Sacrificing Yourself for Others: Why It May Be Killing Your Happiness

By Tiffiny J. Fambro | Selfcare

Oct 27

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When I was a little girl, I was taught to be nice, treat people with respect, and always be willing to sacrifice my happiness if it meant helping someone else.

I think my parents did a great job instilling the concept of altruism in me at an early age because I am happy to say that I have grown up to be a very loving and giving person. However, there have been times when I have given too much of myself to others, such as in romantic relationships, friendships, group projects, and even in volunteer groups.

When I did this, I ended up being too exhausted to do anything for myself. One day, I had enough. I finally got to a point where I realized my giving behavior did not match my receiving behavior. I was self-sacrificing for the good of everyone else but myself.

My stress increased, which caused my anxiety to increase, which caused me to overeat sugary processed foods, which led to me gaining weight and feeling lethargic, which induced the beginning stages of depression.

All the self-sacrificing I was doing was leading to unhealthy lifestyle choices and overall unhealthy life. I finally had to decide that it was time to put myself as my priority and end my toxic self-sacrificing.

Steps to Stop Sacrificing Your Happiness for Others

Recognize Toxicity

Realize that your self-sacrificing behavior has become toxic to your own peace of mind and joy.

Find Balance

Balance your giving and receiving behavior. Be willing to say, “no” sometimes or just don’t volunteer yourself.

One lesson I have learned over the years is that just because something needs to be done in this world, does not mean it’s your job to do it. Allow other people to give their time and energy to projects and tasks.

Be willing to give yourself some time and attention, and most importantly, be open to receiving help or support when it is given to you.

Set Firm Boundaries

Set firm boundaries by expressing your needs to others. Don’t be afraid to tell people exactly what you need so that they understand your boundaries.

The worst thing you can do is give other people all of your time and energy, just to become resentful and angry that they didn’t know you were tired or overworked. You must be willing to speak up for yourself so people can understand what you need and how they should interact with you going forward.


These are just a few tips that you can incorporate in your life to help you step back into your power and regain control over your life, your time, and your energy.

There is nothing wrong with giving to others, but the problem comes in when we give to the point of physical, mental, and emotional distress of our wellbeing.


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About the Author

Tiffiny has a B.A. in Psychology, and master’s degree in Public Health Education. She worked in consulting for over 16 years, as well as previously owning a fitness and health business. In her personal life, she used personal development, mindset and health strategies to go from being overworked in a demanding corporate career, emotionally drained in a toxic marriage, physically unhealthy, and depressed to becoming an award-winning figure level bodybuilding athlete and entrepreneur. As a women’s empowerment coach, she works to help women get clear on their goals, build confidence, increase self-esteem, take action on their deep desires and create a life they love

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