In lifestyle financial planning, striking the right balance between empathy and codependency is essential to building healthy relationships while maintaining personal well-being. A recent tweet by Dr Nicole LePera (@Theholisticpsyc) highlighted the differences between empathy and codependency.
Empathy means understanding a person’s feelings and being able to put ourselves in their shoes. In the context of financial planning, empathy allows us to be aware of and attuned to the emotions and perspectives of others. By actively listening and offering support from a place of compassion or curiosity, we can create authentic, safe relationships where we can all feel seen, heard, and understood. This emotional connection is invaluable in helping us make important financial decisions that align with our values and life goals.
On the other hand, codependency involves chronic neglect of ourselves and the tendency to go into “rescuer” or “fixer” mode when someone shares their emotions. In financial planning, codependency can manifest as giving unsolicited advice, agreeing to help friends and family at the cost of our own emotional well-being, or trying to rescue them from their own actions. It’s crucial to remember that our role is not to fix others’ issues, but to love, support and empower them to make informed decisions.
When we’re in fixer mode, we may feel uncomfortable or anxious with our own emotions and try to change someone else’s situation instead of understanding their feelings. This lack of boundaries can lead to feelings of burnout, resentment, or being taken for granted.
To avoid codependency in lifestyle financial planning, we must practice “holding space” for others without interjecting our own feelings. If we notice the impulse to give advice or “fix” the situation, we should remind ourselves that we are only responsible for our own decisions, not everyone else’s.
To strike the right balance between empathy and codependency, it’s crucial to maintain clear boundaries and an awareness of our roles in the lives of others. If we are asked for help or support and are in a space to provide that assistance, we can offer our expertise and resources. However, if we aren’t asked for help, we must release our role of trying to rescue others and focus on empowering them to make their own decisions.
By cultivating empathy, we can create safe and authentic relationships with others while maintaining clear boundaries and avoiding the pitfalls of codependency. This approach allows us to guide ourselves and others towards financial decisions that align with values and goals, ultimately leading to a more fulfilling life for all of us.