Why Taking On Another Person’s Problem Is Bad For THEIR Health

Why Taking On Another Person's Problem Is Bad For THEIR Health

By Lynn Newman

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

Confession time: I used to think it was my job to take on other people’s problems, especially in my closest relationships.

Quite honestly? I did it to feel better about myself. But every single time I tried to fix or help, I ended up pushing those I loved away rather than creating the closeness I craved.

They were like: “Hey, I’m a big boy/girl! I know how to take care of this myself!”

And then I was like: “You know what? You DO have you own inner resources to take care of you. WHY was I making this about myself?”

As a creative, empathetic, feeling and intuitive being, I can “feel” the people around me, especially those I care about and love the most — It’s hard for me not to get involved.

Can you relate? Do you know that feeling of seeing someone else in pain or having difficulty and wanting to help fix their problems?

But what would happen if we didn’t take on what another person carries?

It might seem selfish, but we do others a great disservice by fighting their battles for them. We take their power away and no longer allow them to figure things out for themselves.

In essence — and I know this seems harsh, but it’s true — when we do this, we’re trying to control another to reap the benefit. And usually, it’s to feel better about ourselves or to get something we want, without even realizing it. Many times, in a desire to help another, we end up trying to control our relationships and our environment as a way to feel safe and protected.

I finally realized my only job was to listen to those I love, and have compassion; to be in my heart and care; and to never try to change anything about another person’s experience or take that away from them.

One of My Greatest Life Lessons:

It’s not my job to heal another. It’s my job to let them wrestle with God themselves.

‘Cause that’s the ONLY way we ALL learn and grow. By reaching our own conclusions.

It took forever… but I finally got it. Rather than see how I could change another, my priority became about what I needed to change in ME.

So, this week, can you offer heart-centered listening rather than offering advice to someone you care about?

Wishing the other people in your life a compassionate week!


Previous articles by Lynn Newman:

About the author:

Lynn NewmaLynn Newman has a Masters in Counseling Psychology, is a writer, painter and game creator (like The Game of Insight – An Interactive Way To Know Yourself, Create The Life You Want). She’s big on supporting others in having fun in their creative endeavors and unleashing the truest, free-est parts of you — to experience more joy, more purpose, and more passion in life.

Find out more at LynnNewman.com or connect with Lynn via www.facebook.com/lynnzavaronewman


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  • Jessy Shaw

    I think that’s totally different than what this article is getting at. I think this article is talking more about mental help and struggles rather than physical help, like with your mother. For example, if I have a boss or a friend that is always stressed out about something or if they are always having some kind of drama in their day to day, it is not going to be my job to take on their stress with them (even though I feel it!)…..that won’t help anything. It just makes two stressed out people. Does that make sense?

    • Gabriela

      I completely agree that this is about something else… It’s about detaching yourself because “helping” other people to solve THEIR life is another type of control.

      It was an amazing post. I felt completely identified and it opened my eyes to what I’ve been doing… And even more now, that actually a couple of days ago I realised I had so many people around me with sever issues and I thought “oh it’s because I need to help them” (which didn’t quite sound right based on the fact everything is a reflection of what we need to learn)… And it WAS a reflexion of my control issue!!!

      Thanks for a great post