Too Much of a Selfless Good Thing: Pathological Altruism | World of Psychology

A take on the risks of being overly altruistic (e.g., helicopter parenting, codependency, suicide martyrdom) to counterpose most of the thinking on the risks of selfishness. The usual recommendations: step back from the situation, think about the other person and what might work best for him or her, and whether intervention would help or hinder. And of course the person being helped also plays a role. Quote:

Of course, setting boundaries also means telling someone else if and when their attempts to help you are hurting. Prepare yourself in advance that their feathers might be ruffled by a confrontation, but keep in mind that this feedback is necessary to help stem their not-so-helpful behavior.

We needn’t question every one of our urges to lend a hand. But pausing to consider the perspective of someone we’re trying to help, as well as the long-term consequences of our seemingly selfless behavior, may lead us to deem breathing room a more benevolent antidote than smothering someone else with our love.

Too Much of a Selfless Good Thing: Pathological Altruism | World of Psychology.

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