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Advice that could help others.

LuxLuca

Kermit the Frog
Hello there!

Last week my therapist gave some suprisingly simple but effective task that I thought I'd share.

For context, I have a huge issue with saying "no" to people that need my help. I'm studying psychology and have worked in the field as a mental healthcare professional for some time now and am, despite the stereotype, very good at deciphering and understanding the emotions and thought process of others.

As much as this is something I am proud of it has the downside of spotting people in need quite easily. I've developed something I've labelled a 'Hero complex', I cannot leave someone that 'feels' like they need help alone. (At my own expense and often that of my direct environment.)

I've noticed that not being able to say 'no' is a common trait under us on the spectrum, we often forget ourselves and feel like the (potential) negative response of saying no weights greater than the consequence on us personally.

I've been trying for years to put down more boundaries but I simply cannot estimate where they start or end. It's much like not knowing how long a hug is supposed to last, so you get uncomfortable but don't want to insult anyone.. so you, albeit awkwardly, keep holding on for the sake of the other (or the situation).

To combat the accumulation of stress, my therapist gave me the task to just set a time in advance. I can say yes, but only for a predetermined time. If my friend is feeling bad and wants to talk I will help them, look at the clock and factor in how much time I'd could/be willing to spend on this (Anywhere between 30min to 2 hours) and communicate this ("I have to leave in xyz minutes, but I can talk"). After the time is up I have to wrap up and take a step back.

This felt very uncomfortable at first, but it's having a good impact on my social battery! It also helps with managing other people's expectations of me, they know when to expect me to leave. I think it requires a bit of tuning per individual but I'd figure that maybe it could be of help to someone else!

Let me know your thoughts and maybe experiences!
 

theidealist

Member
Don't be so hard on yourself. Remember to practice self-compassion and take some time to unwind after doing your duties.

I have a bad habit of overthinking especially when it comes to what should I do or my level of productivity. So I've noticed that sticking to routines and setting 10 minutes a day just for worrying helps.
Don't forget that you're a valid human being and your worth is not determined by your achievments. Striving for perfection is great but not at all cost; and making mistakes is actually helpful when you have the right mindset.

If you don't rest enough mentally and physically, you'll be spiralling down burnout in no time. Don't be afraid to set boundaries at your workplace, you don't have to answer your business calls when you have a day off.

So, in general, prioritize your health and well-being. It's crucial.
 

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