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Old 03-29-2013, 06:17 AM
 
Location: The State Line
2,275 posts, read 3,169,045 times
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What do you do when you find yourself doing too much for people? How do you scale back and what steps are/have you taken?

I realize I have been too nice at work. I'm one of those that doesn't mind helping out and will do stuff, because it has to be done. But then I get frustrated later on because I realize by doing certain things, other people assume I will always do it, and if I don't get it done, it doesn't get done.

I know I'm speaking general, but I feel the more I do, the more I get pulled in other directions, and I find myself always going. Meanwhile I've also realized the more I do, the more they expect, and the one or few times I say "no" or don't respond as expected, they get upset. So I feel like I get less in return. As a result, I'm more conscious of what I do and am scaling back on what I'll do.

Anyone have similar stories?

Last edited by LexWest; 03-29-2013 at 06:44 AM..
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:02 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
7,215 posts, read 7,905,475 times
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Setting boundaries is very important. One strategy might be, "Sorry, I just don't have time for that as I'm already working on X, Y, and Z". That can set a boundary without making giving the other person the excuse that you're being lazy or unhelpful.

Another strategy might be to say something like, "That sounds great! I can definitely help out with that project. Let's have a meeting about it so we can figure out a gameplan. Shoot me an email with a time when you want to meet." That puts the impetus back on the other person to initiate things.
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:47 AM
 
Location: SoCal again
16,030 posts, read 12,818,958 times
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Been there, done that. Cost me alot of money and effort to be the helpful idiot.

You have to learn to be more selfish.

I have helped when nobody else helped. People get used to it and don't appreciate it anymore. They start to EXPECT it from you. If you then say NO once, they are mad and make you the bad guy. Even though you already helped more than anybody else.

But they aren't mad at other people when they say no because they are used to get rejected from them.

I learned to not always make other peoples' problems to my problems. Every time somebody complained about something, I felt the need to help. Some people just need to vent and don't even expect help.

So if somebody tells you "Oh, I am so stressed out, because .. and I don't have anybody helping me ..." Don't do the usual, offering help.

Offer solutions or empathy. Either say "Oooh, you poor thing, that must be hard on you". Or "Oooh, poor thing, luckily you have a big family that can help, right?" Or "I hope you find something to help with that..." Or in a little meaner way "I feel for you, I am glad I don't have to deal with that". That puts a stop to it right away. Try it, it works!
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Old 03-29-2013, 11:56 AM
 
Location: NY
9,070 posts, read 15,026,816 times
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Definately setting boundaries. However, once set, you have to be sure you maintain them!

It will be difficult to scale back the help now that it is expected because those you are "helping" will not want to see their own workload increase. However, for your own sanity, it will need to be done.

Sometimes you have to say "no" for your own good.
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Old 03-30-2013, 03:09 PM
 
3,317 posts, read 3,019,678 times
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I am very much like the OP. I try to be helpful, but others see it as an opportunity to take advantage. The more I worked, the more sitting and surfing my co-workers did.

Quote:
So if somebody tells you "Oh, I am so stressed out, because .. and I don't have anybody helping me ..." Don't do the usual, offering help. Offer solutions or empathy.
Or just say, "I'm sure you'll be able to handle it." LOL
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:00 AM
 
3,752 posts, read 7,482,370 times
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Say no.
Say I would love to but I dont have the capacity
Say - I really need to set boundaries and ensure I am able to handle my responsibilities
or - just say - cant. Sorry (that is optional).
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:44 PM
 
Location: In my skin
9,048 posts, read 14,316,028 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LexWest View Post
What do you do when you find yourself doing too much for people? How do you scale back and what steps are/have you taken?

I realize I have been too nice at work. I'm one of those that doesn't mind helping out and will do stuff, because it has to be done. But then I get frustrated later on because I realize by doing certain things, other people assume I will always do it, and if I don't get it done, it doesn't get done.

I know I'm speaking general, but I feel the more I do, the more I get pulled in other directions, and I find myself always going. Meanwhile I've also realized the more I do, the more they expect, and the one or few times I say "no" or don't respond as expected, they get upset. So I feel like I get less in return. As a result, I'm more conscious of what I do and am scaling back on what I'll do.

Anyone have similar stories?
This was the story of my life. When you do too much for people, when you are a pleaser, you will attract crappy people. And they don't like it when you set boundaries.

I finally reached a point where my life, the people in it and the choices I made exhausted me. I was worn out, from the inside out. And I no longer wanted to please anymore. It was a really tough time moving away from all that. I lost a lot of, what I thought, were friends. And because they were in my life for so long, I had attachments to them, even though I was better off without them. My loyalties and my character were under attack. *I* was a crappy friend. I eventually stopped focusing on how wrong all of it was, accepted that is just is, it has nothing to do with me and I put it behind me. I don't deal with any of that now. I have quality people in my life. The rest, and those like them, really want nothing to do with me. I have no supply to offer them.

When you make the decision to get right with yourself and make yourself a priority, you will attract people who respect you, without fail. Old habits die hard, you may fall back into the same traps. It's probably all you know. So, it will take some reprogramming, so to speak.
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:13 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,005 posts, read 17,327,635 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaseMan View Post
Setting boundaries is very important. One strategy might be, "Sorry, I just don't have time for that as I'm already working on X, Y, and Z". That can set a boundary without making giving the other person the excuse that you're being lazy or unhelpful.

Another strategy might be to say something like, "That sounds great! I can definitely help out with that project. Let's have a meeting about it so we can figure out a gameplan. Shoot me an email with a time when you want to meet." That puts the impetus back on the other person to initiate things.
Excellent examples.

I will keep them in mind the next time that people try to get me to do more than my fair share (which is often).
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Old 03-31-2013, 06:33 PM
 
47,573 posts, read 60,610,897 times
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Can you start showing them how?

I do a lot for people at work but usually it's because I can do it and they can't, or is't something they know I can figure out and they're afraid to try.

Sometimes if I start thinking it's too much, I remind them I might be gone sometime on vacation and maybe they'd want to see how easy it is to do -- usually at least someone is happy to learn.
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:39 PM
 
487 posts, read 691,089 times
Reputation: 606
Quote:
Originally Posted by PassTheChocolate View Post
This was the story of my life. When you do too much for people, when you are a pleaser, you will attract crappy people. And they don't like it when you set boundaries.

I finally reached a point where my life, the people in it and the choices I made exhausted me. I was worn out, from the inside out. And I no longer wanted to please anymore. It was a really tough time moving away from all that. I lost a lot of, what I thought, were friends. And because they were in my life for so long, I had attachments to them, even though I was better off without them. My loyalties and my character were under attack. *I* was a crappy friend. I eventually stopped focusing on how wrong all of it was, accepted that is just is, it has nothing to do with me and I put it behind me. I don't deal with any of that now. I have quality people in my life. The rest, and those like them, really want nothing to do with me. I have no supply to offer them.

When you make the decision to get right with yourself and make yourself a priority, you will attract people who respect you, without fail. Old habits die hard, you may fall back into the same traps. It's probably all you know. So, it will take some reprogramming, so to speak.
Know exactly how you feel.
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