Learn the importance of setting limits to your generosity

Unlimited generosity can be linked to insecurities or low self-esteem. Why can it be harmful? We discuss it in this space.

Last update: 06 September, 2022

Knowing how to set limits on generosity is important to establish healthy bonds. There are those who by nature tend to “give everything” in their relationships; from care to gifts or the simple willingness to always be there. But when does it become harmful? At what point should you put a brake?

The truth of it all is that there are many situations in which you have to know how to say “no” so as not to compromise your own well-being. Being generous all the time can lead to others taking advantage or not taking responsibility. Do you want to know more about it? Follow the reading.

Why is it important to set limits on your generosity?

Placing limits on generosity also implies protecting and caring for the relationship. For a link to work and be sustained over time, it must be fair; the people involved must feel that they give and receive the same, and not that one of them is continuously striving and giving, while the counterpart is only in a position to receive.

On the other hand, this has to do with a matter of self-care and self-respect. That is, learning to reach out and help others without this meaning demanding or compromising one’s own well-being. Regulating generosity and being respected is part of the social skills, so necessary for mental health.

Likewise, being able to say “no” also has to do with responsibility. Everyone must be the captain of their life. That doesn’t mean we can’t look for a “co-pilot” on certain occasions.

However, taking charge of decisions and not depending on the generosity of others is also part of growing up.

Unlimited generosity can have negative effects on a person’s own well-being.


Some keys to limit your generosity

Generosity is a virtue that can contribute to the establishment of good relationships, both personal and professional. However, misused can lead to feelings of frustration or anger. Therefore, it is convenient to put into practice some recommendations to limit it whenever necessary.

Don’t personalize help

It may seem at first that you are the only person who can offer help, and that if you don’t, no one will. However, this is not true.

Choose how far you can help

If you feel comfortable helping, that’s fine. If it is in your essence to do so, do not try to change it. But the truth is that you can’t try to solve the lives of all the people around you either. It’s not good for you or your environment.

Instead, what you can try is to offer your support, but also leave a margin of action so that the other also activates. Or, suggest that they talk about it or try it with someone else. In short, it is about collaborating and not burdening yourself with a backpack that does not belong to you.

Learn to see generosity as a choice, not an obligation

It is important that you know that you can say yes and no; generosity must be spontaneous and fluid. When you feel that it “corners you” as in a dead end, it is because it is imposed. Then, It is necessary that you listen to yourself and be able to decide how far you are capable of giving and continue.

Accept that you are not always going to conform to everyone

Pleasing others should never be an option. Not everyone will always be satisfied, but that’s okay. Setting limits also implies that there will be those who are upset or cannot accept it.

Learn to accept and ask

Many times, those who are characterized by being too generous stop halfway when asking for help or accepting details from other people. In this sense, we must learn to recognize the time and effort dedicated to others, and that it is good that the balance is leveled between giving and receiving.

Always avoid saying yes

We must be aware that each person has their own life, their plans and their commitments. For this reason, on many occasions it is better to say “no” and prioritize yourself.

Learning to say NO is crucial to establishing healthy limits in relationships.


“Hyper” generosity, for what?

For those who practice unlimited generosity, it is also time to ask why they do it. In many cases, that pattern is the companion of low self-esteem, of insecurity, complacency or the search for acceptance and recognition by others.

Understood in this way, it is detrimental both to oneself and to the bonds one wants to forge. As long as one’s wants and needs are ignored, relationships become self-serving and lack reciprocity.

However, this whole situation can lead to comparisons“they don’t give as I give”— or to false expectations —“Now I give to receive later”—; but when that does not happen, frustration and even resentment are generated.

Ultimately, being too generous can be the way to be in the spotlight. That is, it implies a certain egocentrism that leads to acting in such a way.

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