Addiction can cause us to lose our sense of empathy with others. As you enter recovery in our Broward alcohol detox, it’s crucial that you begin to work on restoring your normal human empathy. When you have a healthy sense of empathy, you can step into the shoes of others to understand how they think and feel; healthy empathy helps you to be a better spouse, friend, parent, sibling – it helps you be a good person in general.
But there’s such a thing as unhealthy empathy. When you take empathy too far, you begin to lose your sense of self and can struggle to establish strong boundaries. When you have unhealthy empathy – when you’re “too nice” – it can jeopardize the work you’ve done in our Broward alcohol detox and put your entire recovery at risk.
Too Much Empathy May Cause Problems in Broward Alcohol Detox
An excess of empathy is at the core of many of the problems people experience as they begin to navigate a sober life after leaving our Broward alcohol detox. If you become too consumed by your empathy for others, you could become vulnerable to:
- Enabling behaviors. As a recovering addict, you may have already experience enabling behaviors. Enabling occurs when people do things for another person that they ought to be doing for themselves, thereby enabling them to continue being irresponsible and shielding them from the consequences of their addiction.
- Codependency. A codependent person loses him or herself in her relationships. They feel responsible for solving other people’s problems, meeting other people’s needs and controlling other people’s behavior. When you fall into the trap of codependency, you’ll neglect your own needs for the sake of others’, and gradually grow resentful, angry and lonely.
- People-pleasing. Many people leave our Broward alcohol detox and find that they have a strong desire to be accepted, and low feelings of self-worth. It’s normal for addicts in early recovery to have poor self-esteem; at this stage of your sobriety, you’re still struggling to come to terms with the selfish and often harmful things you’ve done in the name of addiction, and you may have yet to discover the path to self-worth. However, basing your feelings of self-worth on how much other people like you or whether they accept you can leave you running yourself ragged, neglecting your own needs for the sake of pleasing others, and that can lead you straight to relapse.
- Overzealous parenting. If you’re a parent as well as a recovering addict, you may find yourself helicopter parenting out of a sense of duty to your children, and a not unreasonable desire to give them the love and care they need and deserve. But trying to protect your children from everything can do more harm than good. They may fail to develop self-confidence or the ability to make decisions.
- Burnout. Caring too much for the feelings of others can lead to professional burnout in many lines of work. If you are a nurse, doctor, police officer or other professional who sees a lot of human pain and suffering at work, too much empathy can destroy your ability to do your job. No matter how long it’s been since you graduated from our Broward alcohol detox, you may find yourself turning back to drinking to ease the pain of others’ suffering.
You Don’t Have to Be Too Nice
You can reign in out-of-control empathy by setting healthy personal boundaries, practicing mindfulness and nurturing healthy relationships. Learn to make your own needs and feelings a priority, and learn to say “No” when you need to in order to protect your personal limits. You can still empathize with people and offer them help, but you don’t need to sacrifice your own needs or comfort level in order to do it. Work with the therapists in our Broward alcohol detox to learn how to set appropriate personal boundaries and say “No” without feeling guilty.
Limit the energy and time you give to relationships that drain your energy and make you feel less fulfilled, rather than more enriched. You don’t need friends and lovers who take advantage of you or trample all over your boundaries. Mindfulness practices, like yoga and meditation, can help you learn to draw lines between your own feelings and thoughts and those of others.
You can quit drinking for good with help from our Broward alcohol detox. Call the Florida House Detox today at 1-888-342-1456 to learn more.