When you overcompensate, you give a huge unconscious (and sometimes conscious) signal that you feel worth-less than the other person. This issue comes out when you try to prove yourself by bragging on your accomplishments, or try to do too many favors for others, or try to get worth in material items like money, career or gadgets. Overcompensation is the process of trying to ADD TO who you are so that you will be ENOUGH. Unfortunately, this is the recipe for failure in relationships. People can sense how you feel about yourself and you will be exploited and harmed.
Ways to Overcompensate
- Take the blame for everything in a relationship.
- Do too many favors for someone without reciprocation.
- Try to add to yourself with material things.
- Apologize all the time.
- Smile at every person you see. (Some people feel obligated to be nice, even when they don't feel it)
- Loan someone money and later resent it.
- Make promises that you can't keep.
- Allow someone to treat you like a doormat.
- Fail to set boundaries for abusive behavior.
- Fail to ask for help when you need it.
- Compromising your values to fit in.
- Tolerating disrespect.
The fact is, you are enough just as you are. You don't need--nor is it possible--to add anything else to who you are! You are plenty! You are full, complete and whole, whether you realize it or not.
Beware of Repressed Emotional Hurt
Another thing about overcompensating in life is that one way or another, you will sense the injustice. You're giving, giving, giving, trying to get love, and you're getting nothing in return. One day, perhaps in a big, blown-up way, you're gonna explode. You may not show your anger in appropriate ways. You may yell at your dog or your husband or your best friend, or do something passive aggressive even--the fact is, you must reconcile the injustice that you're allowing to occur in your emotional landscape. Stuff has a tendency to come out in bizarre ways. You will be asking yourself, "Why am I so mad? All he did was burn the toast, I'm acting like he stole my wallet!" It's important to maintain emotional and relational equality so as to prevent whack emotional outbursts. One way or another, stuff comes out.
Ways to Stop Overcompensating
- Admit the tendency to go overboard to make other people like you.
- Catch yourself when you notice you are doing too much out of obligation.
- Stop allowing self-judgment (which means that you're putting yourself down).
- Get to know who you are, your values and your strengths and feelings.
- Take time to appreciate yourself as a person.
- Surround yourself with people who love and encourage you.
- Ask yourself why you overcompensate. What started this process?
- Keep working to build up your sense of self-worth and self esteem.
- Read great blogs like SelfLoveU! (Shameless Plug)
It's amazing how life works. If you will step back and stop trying so hard, you may be uncomfortable for a moment, but soon the clouds will go away and you'll see the sunshine coming through. Stepping back from your constant striving to be enough will leave room for those who have love to share with you to come to you freely. Relaxing and enjoying who you are in the present moment will position you to experience deep love and connection with the entire human race. Quit working to be something that you already are. You're equal. You're equal. You're equal.