Doing things for others too often


I have been thinking of how often I get hooked into doing things for other people that I really do not want to do. I’m a pretty helpful person and I like that, but I feel that others take advantage of me because of it.

I’m pretty easy going and I really do not have strong preferences about many things. I like to do a lot of activities so I can have a good time doing just about anything. If my husband wants to do something I’m content with most things he chooses. My friends are the kind of friends that expect me to do the bulk of the work when I’m with them. If there is a get together, I’m the one who gets stuck with most of the chores. It might be that I have said yes to things in the past and now people want me to continue saying yes. However it is, I would like to get past this others using me problem.


I usually tell people that are in your situation to say yes when they mean yes and no when they mean no. For example, someone asks you for a favor, you put into practice what I just mentioned. Your reply might be something like: I’m not taking on any projects right now, can you tell me what the favor is? They tell you and you really do not want to do it, you just kindly tell them you can’t help them. If you have said yes so many times before, your friend will probably keep asking and you just say no again. In addition, you might tell them to let you know ahead of time, and you might be able to help next time. If you are a yes person, people will want you to do what you have done, and they will probably persist in asking. That is manipulative. You just say yes if you mean yes, and no if you mean no.

It sounds simplistic, but it allows you to think before you say yes, and to practice making decisions based on what you want to do. Take a stand and decide for yourself. I am also wondering if you have been so helpful because you want others to like you.

To submit problems, contact Juanita Sanchez, psychotherapist, by email at [email protected] or through High Plains Journal.