We all love someone in our lives, our parents or kids, our siblings or friends, our fiancees or spouses. And this love comes hand in hand with our internal need to protect and help the loved ones.
If you’re a parent, you know very well that feeling of living in 2 different bodies at the same time (yours and your child’s). But even if you don’t have a mini-you yet, you definitely know how it is to wish someone else the best and to want to take their pain away.
All that love and protection are beneficial until a certain point. It gives our loved ones the feeling that they are protected and wanted, but most of all, it gives them the confidence that they belong. As social beings, we need to know that we belong and are protected by someone else. This is how babies dare to walk and talk because they know their parents are there to watch their steps. Later in our lives, we learn that our friends help us evolve because they understand us, and they are there to witness the new roads we take.
When we choose a life partner, we pick them knowing that we are loved and protected, and we are confident we have found someone to turn to every time the going gets tough.
On the other hand, when we love someone, we need to protect them because we want what’s best for them and because we don’t want to lose the object of our adoration. When we love, we have a purpose because there is someone else out there that needs our protection. That someone gives us reasons to become better, to earn more, to be more, and this is how humanity and society evolved.
Love and all the other feelings derived from it are amazing; they are the best parts of our journey on Earth. But, like everything in our lives, what’s too much can do more harm than good. And there is a very fine line in between helping someone and doing more wrong than supporting. But how do you know when too much good becomes bad?
As a counselor and a life coach, but also as a daughter, a sister, a friend, and a wife, I’ve seen this too much good turning into a bad thing. And trust me, sometimes it is messy, and it leaves traces for life.
During the years, I’ve seen parents that protected their children to the level where the kids never entirely grew up. They remained immature even at 25, 30, or 50 years old. They had kids of their own while struggling to stay kids themselves, in a world ruled by grown-ups.
I’ve seen adults incapable of making decisions because they didn’t know how to think for themselves, as they always had their parents guide their steps. And when the parents weren’t there anymore, they didn’t know what to do with their lives. Some of the “grown-up kids” couldn’t keep a job because they couldn’t understand that their boss has expectations and they have duties and responsibilities towards the company.
In even sadder cases, they didn’t have friends or spouses because they never understood how other people couldn’t dance the way they sing and have feelings or wishes of their own.
I’ve seen unhappy wives because their husbands treated them like kids out of too much love and protection. I’ve seen emasculated husbands controlled by their wives who think they know best.
In all cases, the bad came out of too much good. The unhappiness or despair came as a result of too many good intentions. Because, as the old saying iterates: “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”.
So, the next time you feel you need to control someone you love or overly protect them, please, ask yourself: How do you know when too much good is bad?
Or if you’re on the other side of this situation, and you are overwhelmed by someone else’s protection, please ask them the same question.
And if you know you’re on either of these scenarios, but you don’t know how to get out of it, let’s talk.
Choose to live a happy life!