How Much Is It Okay to Go Out of My Way for Others?

As you're learning to establish healthier relationships and boundaries, the question comes up, "How much is it healthy to do things for others that use my own energy and effort?"
How Much Is It Okay to Go Out of My Way for Others?

When should you go out of your way?

A common question that comes up when we’re learning to unmask and/or processing our old relationship traumas and trying to create a better life for ourselves is, “How much is it okay to go out of my way for other people?” Here’s one thought about that: 

How much it’s potentially healthy to go out of your way to make someone else’s life better is in direct proportion to how much you care about that person and how much they’re a part of your life. 

So you might be willing to do a lot for a partner, child, parent, or someone you really care about (that could include chosen family as well). Might be less for someone that’s a part of your broad circle. And for your job, you’ll need to decide where that fits in, and that may differ depending on jobs, your current circumstances, financial need, your current level of burnout, how much you hate or love the job, a variety of factors. 

So you might ask yourself, “How much do I care about this person, group, or job? How much do I want their life to be better? And how much will this actually improve their life?”

So you might ask yourself, “How much do I care about this person, group, or job? How much do I want their life to be better? And how much will this actually improve their life?” You might be willing to put yourself out more for something that will really help someone that you really care about, but less for a minor thing, for someone that isn’t all that important to you.

To put it another way, is the potential cost to you high or low? Is the potential for a positive outcome high or low? How much do you care, high or low? So, for example, going to Comic-Con with a friend who wants company is potentially high stress, but also potentially high reward and you might care a lot. On the other hand, a work party is potentially high stress, but maybe low reward and you might not care that much. 

One more. Making accommodations for a partner might be going well out of your way but might not actually be that harmful to you. That could be medium stress but also medium reward, and yet you care a lot about them and want them to be happy. So you might be more willing to do that. 

There’s a lot of other factors, this is just one of them, but I hope that there’s something in here that you might have found valuable. Take care and have a neurowonderful day.

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Heather Cook

Heather Cook

Hi, I’m Heather. I’m an Autistic writer, advocate, and life coach, and I'm building a life I love. I help other Autistics to build their own autism-positive life. I love reading, jigsaw puzzles, just about every -ology, and Star Trek!

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