Three instances should give us pause before diving in to help someone.
1. Sometimes life gets in the way, and crises often happen at the most inconvenient times.
Your best friend’s relationship is crumbling right when you have a major deadline. Just when it feels extra challenging to take care of ourselves, we’re sometimes called upon to take care of others. And when we’re stressed, research shows we are less likely to feel empathy for other people.
2. The person you care about is actually really hard to care for.
Some things – like dementia, major mental illness, addiction – are way more emotionally and financially demanding than you can handle.
3. There are people in our lives who are takers, who will always want more than we can reasonably give.
Emotional vampires exist. Some people have no filter on their emotions for even the smallest of life’s grievances. They’re always disappointed in others and they’re really hard people to give to.
In these moments, show compassion for yourself. Recognize that maybe you cant do it all or don’t want to do it all. Not because you hate being inconvenienced, but because you recognize you cant give without feeling depleted and, thus, resentful.