After feeling pretty exhausted and no longer having the energy to behave as they normally would, someone could think about how they find it hard to say no. What can be normal is for them to spend a lot of time doing things that they would rather not do.

They are then going to be like an emergency service, with them typically being there for others when they are called to do so. However, although being this way will allow them to be there for others, it will also cause them to turn their back on themselves.

Out of Balance

As they are often there for others, they could be used to receiving a lot of positive feedback. They could often be seen as being ‘selfless’ and as someone who is a ‘good’ person.

Alternatively, and even if they do receive positive feedback, there could be a number of people in their life who expect them to be there for them. These people are then going to believe that they are entitled to their time and energy.

A Tiring Existence

If they were to look back on their life, they could remember so many moments when they have not listened to themselves. This could be a time when they feel deeply frustrated, angry and helpless.

Yet, even though they will no longer want to live in this way, they could believe that there is not much that they can do. What can play a part in this is that they could find that when they go along with something that they don’t want to do, this is not something that they consciously choose to do.

A Strange Scenario

Therefore, it can be as if they are possessed by an external force and have no control over what happens. It might then seem as though someone or something ‘out there’ is in control of them.

Nonetheless, if they do believe that they have no control, it doesn’t mean that this is the truth. At this point, it will be a good idea for them to take a deeper look into why they are this way.

An Exercise

To gain a deeper understanding of why they behave in this way, they can imagine living a life where they do stand their ground and make it clear when they don’t want to do something. In the beginning, this could be something that will allow them to feel strong and be pleased with themselves.

But, as time passes, they could end up feeling anxious and fearful and guilty and ashamed. With this in mind, doing what is right for them is going to be seen as both a threat to their survival and something that is wrong.


After this, they could wonder why doing what is right for them feels like something that is a big risk and bad. Thanks to how strong this inner experience is, a big part of them could believe that being there for others is the right thing for them to do.

In reality, what takes place when it comes to them standing their ground is not a sign that being there for others is the right thing for them to do. In all likelihood, it shows that their early years were a time when they were not allowed to act like an individual who had their own needs and feelings.

A Dysfunctional Experience

During their formative years, and assuming that both of their parents were around, they wouldn’t have been seen as a separate being; they would have been seen as an extension of their parents. This is not to say that both parents had the same amount of control, though, as one parent is likely to have been in control.

This family, under the control of one parent, would have generally functioned like it was one entity. If this parent wanted them to do something, then, they would have had to have done it.

Other Elements

Additionally, just about everything may have had to have been done together. As a result of this, it wouldn’t have mattered if they wanted to do something by themselves, as they wouldn’t have been allowed to do so.

This would have stopped them from being able to freely express themselves and gradually have their own life. To handle what was going on, they would have been forced to lose touch with a number of their needs and feelings and create a disconnected false self.


Ultimately, they wouldn’t have received the attunement and love that they needed to stay in touch with themselves and develop a strong sense of self. Furthermore, they would have been conditioned to believe that their needs and feelings were bad.

To keep them in line, their parents may have threatened to harm and/or abandon them. There is a strong chance that this is something that took place regardless of how many hoops they jumped through to try to please them.

The Truth

As they were egocentric, they didn’t have the ability to see that their parents were most likely deeply wounded and developmentally stunted. There is a strong chance that they also came from families where they themselves were not allowed to act like an individual.

For them to slowly change their life, they will need to reconnect to themselves and work through the pain and experience their unmet developmental needs. This is something that will take courage and 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 covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, self-worth, enmeshment, inner child, true self and inner awareness. With over three thousand, two hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

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