Why do I offer to do things or help with something if later I will regret it or be pissed off because it didn’t turn out the way I thought it would? Do any of you find yourselves in this situation? It seems like all of the women in my family are like this. We all seem to feel obligated to go above and beyond for others, and then we are annoyed because the others don’t seem appreciative.
In trying to unravel the “why does this keep happening”. The first thing I realized is the fact that these situations don’t end up the way I thought they would …clearly means that I had expectations going into the task. I think expectations set me up for failure unless those expectations are communicated and agreed to, but of course, when I’m helping someone – I’m suppose to be doing it just to help, right? Ah! Well, there might be the second thing to notice. If I were doing it just to help, I wouldn’t have any expectations, now would I?
Maybe another thing to ask myself is…what do I regret about how the situation ended up or how did I expect it to turn out? That answer should uncover my hidden expectation. Once I uncover that expectation, then I really have the answer to the “Why did I offer to do help in the first place”?
So with all this self exploration, what have I learned? I think I offer to help people with an expectation of appreciation, returned affection, or praise. It is clear that is the case because when that isn’t returned – I’m offended. I say things like “I didnt spend 4 hours of my day doing this just to be blown off or taken for granted”. Did they ask me to spend 4 hours on them? Did they ask me to put in more time, energy, or effort than I was willing to give? Of course not. I chose to do it under the guise of helping, but it was really in search of validation and acceptance.
So there’s the answer to why I frequently offer to help and then am pissed off at the end results…because I’m not actually doing it to help. I’m doing it either out of some feeling of obligation (that I am not actually obligated to do) or to get at some needed emotion that I’ve been searching for off and on my entire life.