The Price of Giving Too Much

giving too muchMy cup is almost empty. There’s no more wind in my sails. I can only think in trite clichés.

I’ve given pretty much all of it away.

I’d like to think I’m a bottomless-well, serving buckets of goodwill, assistance and cheer to everyone I meet – but it’s a negligent practice that can lead to a parched throat and scowling countenance. Ooops, there goes the cheer.

I’m not that generous. At least not now.

I offer a lot of assistance – I know that about myself. I will generously promote you, tirelessly applaud you, praise you, share with you, give of my time. Don’t feel sorry for me –

Human beings do not repeat behaviours that don’t have a pay-off in it for them. (click to Tweet).

This includes addictions, self-mutilations, giving your time to others, plain ol’ over-committing – there’s always a pay-off. That doesn’t mean it’s psychologically healthy or respects boundaries….even our own. It certainly doesn’t mean it’ll get you where you want to go. It’s like spending time on social media or Netflix marathons. It feels good now…but what did you give for that? Eventually, you’ve got to say, Enough is enough.”

Giving too muchA few things happen when you give too much. Here’s my short list:

  1. You may become resentful
  2. You may set precedents for future behaviour that can turn to soul-sucking habits and expectations
  3. Your own dreams and goals may suffer because you cannot devote ample time to them
  4. You may under-deliver or do sloppy work because…well…eventually your hearts just not that into it – eventually that can reflect on you.
  5. And…drum-roll…..

“When you give too much – you redefine who you are and lose who you were going to become.” (click to Tweet)

So, there are some of the hidden costs, and I’m sure I’ve graciously over-looked many others. Feel free to add to the list (by leaving a comment at the end of the blog).

All being said, I don’t REALLY want to give until I’m an empty, squeaky, rusty ol’ husk that’s grinding to a halt on a dusty, deserted back road. Too dramatic for you? Ah, well. SO, I’m brainstorming ways to get a handle on this and I come across this:

Give too much









What a clean solution. What a smart criteria. Enough of the unconditional love, bullshit. I’m putting parameters on my generosity.   I don’t mean this in the sense of the “what’s in it for me?” approach, but more like, helping friends; knowing who your friends are. Why would you give away something to someone who won’t appreciate it, never reciprocate and would gladly take MORE? Enough is enough.

If I can follow my own advice, continue to focus on gratitude, and honor my own schedule by calendaring time to address #’s 3, 4, and 5…it should be in the bag.

Feel free to jump in on this conversation by leaving your thoughts below.

If it doesn’t put you out to do so.




Michelle Andres is a writer and artist. She Writer, Artist, Coachwrites this blog to share tips for a well-lived life and finely run art business…just for you!

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22 Replies to “The Price of Giving Too Much”

  1. One of the best and healthiest realizations. This concept has been nudging my direction for awhile, these words put it into focus. Giving too much to those who don’t deserve you is a habit. A bad habit. And certainly one that can be changed. Thank you Michelle for highlighting this.

  2. I’m here with you. And you verbalized it so much more eloquently than I ever could (I’m pretty sure mine would include a ton of swears).

    1. Jill, I said “bullshit” does that count? Hahaha – I might begin with the swearing, then I just get beaten down to plain language, when I stop talking, send the first responders in to get me! 🙂

  3. This is such an important understanding. I often remind myself and my clients “care but don’t carry.” Wishing you a grace-filled recovery from depletion Michelle – you’ve got this in the bag indeed.

  4. I’m starting to see a pattern in all the posts I’m reading this Saturday night. It’s so common for us to give, give, give first until we have nothing left. Yet, we can give so much more if we would just stop to fill our cups first. I hope you find easy, joyful ways to refill this weekend!

  5. I really like your quote “When you give too much – you redefine who you are and lose who you were going to become.” It sounds like you’re facing some current challenges, Michelle but also that you are well on your way to working through them. Good luck.

  6. Good for you Michelle! Finding healthy balance in life is one of the hardest things to do.
    It’s sort of sad and also a relief when you realize the number of people who fit the list of loving friends and family is pretty small. It’s very rewarding to see those you love benefit from something you helped them with.

  7. I think I was meant to read this post today….it opened my eyes. I’ve been wondering why I have felt so unfocused of late, could it be because I’m feeling rather drained myself. Definitely something to think about!

    1. Yes, Debbie. Doing all that good can feel quite draining…and if you don’t choose how to help wisely, you have nothing of your own to show for it. I think it’s like financial advice – pay yourself first. I hope you feel more energy soon!

  8. I’ve been gone so missed this post from several weeks ago. Hope you are feeling much better now and that your cup has been replenished! Sending you much love and compassion…

  9. I had missed this one from earlier. So glad you wrote this. Sorry you were going through some troubles. One of my best friends is letting her art career stall because she is being dumped on. I have been telling her to let go. This sentence is exactly her, “When you give too much – you redefine who you are and lose who you were going to become.” I will forward this link to her. Thanks again for being here for us.

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