Completing this checklist can help you become aware of ways you may be rescuing people without realizing it.
Mark each of the statements below as it applies to you, using to this code:
0 = Seldom or never
1 = Sometimes or occasionally
2 = Frequently
(X designates significant others in your life, such as a spouse, boss, parents, friend, or colleague.)
____ It is hard for me to take time for myself and have fun.
____ I supply words for X when he or she hesitates.
____ I set limits for myself that I then exceed.
____ I believe I am responsible for making (keeping) X happy.
____ I enjoy lending a shoulder for X to cry" on.
____ I believe that X is not sufficiently grateful for my help.
____ I take care of X more than I take care of myself.
____ I find myself interrupting when X is talking.
____ I watch for clues for ways to be helpful to X.
____ I make excuses, openly or mentally, for X.
____ I do more than my share; that is, I work harder than X.
____ When X is unsure or uncomfortable about doing something, I do it for X.
____ I give up doing things because X wouldn't like it.
____ I find myself thinking that I really know what is best for X.
____ I think X would have grave difficulty getting along without me.
____ I use the word "we" and then find I don't have X's consent.
____ I stop myself by thinking X will feel badly if I say or do something.
____ It is hard for me not to respond to anyone who seems hurting or needing help.
____ I find others resenting me when I was only trying to be helpful.
____ I find myself giving advice that is not welcome or accepted.
____ Total score. More than 10 points: Rescuing is possible. More than 20 points: Rescuing is probable.
Adapted, with permission, from Valerie Lankford (www.valcanhelp.com) and Paschal Baute, PhD (www.paschalbaute.com).