Q&A with Dr. Carletta Perry: I feel like I have nothing left

Published 9:08 pm Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Q: Everyone wants something from me, and I just feel like I have nothing left for myself. How do I stop this?

A: Hello and happy holidays! This is the season of giving, and sometimes we can give too much. It sounds like you have a big heart, but that sure can get us in trouble.

Therefore, first, I want to address why you give. You wrote that everyone wants something from you, and you feel like you have nothing left for yourself.

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But what is it that you receive when you give? Something tells me you are dependable, you love being needed, and being needed makes you feel special. You have secured your place in everyone’s life so that they need you and depend on you.

You have said “yes” so much that hearing “no” from you might sound strange, or even mean. In fact, you may feel a little guilt — at first.

However, here’s a few things I want you to remember about giving. Giving to others is a wonderful attribute to have, but you must now learn how to give. Always give from your heart and give what you want to give. However, don’t expect people to give back to you the same way you gave to them.

Give only what you can afford to give, and never give your last. Know that everyone’s problem is not your problem; therefore, you don’t have to say “yes” to every request.

Finally, know that some people’s needs are not needs at all; rather, their needs are wants, and they may be using you to get what they want. Don’t let your love of giving and need to be needed cause you to be taken advantage of by those who intentionally seek to take from nice people.

When you learn how to properly give, you can give with true joy, without the side effects. You can give without feeling resentment and possibly save yourself from some of the heartache. You can give without feeling like you have been taken advantage of. You can give without giving all of yourself or feeling burned out, drained, and empty.

In summary, don’t stop being a wonderful, giving person. However, remember to assess why and how you give as you move through the holiday season and life!

Happy holidays. May all that you give to others be returned to you in many special ways.

Dr. Carletta N. Perry offers therapeutic life, relationship and career coaching. Catch her television show, “It’s Life Changing with Dr. Carletta Perry,” Sundays at 11:30 p.m. on WSKY/SKY-4 and on YouTube. Email her at contact@drcarlettaperry.com.