Being a good Indian kid means that you’re responsible for everything, right? If the family needs something, you’re the one who will handle it. If your friends needs something, you’re the one who goes out of their way. If your work needs something, well, we’ll live at the office, right?
Hold on. This life sounds stressful and very unfulfilling. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to help others out. I think it’s a great thing. But what if it gets to the point where it’s just unrealistic? What if it gets to the point where you resent the people asking you for things and don’t even want to talk to them anymore?
What if it gets to the point where you don’t recognize yourself and you don’t know how to make yourself happy anymore?
I think there are a lot of people who take on too much responsibility. We sit there and try to do things because we feel like we should. We feel guilty putting ourselves and our health first. We need to learn to let things go and let others take care of themselves.
I used to get stressed out because a friend of mine had a lot of problems with his own family. I used to take that stress onto myself and try to find a solution to help him. The end result would be that nothing would change because he himself didn’t want to change anything. I had to learn to step away from that situation. I could be there as a friend and listen and offer my advice but that was it. It was not my responsibility to fix his relationships. It was my responsibility to be a good friend and be there when he needed me.
It’s hard to let go sometimes because we feel like we should be helping when someone needs it. But what if they don’t need it? What if they just choose not to do it and that leaves you feeling like you should be taking care of what they are responsible for? My sister just came to me and asked me to take a look at her resume so she can start looking for jobs. I accept that as something I would want to do for her. But if she needs to find a job and expects me to find it for her, then it’s a sign that I need to step away from the situation. It is clearly her responsibility and while I have no problem helping, I do not want to baby her and handle it for her.
This is just one example (and she just asked me to take a look at her resume; she wouldn’t ask me to find her a job) but I see similar occurrences in different places.
We need to learn where our responsibility and willingness to help starts and stops. Otherwise, we’ll drive ourselves crazy. Who would we be able to help then?