I always give everything I’ve got to my relationships – to my husband, to my kids, and to my friends. I’m just realizing that I’m not getting anything back and I’m starting to feel resentful. I am the most giving person I know but why don’t people reciprocate at least a little bit?
A. Do you give to yourself as freely and easily as you do for others? Your generosity of heart needs to extend not only to others but also, and notably, to yourself. Do you take care of your own needs sufficiently? Do you love yourself? If you don’t, others may take advantage of you.
The reason is that the message you might be sending out unconsciously and on a subliminal level, is that you’re not as important as are other people. If that’s your truth and your core belief system, others will pick up on that and give you what you think you deserve, which may be nothing at all! The Universe works that way. Your internal beliefs and reality are reflected back to you in your experience of others. Everything we see and experience is a projection of our own internal landscape.
The challenge then becomes to find your way to truly accept and love yourself more fully. When you truly do this, people will respond to you in kind. Putting others first and taking care of their needs above your own can also be a form of codependency, which is essentially needing to be needed or being accustomed to, and dependent upon, others being dependent on you.
By the way, loving yourself more fully includes letting people know, in a gentle way, that you need something when you do. Also, consider your motivation: Why are you giving? Be as candid with yourself as you can be. If you’re giving with an expectation of a return, then you’re giving for the wrong reason. Giving is its own reward. Try these suggestions on for size and see how that feels.
If you’re struggling with these issues and feel you need help, consult a life coach, relationship coach or counselor to work with. Consider reading “Codependent No More” or find a local CODA group near you for information and support.