The Clay Person Syndrome: Giving Until You Have Nothing Left
The problem with easily malleable or "clay" personalities is that they give so much to others that they forget themselves and their own well-being. This is called the Clay Person Syndrome.
Clay Person Syndrome affects more people than we think. The big problem is that this is perfectly acceptable social behavior.
This type of person puts his or her necessities aside to attend to the demands of others. The consequence is that they can become sick, as they stop thinking about and taking care of themselves.
A clay person always wants to help. Do you need someone to help you move? Want someone who can listen? He or she will be there.
Generosity that hurts
The people who fall into this category are excessively generous. They do not thinking about receiving, only giving.
But this is very dangerous. Not everyone is good. There are also toxic people who are looking to manipulate you, lie to you and absorb all of your energy.
Generosity is not a bad thing. However, when being generous leads to someone taking advantage of you, that’s not so good.
First, you need to think of yourself, even though we’ve been taught that doing so is “selfish.”
Once we take care of ourselves, we can then help others, but by establishing limits to protect ourselves as much as possible.
The clay person is a slave
Those who suffer from this disorder become slaves to everyone else. They are at their whim, no matter the circumstances.
They are completely unassertive. They adapt to circumstances, requests and demands that others make of them.
It doesn’t matter if this makes them feel bad. They are willing to solve everyone else’s problems, even if it means that they will suffer in the process.
Upon acting like a servant, the clay person tries to develop empathy and an intuition to anticipate what others want.
But on the contrary, if the day arrives when they need company or help from someone, they won’t get it.
These are good people that give so much to others that they end up being used, mistreated and undervalued.
Reconnecting with your inner “me”
You can stop being a clay person, but you will have to embark on a difficult journey: connecting to your inner “me.”
This true “you” has lost its way, since you set it aside and stopped giving it attention. This is what you now need to attend to.
You have seen your life stop being yours to be everyone else’s. Happiness? You are only happy if everyone else is and you are not capable of it for yourself.
Does that seem fair?
Always depending on others, doing everything for everyone else instead of yourself, being overly good and generous: this is not positive.
Look inside and find that person who lost their way. The one who had hopes, dreams, wishes and goals.
This person has not disappeared, they’re just hidden. Look inside of you.
What do you want?
You have realized that giving yourself to others doesn’t make you happy and you get nothing by putting others’ needs above your own. Even though you don’t believe it, deep down, it hurts. Accept it.
All of this has been consuming you.
It’s important, once you begin leaving this disorder behind, that you follow some simple tips:
- If someone asks you a favor, take your time. Don’t say “yes” immediately, you don’t have to. Wait, think on it and make sure you want to and can do it.
- Want to say “no”? Then say “no.” Accept that it’s not good to do everything asked of us, especially if it goes against our values and principles, or if we simply don’t want to.
- You are not selfish. You love and respect yourself.
- Leave your guilt aside. You will feel flushed with it but don’t take it seriously. This feeling of guilt will try to lead you back to where you were.
- Take care of yourself and give yourself time – do everything for yourself that you did for others. You are the most important, the highest priority. If you don’t worry about you, who will?
Don’t go without reading: 7 Toxic People You Should Avoid to Be Happy
If you have discovered the clay person inside of you, it’s time to let it out.
We all have to learn to make ourselves a priority. You aren’t selfish. You are generous with yourself.