One of the things that we learn in childhood is to be always helpful to others. This can be at home by helping with chores and taking care of our siblings through to sharing our toys and possessions with others.
Even as we grow older we are encouraged to continue with this behaviour by considering the needs of others. However when does becoming the life-saver or rescuer become too much?
The Dangers of Being a Hero
Some people take it upon themselves to become the person that is always there for others. At first glance there seems to be nothing wrong with this, however there are instances when the individual assumes the rescuer mentality and fails to let it go. This then results in numerous problems for that individual.
Firstly they learn how to thrive through the approval of other people. These ‘heroes’ are people who often have low self-confidence and believe what they have to offer isn’t good enough for others. This then leads them to thinking that doing something heroic is the only way that they can be accepted by the person they are helping or by the society as a whole.
In addition to the above, ‘heroes’ can often develop the idea that the one they are saving is a weak person and that person is unable thrive without their help. This can lead to the assumption that they will always be needed and when the bubble bursts, it leaves the ‘hero’ feeling very lost and confused.
Burnout is common in ‘heroes’ as their role becomes a chore. They begin investing their time, money and effort into doing the right thing. As a result they end up with little or no gains from the people they sought out, to impress.
Everybody Loves a Hero – or Maybe Not
The truth of the matter is that not everybody needs saving. People are often quite capable of solving their own problems without the aid of a rescuer. In fact there are some people who find ‘heroes’ terribly annoying. Some even start distancing themselves fearing that there may be a hidden agenda behind the chivalry and kindness.
Removing the Hero Mask
Letting go of the rescuer mentality is not always difficult. It all starts with building your self-esteem and beginning to accept yourself for who you are. Look at your strengths and build upon them and view your weaknesses as something to work on.
If you feel that you have this ‘rescuer’ mentality, it may be high time to seek help and work on this. After all, you need to save yourself first, before you can save others.