I was really getting fed up with all the work being dumped on me. I seemed to be getting more than my fair share. It didn’t make sense. I was being rewarded for my can-do attitude with more and more work, while others seemed to be skating by. And this wasn’t happening without a personal price. I was tired when I got home. Too tired to have the energy I’d like to have with my family and friends. And to think about doing something for myself was a joke!
Yup, I had it bad - the “White Knight Syndrome!” But what I didn’t even realize was that I was creating all of it myself. My ego needed it - taking on all that work, staying late at the office, not getting enough sleep - it made me feel worthy, or special, or connected. I’m not really sure exactly which need I thought it was fulfilling and it doesn’t really matter. It wasn’t healthy. And I was doing it all to myself.
Ever find yourself being the White Knight? It can be really hard to recognize because it's disguised so well. We swoop in to save the day, or the person - because we have this unfilled need. Is it a need for recognition? Is it our ego that is driving this? Is it a lack of confidence?
How can we tell when it's the unhealthy White Knight sydrome, versus a healthy generosity, and genuinely helping someone else? Being aware of our intent can cut right to it. Why am I doing this? What am I feeling? Emotions can be a great way to identify our real intent. Sometimes we have to dig a little deeper than the surface, because it can be easy to fool ourselves. If I'm feeling like a victim in any way, or I'm feeling a need for people to know what I've done, those are good warning signs.
What other warning signs are there? How can you tell when it's not a healthy generosity, but instead an unhealthy White Knight syndrome?
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