Codependents are often caretakers which seems like a great quality except we tend to do it at our own expense and often when help isnt wanted or needed. The result is a codependent pattern of rescuing, resenting, and regretting.Rescuing, Resenting, and Regretting: A Codependent Pattern – Sharon Martin, LCSW
Rescuing is an unhealthy version of helping. It resembles enabling and tries to change or fix other people.
To distinguish rescuing from true helping, its useful to question your motivation for helping and expectations regarding the outcome. True help is given with an open heart, with no strings attached, and no expectations.
Its done because we want to help not because we feel like we have to or because well feel guilty if we dont.
And it doesnt foster dependence by doing things for others that they can do for themselves.
Helping out of obligation rather than because you want to (people-pleasing)
Rescuing gives us a purpose; it makes us feel needed, which is something codependents crave. Were prone to low self-esteem, so rescuing becomes our identity and help us feel important or worthwhile.
It tends to be the result of dysfunctional family dynamics, cultural roles, and societal expectations.
Often, early experiences of feeling out of control and ineffective get imprinted on us and as adults, we repeat our failed efforts to rescue people without being consciously aware of the connection between the past and present.
Many of us continue rescuing behaviors in adulthood because we were taught its what we should do and we havent stopped to consider whether its working or whether we have other choices.
We think its our duty or job to take care of everyone and everything.
We believe others will suffer if we dont rescue them.
We think we know better than others and have the answers to their problems.
In the beginning, codependents have a rescue fantasy: We think we can rescue our loved one and fix her problems. And as a result, shell be happy and grateful. And well feel loved, appreciated, and valued.
Instead, our failed rescue attempts leave us feeling hurt, angry, and resentful.
Understandably, we often get anger in return from the person we just tried to help.
Our rescuing becomes enabling and although we realize its not going to change our loved ones behavior, we continue the pattern of rescuing, resenting, and regretting.
If you feel taken advantage of by those youre trying to help, the solution is to stop throwing on your Superman cape and running to the rescue.
We mistakenly think that rescuing others is the solution to our feelings of resentment and regret, but in reality, rescuing is the source of these difficult feelings.
In addition to resentment and regret, it results in self-neglect and missing out on our own lives because were so focused on others. Sometimes, we lose our interests, goals, values, and health.
Refrain from giving advice or help that wasnt requested.
Codependent thinking and behavior patterns are notoriously hard to break because they were established early in life and reinforced for years and years. That doesnt mean its impossible to change; it just means that youll need to practice a lot, have patience, and be kind to yourself.
或許在工作上，很大程度的過度commit是來自很多年前失敗的研究生生活。看到最後那句be kind to yourself，有點想哭。
A common hesitation from participants is, “I don’t know how I would react if they said; no, I am not OK”.Helper vs Rescuer – Oliver Brecht
This can be achieved through them engaging in their known support strategies, or maybe engaging in professional support.
Being a helper is where we help the individual uncover the path forward.
As humans we all have a “righting reflex” within us. That want and desire to assist someone immediately when we see them in pain and know a way to reduce that pain.
You need to be with, not do with to assist someone to move forward. And sitting with someone, although it is daunting, it’s something we can all do.
Rescuing on the other hand is where we take responsibility for the person’s “recovery” from the issue.
The issue with rescuing is that the outcomes are not positive, and at best will resolve the issue only momentarily.
You can disempower the person through disallowing them the opportunity to take action. You also deny the opportunity for the individual to learn from the experience and learn good coping skills.
Another major issue is that you put yourself at risk. Firstly the stress of trying to relieve someone’s distress can be immense, particularly if your immediate actions don’t seem to have any affect.
Secondly, you can also become the villain by promising to do something and not coming through or evoking the change you said it would. This can result in the person feeling let down and potentially blaming you for the position they find themselves in.
Just being with someone can be an immense help and something which may not help immediately, but plant the seed of change in the individual for the future.