Stop Giving It Away: What Is Detrimental Caretaking?

Stop Giving It Away! Enough is enough!

What is “detrimental caretaking” anyway? In a nutshell, Detrimental Caretaking (DC) is when people indulge in self-sacrifice that is self-defeating; usually, without even knowing it. It is “giving it away.” Women do it most of the time. And they don’t even know they are doing it. What’s frustrating for me, is that I then see these women in my office suffering from depression, anxiety, resentment, anger and feeling “used” or victimized in some way.

DC is a dynamic that causes unnecessary pain and suffering. However, it is very complicated. Therefore,  I wrote a book about it titled, of course, “Stop Giving It Away.”

Maybe you are someone who gives a too much to others and then feels taken advantage of or used? Maybe you know someone who is the first to give of themself and the last to take care of their own needs? Most women fall somewhere in this category.

Important note: You have to be a kind, caring person to qualify under any of this. If you are a bitch, or a selfish narcissist, you need a different blog. Putting others’ needs first is DEFINITELY not your problem.  

But, you know who I am talking about. I was describing this book to my web designer, and she said, “Oh, you mean like my mom who would take us to McDonald’s and stare at our Happy Meals, but never order one for herself? … Or my sister, who is smart, strong and beautiful but has a lousy, jerk boyfriend who tells her she’s *&^^!” Exactly.

Those examples would qualify. Other examples are the moms who are exhausted after a long day of taking care of everyone else. Or, the woman at the Starbucks, who lets her manager talk down to her and feels bad about the guy she slept with who still hasn’t called.

Women are taught from a very early age that they are morally and ethically responsible to give up their needs, time, energies, ideas, goals, wants and desires for the good of others.

However, just because my blog and my book focus on women does not mean that women are the only ones that suffer from the DC dynamic. Detrimental caretaking is born of codependancy (hate that word), and men struggle with these issues too,  probably now more than ever. But because of cultural and gender expectations that influence women, detrimental caretaking usually manifests itself differently in men. So guys? You stay tuned too.

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