There are people in the world who are not only able to give, they are also able to receive, and as a result of this, they are not going to be accustomed to running on empty. On the other hand, there are people who going to be used to running on empty, and this is because they are unable to receive.

It then won’t matter how much they give, and their life is likely to be harder than it needs to be. This is not to say other people will realise this though, as they might see them as model human beings.


When someone is seen as being a ‘selfless’, they are likely to be seen as living life in the right way. In this case, they are putting their needs to one side and they are focusing on the needs of others.

Now, if one was so consumed by their own needs that they were unable to be there for others, it is likely to be a sign that they are out of balance. That is unless they are going through a challenging period in their life, and this is stopping them from being able to be there for others.


For example, if one has lost someone they were close, they are not going to have as much energy as they usually do. And along with this, the pain of losing someone can cause them to retract from life.

The energy they do have will be used to take care of their own needs during this time. However, this is not going to be something that will last forever, and as time passes, it will be easier for them to be there for others.


However, although being there for others is seen as being better than being completely focused on one’s own needs, they are both going to lead to problems. The ideal will be for one to be there for themselves and to be there for others.

If one can’t truly be there for themselves, it is not going to be possible for them to truly be there for others. Their reason for being there for others is likely to be the result of their need for approval.


Therefore, they are not going to be there for others because they are ‘selfless’, they are going to be there to fulfil their own needs. But although their need for approval will end up being fulfilled, they are going to be neglecting their other needs.

Pleasing others could be what feels safe, and this means the reason they are not taking care of their other needs is because it could put their survival at risk. This is not to say that their life would end if they did put their needs first, but this can be how they see life at a deeper level.


When one is always there for others and neglects themselves, they can feel as though they have no control, and it can then be normal for them to feel like a victim. They may believe that the only way for their life to change is if the people around they were to change.

Part of them may feel as though they need other people’s permission in order to take care of their needs. Therefore, doing everything they can to please others may be a way for them to earn their permission; but while this could be their intention, the people around them are unlikely to realise this.

Going Within

If one was to stop to focusing on what is taking place around them and started to place their attention on what is taking place within them, they may start to understand why they are experiencing life in this way. Having needs could be something that causes them to feel ashamed.

On one side, they have needs and they want them to be met, but on the other side, they feel the need to hide them. Revealing their needs to others is then going to be something that causes them to feel overwhelmed, and they can also believe that other people would abandon them if they were to realise that they have needs.


If this is the case, it could be a sign that their childhood was a time where they had to meet the caregiver’s needs. Their needs would then have been overlooked, and one would have ended up playing a role that their caregivers should have played.

Through these experiences, one would have learned that it is not acceptable for them to have needs. In this case, it will be important for them to change their beliefs and to work through the emotional pain that is within them.

Another Reason

While the reason one stops themselves from receiving could be because they are ashamed of their needs, it could be due to something else. Their early childhood years could have been a time where their body ended up being overwhelmed.

Through experiencing some kind of trauma (and this could have been the result of some kind of abuse), their body may have end up shutting down. This would have been way for them to protect themselves, and therefore, to ensure their survival.

Time Goes By

One’s body can then remain in this state, and it is then not going to be possible for them to let anything in. It then won’t matter how many years pass, and this is because their body is going to be responding to life in the same way.

To allow anything in will be seen as something that will compromise their very survival. As a result of this, the only way for them to survive will be to stop anything from getting too close to them. But while this allowed them to survive during their early years, it is going to cause them to suffer as an adult.


If this is how one is experiencing life, it will be important for them to reach out for support. This is something that can be provided by a therapist and/or a support group.

Author's Bio: 

Prolific writer, thought leader and coach, Oliver JR Cooper hails from the United Kingdom. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation; love, partnership, self-love, and inner awareness. With over seven hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behavior, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice. Current projects include "A Dialogue With The Heart" and "Communication Made Easy."

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