For as far back as one can remember, they may see that they have had the inclination to save or rescue others. As a result of this, they will be used to being there for others and doing what they can to ‘help’ them.

For so long, it would have seemed as though they were doing the right thing, but there would have come a point when they came to see that living in this way wasn’t truly serving them, or others. This could even be something that they were forced to accept, after getting to the point where it was no longer possible for them to behave in this way.

Waking Up

Regardless of what has allowed them to take a step back and to see that they need to change, they will no longer be willing to behave in the same way. Still, they could struggle to understand why it has taken them so long to wake up.

Firstly, there is a strong chance that behaving in this way would have been normal and as it was normal, it wouldn’t have stood out. Secondly, behaving in this way may have allowed them to receive a fair amount of positive feedback from others.

No Reason to Change

Thanks to how certain people responded, one wouldn’t have got the impression that they were doing anything wrong. On a fairly regular basis, they may have been told that they were an example of how to behave.

One was then not putting their needs first and being ‘selfish’; they were overlooking their needs and acting in a ‘selfless’ manner. Nonetheless, living in this way would have come at a great cost.


Ultimately, one has needs and in order for them to lead a fulfilling existence, they will need to take care of these needs. For one thing, it is through being there for themselves that they will actually be able to be there for others.

Taking care of their own needs will give them the energy and the strength to serve. When this doesn’t take place, they will be running on empty and it will only be possible for a watered-down version of them to appear.

One Consequence

So, living in this way won’t be very satisfying and they may find that it has caused them to experience a lot of resentment. This is because although they will have created the impression that they are selfless, they will have needs.

Thus, being there for others and not getting their needs met will have naturally caused them to experience a lot of pain. Behaving in this way wouldn’t have just held them back through.

The Other Side

How they have behaved will have also prevented the people who they tried to save from taking responsibility for their own life. It would have been as though one was a parent and the other person was a child.

One would then have been doing things that another person should have done for themselves, disempowering them in the process. The reason one wouldn’t have been able to see this is because behaving in this was fulfilling a need that they were unaware of.

An Indirect Approach

What this is likely to show is that they have been projecting the parts of themselves that need to be healed into others. It is then not that one wanted to save these people; it is that they wanted to save themselves.

But, as they were not aware of what was taking place inside them, they wouldn’t have been able to realise this. And, as they will know, trying to change what is going on ‘out there’ won’t allow them to rescue themselves.

An Act

The other part of this is that being there for others will have been an indirect way for them to try to get their own needs met. This is likely to illustrate that they feel ashamed of their own needs, which is why they can’t get them met directly.

Considering this, being there for others, in the way that they have been, will be seen as the only way for them to be accepted and to survive. Ergo, letting go of this role and revealing who they are will be seen as a threat to their very survival.

A Deeper Look

The big question is: why do they feel the need to hide who they are? Their early years may have been a time when their needs were rarely, if ever, met, causing them to feel guilty and ashamed of their own needs and themselves.

Due to a lack of support for their true-self, they would have had to develop a false-self. Their focus would have been on what was going on externally, losing touch with what was going on internally in the process.

Moving Forward

For them to let go of this false-self and to embrace their true-self, they will need to deal with what is keeping the former in place. In their body, there is probably a lot of trauma that needs to be resolved.

As they go deep within themselves, they may find that they are carrying a lot of toxic shame. Also, their mind would have created a number of beliefs around what took place and these will need to be dealt with.


If one can relate to this, and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided by the assistance of a therapist or healer.

Author's Bio: 

Author, transformational writer, teacher and consultant, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, and inner awareness. With over two thousand, five hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

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