Perhaps you consciously or subconsciously kept giving because you thought that you would get love, respect, a raise or something else for what you brought to the table. I mean, after all, you put your whole heart and soul into helping whoever received your gifts! It just doesn’t seem fair, does it?
Unfortunately, many “unselfish” women who do things constantly for others while neglecting their own needs, harbor resentment for the very people they serve. They become exhausted mentally, physically, and spiritually because there is not an equal exchange of energy. They are expending all of their life energy but are not receiving and thus replenishing.
Usually their resentment comes out in passive aggressive ways because they don’t want to rock the boat but are feeling frustrated by the lack of reciprocity.
This can happen in business or personal relationships.
Here is an example: Fran was working at a small business as an assistant to the owner. She helped him triple his business over the course of 7 years. Throughout her employment, her boss promised her that as he grew financially, so would she.
Wanting to be of incredible value and earn what she deserved Fran kept taking on more and more and more. Her boss was doing less and less and Fran was becoming exhausted and resentful. And to add insult to injury, she hadn’t gotten a raise in 7 years while her boss was spending money like a drunken sailor on extravagant vacations, vacation homes, etc.
Fran thought that if she did more he would see how valuable she was and give her a raise.
When that did not happen she knew she had to ask for a raise. When he didn’t give her the raise, due to his limiting beliefs around money, she was devastated. Fran felt betrayed by the very person she was incredibly loyal to.
Finally Fran came to the conclusion that her boss would always negate her value and not pay her what she was worth no matter how much she did and it was time to move on.
When Fran looks back, she wishes she had asked for what she really wanted years ago. If her boss had said no then she might have made the decision to leave earlier, before she had given so much of herself away.
Women fall into the giving trap in personal relationships as well. Many Mothers become martyrs to their children, thinking that it is selfish if they don’t wait on them hand and foot, give those tons of their hard earned money and basically enable them to be dependent. These parents give and give and give and then feel resentful, exhausted and under-appreciated by the same people they love the most.
The real trap is that often times the givers become passive aggressive and their frustration comes out in ways that they don’t mean. Often the ones that give the most become “the bad Guys”. People like to be around happy people, not resentful people.
Now I am not saying that you shouldn’t do a great job or give to your children. I believe that people should do a great job and be rewarded handsomely for the value they bring. And I believe that helping your children is incredibly important.
Teaching your children values, a sense of contribution as part of the family and complimenting them on fearlessly going after their dreams are ways that you can truly help them. However, dis-empowering them by coddling them at your expense is not the way. It is a trap that doesn’t serve you or them.
Here are some ways that you can recognize the giving trap:
~If you feel resentful, under-appreciated or taken for granted
~If you expect the other person to know what you want but they don’t and you are frustrated that they “don’t get it”
~If you feel exhausted, depleted or burnt out
If you are feeling any of the above, ask yourself. What do I want out of this relationship? How would I feel better about this? What boundaries do I need to put into place?
We will explore this much further in my FREE 7 Day Challenge starting May 12th (see below)
P.S. My FREE 7 day challenge –Baby Boomer Woman-NOW is Your Time to Fire up Your Life is coming up in May, and I can’t wait to share my tips on how to help you let go of fear and limiting beliefs, ignite your fire and finally become the woman you were born to be!
This easey peasey challenge will be delivered straight to your inbox. It will run May 12-19th with a FREE teleseminar on the 19th along with a Q&A and an opportunity for some laser coaching.
And there will be an awesome bonus for those of you who join me at the teleseminar on the 19th.
We will also have a private Face book Page where you can share support, ahas and have some fun. There will be prizes and bonuses along the way so check your inbox in May for details. I will be sending you a link to sign up at the beginning of May!