“Suzanne Gelb Image”

Dear Readers:

As an added resource, over the next few months I will be supplementing my responses with references to self-help materials. Supplemental reading for today’s answers can be found in my book “Welcome Home. A Book About Overcoming Addictions” (pp. 5-6 relates to Answer No. 1; pp. 7-10 relates to Answer No. 2). For more information visit my Web site at http://www.DrGelbSays.com

”Helping Others – When do I Care for Me?”

Dear Dr. Gelb:

I try to be a giving person, but I am so busy taking care of others, and I don’t only mean my responsibilities to my family, but it seems like I am always trying to help others to the point that I end up drained and exhausted. It is hard for me to say “no,” even if it means neglecting myself. How do I learn when and how to say no?

Exhausted

A: Dr. Gelb says . . .

Dear Exhausted:

People who engage in the type of behavior you describe often find that their worth is dependent on being “a good girl” or a “good boy” — as the terminology implies, these behavioral goals tend to be a carry over from childhood. To such individuals, being “a good girl” or “a good boy,” as the case may be, means doting over the concerns of others and their needs. As long as such individuals are able to cater to these needs, then on some level, they feel like they are that good girl or boy, even to the point of self-neglect and exhaustion. If someone has a need, such individuals are there for the rescue.

Please consider taking a moment for yourself. Of course, the guilt that can arise when making such a self-directed choice, can cause one to feel selfish. This is not the case at all. Taking care of Self is a necessary and sustaining behavior.

”Confidence — Why do I Battle Insecurity?”

Dear Dr. Gelb:

I am successful socially and professionally, but inside I battle feelings of insecurity and self-criticism. It’s almost like I have a pile driver in my head, constantly putting me down. It’s harder, I think, because no one knows how I really feel. I don’t really know how I’ve learned to pull it off as far as the outside world sees me, but what can I do to make peace with myself?

At War

A: Dr. Gelb says . . .

Dear At War:

Your question is one that is asked by many people. I wish there was a simple answer or a quick fix, but that is not so. As silly as it may sound to people who are outwardly successful and even thriving, there are competent mental health practitioners who can assist with those internal problems that are hidden from the surface. Many insurances pay for this type of service, usually under the medical coverage.

Why live with a self-debilitating affliction when there is help to resolve it. Good Luck.

”’Suzanne J. Gelb, Ph.D., J.D. authors this daily column, Dr. Gelb Says, which answers questions about daily living and behavior issues. Dr. Gelb is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Honolulu. She holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Human Services. Dr. Gelb is also a published author of a book on Overcoming Addictions and a book on Relationships.”’

”’This column is intended for entertainment use only and is not intended for the purpose of psychological diagnosis, treatment or personalized advice. For more about the column’s purpose, see”’ “An Online Intro to Dr. Gelb Says”

”’Email your questions to mailto:DrGelbSays@hawaiireporter.com More information on Dr. Gelb’s services and related resources available at”’ http://www.DrGelbSays.com

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Hawaii Reporter is an award-winning, independent Hawaii-based news and opinion journal founded in 2001 and launched in February 2002. The journal's staff have won a number of top awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, including the top investigative news reporting awards, business reporting awards, government reporting awards, and online news reporting awards.