Is There Such a Thing as Over-Nurturing?

The importance of attachment, unconditional love and acceptance is now undisputed as being cornerstones to our well being. When we focus on nurturing our loved ones with those goals in mind, we are creating space for a strong foundation and healthy relationships. But is it possible to over nurture?

If we find ourselves in a position where we routinely take on other people’s problems and have difficulty in saying no, we may be moving into Rescue mode. Here, we tend to have a need to save others, to have a hand in solving their issues. We are often too soft, and as a result run the risk of over nurturing.

When we over nurture our loved ones, we end up inadvertently creating a lower sense of independence as we take on the task versus letting them handle it. If we take away every struggle, we miss the opportunity to witness their capability in conquering an issue or in figuring it out in their own way. Over nurturing can also lead to issues with self esteem, and higher levels of anxiety as our loved one feels dependent in order to get through life.

If we recognize that we can land into the habit of over nurturing, we can begin by noticing when we have ‘stepped in to take over.’ Allowing room for freedom of choice, boundary setting, and learning to say no are all valuable in creating a more balanced approach to nurturing our loved ones.

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2 thoughts on “Is There Such a Thing as Over-Nurturing?”

  1. Anne Lamott tells us, “Ah yes, helping, the ‘sunny side’ of control”, triggering self examination of how this habit plays out for ourselves. Not without squirming or cringing, habits born of love are very hard to break.


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