Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Doing Too Much

Are You Overcompensating?

Throughout my life, I have been accused of doing too much. When I was a girl, the accusations came from my siblings and classmates; they said that I worked too hard, too fast too-too and that I did it to try to show them up.

In college and graduate school, my colleagues implored me to do less because I had “messed up the grading curve.”

In work situations, I often encounter clients who think that my “extra effort” is some kind of gimmick to get them to buy something they don’t want or need.

When my children got in the act, I felt that it was time to take a stand, to say something about this idea of “Doing too much.”

Let me be clear, I don’t think we can ever be too kind, too caring, too compassionate nor can you give too much. The world needs more folks who are determined to give their best.

I have learned however, that we can put our efforts in the wrong places at the wrong time.

As I look over my life and search my motives and motivations for rejecting the idea of being the best and instead striving to give my best, I find that I have often overcompensated.

To compensate means to give something to someone to make up for or make repay for a loss, suffering or injury. To overcompensate then, is to reimburse beyond the value or worth of the loss.

I’ve often had to ask myself if I am overcompensating for injuries occurred but not inflicted by me.

I know I’ve done this with my children, who have suffered loss, grief, death, illness and disability.The questions, then become: 

       Can you give compensation to someone for something you haven’t done or benefited from?

Can you or rather should you pay compensation to your bullies?

Can you overcompensate to the point of causing even more pain?

Look, I’m just asking the questions. You have to supply your own answers.

Be you, be well, Be balanced.

Bertice Berry, PhD.

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