“I’m depressed my daggone self”. Poor grammar notwithstanding, this is a phrase that resonates. We’ve heard family and friends complain that they must always “do” for others and that statement implies they don’t have anything left to give; but, they do.
They keep giving and keep complaining and everyone around them is convinced that’s how they must want life to be – self-sacrificing and complaining givers who just give and complain.
The complaints are a cry-for-help. The complainers want attention, support and acknowledgement. The complainer wants to be singled out and exalted and when that doesn’t happen, they complain more but don’t change.
The fix for this horrific cycle of misery is for the complainer to build a boundary. Emotional boundaries like physical boundaries mark limits. They are clear, precise structures that indicate the contents of acceptable behavior for self. Boundaries help to answer the question, “What About Me?” by accepting limits. Begin to seek out the complaints as an outline of growth. Identify the subjects of the complaint and begin to make a plan of self-care. If ‘being there” for others or “doing for others” does not give a sense of fulfillment but is marked with complaints, then it’s time to begin building boundaries.