It’s so funny after doing this work for the last 17 years, sometimes things will run in patterns and trends. We’ll have a month where so many of the clients that I’m working with are wrestling with the same issues. Apparently, this month is unofficially emotional caretakers’ month. That’s what’s up and active in the conversations I’m having with lots of amazing people.
How to know if you’re an emotional caretaker
If you are an emotional caretaker, I think it’s time that you and I have a little chat. You’ll know you’re a caretaker if you take care of everybody else’s feelings and if you take on their feelings. Sympathizing instead of empathizing. You’ll also know that you’re a caretaker if you really are focused on others and you go out of your way to try to prevent your partner, your loved ones, your kids from experiencing any distress and try to make it all perfect for them. You’ll also know you’re a caretaker if you frequently fail to identify your own feelings and fail to assert your needs and put those on the table.
Emotional caretakers are some of the most warm, loving, thoughtful, caring people I have ever met on the entire planet. They really are. However, if you are an emotional caretaker, you are fired. You are fired from taking care of everyone else, and here’s why.
Why you’re being fired
We live in a society that has a completely dysfunctional relationship with feelings and emotions. Emotional caretakers interfere when they try to prevent the people they love from being in distress and that’s actually working against my cause. I want the people in your life to be able to feel their feelings. If you swoop in and make everything perfect, that’s going to get in the way of them developing their own emotional intelligence, which I know for a fact is actually going to serve them for years and years to come.
More importantly, I would like for you to formerly quit that role as an emotional caretaker because it’s actually a complete distraction from the true task at hand, which is to focus on you and to pay more attention to what needs you have that are not being met and to do a better job asserting healthy boundaries. Healthy boundaries are something that enhances the planet. They make homes more cozy and predictable, and relationships feel more safe. It’s something that is good for all of us.
Food for thought – I just fired you. Are you willing to quit those behaviors and leave them behind?
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