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Excuse #5 for Lack of Self-Care

There are times when our sense of purpose becomes so inextricably intertwined with the success of others, that we lose focus on our own path because of the overwhelming emphasis on someone else’s. And being so thoroughly involved in someone else’s life may not bode well for us, especially if this obsession becomes a self-care deterrent.


Excuse #5 for Lack of Self-Care – I Feel Responsible for Others

The age-old adage “Moderation is key” rings especially true with our last self-care excuse.

While the intention to care and be responsible for others is genuine and pure, a hyper-active sense of responsibility can be damaging for both yourself and others.

For self, we get mired in an active-stress model where we’re continuously preoccupied with the trajectory of others. There’s no peace, only constant tension. And constant tension eventually leads to burn-out. And burn-out leaves no energy and time for intentional self-care.

In addition to burn-out, hyper-active responsibility can introduce a host of other self-detrimental side effects:

  • Guilt;
    from feeling like you’ve let someone down and their less-than-ideal situation is your fault.
  • Self-criticism;
    from feeling like you’re incompetent and that’s why bad things happen.
  • Anxiety;
    from feeling like you have to constantly anticipate “what-if” scenarios to avoid things going wrong.
  • Low self-esteem;
    from feeling like you are a failure and if you were only better, circumstance for others would be too.
  • Depression;
    from feeling like you’re stuck in the same rut and you’re incapable of change.

For others, when we’re overbearing in our responsibility, we rob them of vital life skills and lessons necessary for them to grow on their own. Codependency and enablement are huge problems friend; when you take away someone’s privilege of personal accountability, you hamstring their realization of their full potential. This can result in victimhood culture where no one takes full responsibility for their own actions and instead chalk everything up to the Universe being against them.

Funny how a hyper-active sense of responsibility can be so destructive huh?

The hyper-responsibility trap is typically found in parent-child and romantic partner dynamics, though it can extend to other circles like work, social affairs, and community involvement.


The 3 Questions

If you find yourself in a situation where you’re hyper-active in your responsibility for someone else, ask yourself the following:

  1. Is it possible that you care too much for people in your life and that in caring so much for them you hinder their growth and expansion?
  2. How would you feel if they were not able to develop their own skills and walk through life themselves?
  3. Do you actually have any control over their lives?

In my own personal experience, using the above few questions help realign my actions so that my intentions are carried out in the healthiest way possible.

It’s important for you to do the same, not just for your sake, but for the sake of others you deeply care about.


I share more about this self-excuse excuse in an Instagram video, let me know if it resonates with you!

What do you think about Excuse #5 and how it relates to all the other Lack of Self-Care Excuses? Do you believe there’s a common thread between all of them? If so, what is it?

Would love for you to share your thoughts with me below, thanks friend!

Sunny Dawn Johnston ❤️

2 thoughts on “Excuse #5 for Lack of Self-Care”

  1. Hey, I’m 16 I have a problem with taking on others problems as my own. Both my best friend and girlfriend both snuggle with extreme depression and with my girlfriend she has a lack of attention to her problems from her parents and they in a way pawn that on me and I want to help I really do I just want a more efficient way to where I’m not parenting her and telling her what’s not good for her and what is because Ik I’m only 16. And with my best friend he struggles with abuse of substance to make him happy and I try to parent him as well in a way by telling him to not do it and that I’m not gonna let him. I believe the source of me feeling so responsible for others is due to the fact is that I lost my brother and I subconsciously try to take care of others because I wasn’t able to take care of him. Thank you

    1. Wow. You seem very aware for a 16year old. Perhaps wisdom gained from your own pain. I also lost my brother many years ago when we were in our thirties. I’ve also struggled with feeling I need to always be thinking of or helping others and have had survivor guilt. The only thing that has helped to free me of this was first to realize I was way out of my depth to try and help others in deep emotional pain, and secondly that I was actually avoiding my own emotional pain and needed support. Good luck to you!

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