Sam I Am.
My name is Kathy, and I'm an over-giver. Always have been but never thought much about it, that is until it was brought to my attention to think about why I am such an over-giver. This habit of helping others, over-giving, is pretty common actually and it is something that animals regularly bring up during soul-level animal communication readings that I do for people (I tend to attract people with similar personality traits that want to do readings with me).
There's being a nice person, wanting to help people, and wanting to do nice things for others and then there is that times 10 or 100 or 1000. I was definitely at least a 100x person... Because I used to (notice my past-tense!, if nothing else, I'm optimistic too!) over-give to the point that it was detrimental to me. I over-gave because I was trying to prove my worth and show that I was good enough and lovable. I spent much of my life never not only always saying "yes", but not even thinking that saying no was an option. And it didn't bother me at all. Until it did. And then, watch out, because I was pissed and super full of resentment.
I was the person who never had an opinion on where to go dinner, what movie to see, you name it. If a friend (sometimes even an acquaintance!) needed something, they wouldn't even have to ask -- just mention it in passing and I would volunteer to loan/do/buy whatever they needed. And this was all very alright with me, it helped me feel good about myself, except when it didn't.
And once I started working on my own stuff, my over-giving habits reared their ugly heads. Because once I realized why I never had an opinion on things, it occurred to me that it wasn't that I didn't have opinions, it was that I put other people happiness ahead of my own, so I never expressed my opinions. And like I tend to do, once this realization was in place I swung the pendulum the other direction. I was bound and determined to not over-give, to always have an opinion, to get what I wanted, when I wanted it. Shockingly, this change didn't make me feel good at all. Because I am a nice person, and I like to give gifts and help out where I can. Just not all the time. Not when it doesn't work for me. It was around the time I was struggling with finding the sweet spot between doing too much for people to prove my worth and doing nothing for anyone but myself that I heard Brene´ Brown talking about struggling with the same thing and how before making a decision around giving to others says to herself three times "choose discomfort over resentment" -- as in, say no now (which is so uncomfortable for us over-givers) so you don't resent the person/situation/etc. later. It's a really cool little mantra to use to help decide if I truly *want* to be doing something, or just feel like I should.
A perfect real-world example of this happened recently... A dear friend of mine was preparing for her St. Patricks Day wedding celebration and really, really wanted deviled eggs (dyed green in honor of the holiday). I didn't offer up my help right away; instead, I gave it some thought, determined I really did want to contribute to making her special day a little more fun and let her know that I would make the eggs for her. All 144 of them. Was this a case of over-giving? I don't think so -- I was doing something special for someone who is very special to me and my family, on a very big day for her. I wouldn't have agreed to do it for just anyone, but I'm so glad I did for her.