Minding My Own Business: Is Being too Concerned Holding Me Back?

27 Apr

I think that I am too concerned with others. I chose the word concerned after playing around with a few different words, but ultimately, concerned summed up the feeling for me. I am not referring to nosey- that’s not one of my consistent character traits. For the purposes of this article, I use the word concerned to mean, thinking about, caring for, responding to, considerate of, and adapting. 

My mother has always referred to me as her “social worker”. I would make friends and accept anyone, treating them no differently than I expect to be treated. As an adult this has continued in my professional, social, and personal relationships. I consistently adjust my schedule to support and suit the needs of others; I find myself thinking about solutions for people’s situations that involve my time and/or resources; and I must admit, I become emotionally affected watching train wrecks of those I love and even those I only know through secondary connections. 

We live in a world with millions and millions of other people. I do believe we are not to try to please everyone, but there are circumstances in which we should consider others before ourselves. So far, my actions of being consistently concerned have led to my reputation as a reliable, compassionate, and effective individual. I am at a crossroads though, one that has me trying to weed out the truth of who I am from the role I have played for twenty something odd years. I am also trying to determine if it is truly so bad to keep being a concerned citizen…even when it inconveniences me. 

My concern with my concern is that I don’t know when to turn it off. I do not know when to stop caring about what is happening with others or the environment around me. Yes, I lose sleep about things that I probably should not. I try to include individuals in projects in which they would probably never think of me. The list can go on and on, but it is starting to bother me (again) because I realize that my concern can actually offend people. 

I am quick to shout out a solution or send an email with resolve, sometimes before others are able to, or choose to act. I will not say that my intentions are purely altruistic. As much as I want to channel my concern to only those that accept it, its hard because I have to play in the sand box with idiots people who don’t know when to stop kicking up the sand! 

I do hope to find balance though. At times, my stepping in is hindering someone else’s growth, even if their inability to be proactive may lead to failure. And I must admit that by lending and ear or a suggestion, I somehow feel responsible for the outcome, thus, making me become more invested in the situation/problem itself. These actions of concern although well-intentioned, have a great effect on my emotions and at times can hinder my personal productivity. While seeking solutions for others, I sometimes feel as though I am missing opportunities for myself. 

 …..Okay, so I’m still undecided about how to show less concern with others. SUGGESTIONS ARE WELCOME. One thing is for sure, if it involves me- I will be concerned! 

Below is an article that discusses why it is important to consider others in your daily actions.


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4 responses to “Minding My Own Business: Is Being too Concerned Holding Me Back?

  1. Measha

    April 27, 2011 at 10:23 am

    😦 #Virgo thing….I’m sorry I have no suggestions because I need some of my own, but you just read my whole life in this post…Its amazing how it works though because recently i have noticed myself taking a step back from being so “concerned” about others just because i was going through my own things and couldn’t fully focus on anything but my issues. You think those people who i always include/ think about /care for/have a ear when needed even called to check on me??? No ma’am, and it just left me thinking….

    • Ashley S.C. Walls

      April 27, 2011 at 10:30 am

      Been there and done that! Although I whole heartedly beleived that I was expressing concern with no expectations in return, my emotional response (sadness and let down) to others lack of concern for me has proven this is not possible for me at this time. So, I have consciously been trying to express concern for others that have already proven themselves, but as you can see from the entry- I cannot seem to turn it off.

  2. K. SIDNEY

    April 28, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    Yet another post that hits home…Good job ASH!

    As you may have noticed, my recent status updates have been full of IDGAFs, KMAs, and “defriend me if you don’t like it”s. I used to be the same way that you are: always putting others before myself. Being in touch with your feelings does that. However, the one thing that has helped me to not GAF is the consistency at which I was done wrong by those I reached out to / for. Friends, coworkers, and even outer family members have taken advantage of my kindness and it has in turn made me sour to being open to new friends, new coworkers, and newly discovered family members.

    You said it yourself, the world is filled with millions and millions of people. We can’t save them all. Trying to will only leave you like AMERICA: a country that interfered in the affairs of other countries, without first taking care of home. I’m not saying that you should stop being concerned for others, but you should limit the amount of people that you do care for to those that have demonstrated that they care for you as well (i.e. immediate family members and best friends). I know at first it may seem hard to do because of your heart, but repetition is the best educator. You just have to keep at it until it becomes second nature.

    “People that always need help, eventually stop getting it. People that rarely need help, always have it offered.”

    • Ashley S.C. Walls

      April 28, 2011 at 10:35 pm

      Great advise Keith! Thank you so much. I will definitely be revisiting this topic as I think it is important to my (and probably some others) personal development.
      Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®


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