they’re capable of. Healthy helping promotes others’ independence and life progress; it doesn’t retard it.”  Do not allow yourself to step in the way of another persons growth.

4.  Your helping or giving requires you to be dishonest and/or compromises your integrity.

The examples that Burn describes are as follows:  ” making bogus excuses for another or covering for another, are almost never forms of healthy helping and giving. Healthy helping doesn’t typically involve deception, secrets, nor does it require that we violate our moral code.”

images-2Once you start lying for someone, it never stops.  You can hide a lie but you can’t hide the truth.

Finally,  you should pull back from “helping” those who take advantage of your help when it is more about you proving to yourself or others what a good person or family member you are. Be good to yourself, be nice to yourself, protect, preserve, and promote yourself.  When you help those who truly appreciate what you bring to the situation, you will feel the difference.

Discover more here : 12 Signs That You’re Giving Too Much

Excerpted from the upcoming book “Beyond Declarations of Codependence: The Psychology of Dysfunctional Helping & Giving” by Shawn Meghan Burn, PhD.

Have a great Monday,


Celli Arenas
Celli Arenas

Celli Arenas, published author, has been featured in several magazines, such as: MIA Magazine, Success Magazine, Legacy Magazine. She is the host blogger at, and hosts for BlogTalk Radio. She has also published two books, “30 Days of Dynamic Pursuit” a self-help journal, and “Sidetracked: He Used To Love Me”, a coming of age novel, both are available at

Follow@sidetrackedbook on Instagram & Twitter

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