Practicing self-care with firm boundaries can help you avoid feeling like a victim, even when you like being helpful and genuinely care deeply about others.
If you’ve taken pride in being a decent, ethical, loving, conscientious and considerate individual, chances are you never contemplated in depth that dire consequences could result from being an over giver – whether giving others the benefit of doubt or money, or otherwise offering a helping hand. As someone inclined to give, you’ve likely taken pride in but rarely considered the costs in a world with many different people who have different motives and operate from different values and perspectives.
Due to ignorance and ill will, toxic people generally view kindness as weakness — even though it actually is a strength. People who embody empathy, who are accustomed to giving and sharing positive qualities with others in personal and professional relationships, may be tempted to turn away from these strengths after a bad experience or series of negative life-changing events. Instead, refining these positive traits throughout life — by challenging assumptions and setting boundaries — is a more productive approach for avoiding ongoing victimization, rather than taking a simplistic, cynical and bitter stance that inherently deflates the good and dismisses the beauty of life.