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Help me to understand

Posted by jkayd_il5 (My Page) on
Wed, Nov 14, 12 at 11:50

I have a relative, a very close relative that is always doing things for people. Oh, you say she sounds like a very nice person. She is but-t-t she goes almost overboard in doing. She will volunteer to drive people to the airport, pick up items at stores for them, making pies, sitting with their sick Mom and all SORTS of other things. Of course she doesn't do this quitely. She tells you over and over the things she does for other people. What is she getting out of this??? Attention? love? acceptance? is she bored? nosey? She is well thought of so is she doing this for self-love? and why. Also if she doesn't get the feed back from them she expects she complains.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Help me to understand

Probably in the past people have taken advantage of her helpful ways and never thanked her for her kindness. Now, she wants to be acknowledged of the things she does. Sometimes I have to make a little noise to get my family to realize I'm not a rug to step on that I need to be appreciated.


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RE: Help me to understand

sounds like a martyr. I guess she needs to feel needed.


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I think maybe you're right juellie but still can't understand it. Maybe I don't need too but it may help hearing her constant talking (bragging) if I have some understanding of why she needs to be needed.


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Like someone I know very well, she has to prove to everyone she is a "good"person, then has to prove it by telling everyone about it. It took this person a long time and lots of very hurt feelings and tears to even begin to be just a caring person who now does very little.


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RE: Help me to understand

From what you say I don't think there's the sinister motivation. Bored perhaps, but sounds to me she may well just be lonely. If so, it's great that she does these things to give her something to do. So why does she talk about it all the time? Perhaps because she has nothing else to talk *about*. I know people who can *only* talk about work. Dang, that gets boring and annoying. I'd rather watch political ads than hear incessantly about their minute by minute account of every day at work. Conversations about work are fine, but there's a limit. But the people I'm talking about have nothing else in their lives but work so that's the only thing they think they can talk about, and/or at times, they want to relieve a bit of frustration about it.

Maybe she is well thought of, but how many actually give her a (sounds to me like a well-deserved) pat on the back for her generosity? Maybe therein lies the problem. People that do this are few and far between.

Are you saying she sits with other peoples' sick mothers and the like? Good grief, she deserves more than a thank you in that case, she deserves flowers, candy, dinner and a movie... maybe a new car! LOL

Unless I'm missing something I'd say rethink before being too hard on her.
The OP's last line kind of says it. Maybe she *does* enjoy doing this, but doesn't want to feel like they're taking advantage of her. And frankly, I'd agree with that.


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RE: Help me to understand

I wish she was one of MY close relatives. Everyone needs praise now and then...even my fur babies! Show her you appreciate her!!! Or maybe ask her if you can do something for HER??


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RE: Help me to understand

Sounds like you are resenting her need to elicit attention, more than you resent her deeds.


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RE: Help me to understand

No amyfiddler that is not true, I don't resent either especially her deeds. She has a lot going for herself and I just can't figure out why she wants/needs to do this and then talk about it over and over. I think maybe she justs wants attention but why? She may be bored but she is one of those people who goes, goes and goes. She has a large family so is not lonely. Renee, some of the people she has helped have taken advantage of her but she enjoys knowing them and being in the know. Am I making sense.

I guess I need to not let her talking get to me. She is a person who repeats things and I read one time that people who do that feel like they aren't heard the first time so I will try to praise/hear her better next time. I don't think she will get it because she talks to a lot of people and does this with them too. I will love her regardless.


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RE: Help me to understand

She may have issues that are not immediately apparent. For a good deal of my life I was the girl who couldn't say "no" when asked to do favours for others. My adoptive father spent much of my childhood telling me I was a useless burden who would go straight back to the orphanage if I didn't shape up. So I was continually trying to show how "good" I was, so the people around me would "keep me". It took years for me to recognise this dynamic and I'm much better now, but still inclined to be the "good" one.


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My Mantra is~~~Do all that is need and as little as possible;) I do this and people think I am very sweet and helpful and I am happy beause I know when to stop;)


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Some people do it for religious reasons - the more good you do the more likely you will get to Heaven. Could this be her problem? I know people like this. They just can't stop being helpful even when it comes to their own health.


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It's harmless and makes her feel good. Ignore it.


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RE: Help me to understand

Marty syndrome and she is compelled to prove it.

Did she ask first if the recipient wanted the service before she performed it?


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RE: Help me to understand

jannie, I do need to ignore it. jemdandy, what is Marty syndrome? I'm will google it, scissors, she doesn't go to church but is from a religious family so you may have a clue there, will have to think about that.


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RE: Help me to understand

I think you've got it. She may feel 'invisible' as a person. Encourage her to feel good about herself, not her deeds. Many people become 'doings' instead of 'beings'. All of this performing gets in the way of feeling good about your Self. I'd encourage her to learn to say, "No." (Not everyone has passed through this normal-for-age-two stage!)


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She sounds like a very giving person and that's wonderful. I agree thats what makes her happy and so she talks about it. We all have our passions and this is hers. People talk about what they love. Golf, art, theatre etc. Just listen and understand. Maybe she's hoping some one would just for once do something for her.


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When I tell the same story to my kids, they say, "Dad ... you've told me that story three times, already!" (exclamation point intended!).

Maybe you should list the various stories that she tells you, post it on the fridge, and when she tells one, go over to check it out whether she's told that one before, and when she asks what you're doing, explain it ... as a game that you're playing (with yourself).

If it's a new one, you can add it to the list later ... or at the time, at your convenience.

I think that "marty" was intended to have an "r" on the end, to make it "martyr".

When she gets on her hobby horse, can you gently change the subject ... to something like current events ... non-controversial political issue (there may be such, do you figger?) ... the weather ... what her/your kid's latest project/escapade has been, etc.?

ole joyful


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RE: Help me to understand

Marty was a typo; was supposed to be 'martyr'.

My appologies to all the Marty(s) out there.


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RE: Help me to understand

Thank you everyone for your comments. You have given me a lot to think about. I think several of you hit on the why and I'm thinking there is more than one. I will definitely try to praise more maybe that will help both of us.


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RE: Help me to understand

Of course I don't know your relative, but in my experience, people who do nice things, and then shove it down your throat are not doing it simply out of the goodness of their heart. They NEED to be recognized, have someone make a big deal about them. Charity is supposed to be selfless and not about the recognition.

That being said, there were definitely times when I went out of my way to help someone and barely got thanked for it. Or felt like the person barely noticed. Makes me want to think twice next time they ask me for help. I hate to feel that way, but it's just human. You don't mind helping when that person helps you in your time.

Maybe your relative wants to "prove" to others (and herself) that she is a good person. There are definitely good deeds being done and maybe you should focus on that.


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