July 12, 2011

The Chronic Helping Tic 30-Day Challenge

Have you ever had one of those days (weeks, years) where things are not going well and then you read something that seems as if it was meant for you at that exact moment?

Well, I had one of those moments this past weekend. A bit of background - my brother passed away over a year ago and for the first time in 19 years, my dad and I were not invited to my niece's birthday party. (Did I mention they live on the same block, just .2 miles away?) I am sure my brother is turning over in his grave. Things change when someone dies and I am just tired of it all.Then I opened up the July issue of O Magazine and read two articles that were written just for me. The first was by Martha Beck. She wrote about "loving without caring" and how "sanity begins the moment you admit you're powerless over other people."

I am a very caring person; too caring and it has to stop. If you open up my veins, caring and thoughtfulness would ooze out.

I am that person who if I hear you mention a food or product or whatever that you may like, I will be somewhere and spot it and then give it to you. If I read an article I think you might find interesting, I will clip it out and give it to you.

But it is time to focus on ME which brings me to the second article, "The Helping Tic" written by Diana Spechler. "One woman goes on a 30-day mission to cure an awkward affliction: the unbridled impulse to offer unsolicited aid."

Ms. Spechler talks about "CHT - the chronic helping tic." This tic fits me to a tee!

I dole out unsolicited advice. I help my sister-in-law since she is clueless (she really is). If you are looking for a job, heck, I'll network for you.

But I can no longer do this because it is not appreciated and I just get hurt in the end (and not invited to a birthday party).In order to cure this tic, I need to "not help less but become more mindfully helpful" and when I get the urge to help, I need to ask myself the following question, "If I never receive credit or thanks for this favor, do I still want to grant it?"

So for 30 days, I am going to not help at all.

Now, if I see an old lady fall in the middle of the street, I will of course assist her. But if you are having problems with your man, I will tell you how great you are and that you will be okay. I will not however, set you up on a date.

I will share with you how well I do for the next 30 days, because I know I am going to do well.

Are you ready to take the challenge with me?images


Ellen said...

OMG, how incredibly selfish and insensitive of your SIL to not include you for your niece's party. Unfortunately you can't pick your relatives. I have a brother and SIL who are the same way - I spent years baby sitting and helping them out and taking them to all kinds of fun places, only to find that their legal guardians in case of emergency was her sister who never spent time with my three nephews and one niece. Oh, and my parents spent hours watching their children only to be rewarded by moving 1.500 miles away just at the time when my parents might actually need their help!

Good luck with your 30 day mission. I'm sure it will be difficult, but sometimes we just need to think about ourselves, instead of others.

Miss Kitty said...

OUCH! I'm so sorry your feelings were hurt...you ARE a very giving person...you helped ME so much with advice when I was just starting my blog and you don't even know me...(oops, I'm getting teary now for you). I'm sure the non-invite to the party was just "salt in the wound".

~Kori~ said...

I am so sorry this happened to your family! As if losing your brother wasn't enough...
One would think that she would allow the grandfather and totally awesome aunt of her daughters to share in their life and help them see all they do have in the wake of their father's passing.
I can totally relate in two ways.
You see, when my grandpa died two years ago, the already strained 'relationship' I had with my mom went from worse to unbelievable. She was out of control and making stuff up about me and my grandma (like, for instance, that we were planning a 'secret' funeral!! Who would even think such a thing??) to tell my other family members. Those relationships were strained as well until the people involved realized how absurd the things being said were. There was so much more than that, but that was the beginning and still I can't talk to her.
I feel like death is more than the death of a person - it can sometimes mean the death of a whole family as we know it.
The other way I can relate is my own SIL. She (and her family) has done things to my family, and me personally, that my brother either turns a blind eye to, or truly doesn't understand (which would floor me as I've told him straight out what she does). It has strained our once super tight relationship and I don't even know my nephew. I've seen him maybe six times in his whole life (he's almost four) and all those times total maybe 10 hours. When they would come to visit, her family was so much more important to visit.
I have helped them financially and other ways through the years, but none of my actions seem appreciated.
It's so hurtful. I still don't know how to deal with all the emotions I have due to these things.
Anyway, sorry this is so long and personal, but you were brave enough to share, so I wanted to be as well. Sometimes it's easier to know you're not the only one suffering.
I hope your SIL sees the error of her ways and brings you and your dad back into the family fold...
P.S. I love the quotes you put into your posts...

MicheleV said...

You wrote such a thought provoking article! Try and have a relationship with our neice and forgot about the SIL.
I look forward to reading about the next 30 days!

Beauty Blogger Bri said...

All I can say is...I know exactly how you feel :( I'm sorry you and your dad didn't get invited to the party.

Meyer Family said...

thanks I needed that.I had a meltdown this week and those quotes helped a lot.

even though the sil may not appreciate you the niece will in ways you may not see. keep being there for her.

beccalouise said...

I can relate. My uncle died, and my aunt (his wife) decided to turn her kids against my grandmother (their grandmother too), and then my mom, and then all of us. I don't know why, it doesn't make sense. She didn't even have a chair for my grandmother to sit in at the side of the grave of her own son when the rest of the family (her side) was sitting. She is not evil, I don't know why she has changed. But you're right, sometimes things do change. It does hurt when family members decide they don't want to be in your family anymore for no apparent reason. Thanks for your insight on the situation. I am visiting your blog for the first time and it's great.

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