This is a story of a girl who cares too much. A girl who has a larger than life heart. A girl who longs to help, to console, to love others. A girl who is vulnerable, emotional, empathetic, and strong. A girl who falls too hard and loves too much, and has occasionally loved the wrong people. This girl puts her needs aside for everyone else, and continues to let people in – though she has been broken and bruised many times before.
She gives and gives, never asking for anything in return. She keeps her childlike faith and trust tucked safely inside of her heart, knowing that someday, in a world full of half-hearted love and fear of emotions, she’ll finally find her place.
Yes, this girl knows how to feel. She knows and experienced hurt, heartbreak, and total heartlessness, and she refuses to contribute to the all-too-often stone cold stoic disposition of today’s society.
This girl has been told that she cares too much, is too sensitive, is too emotional.
This girl has people who try to stifle her heart and spirit and turn them ice-cold. This girl who cares too much is me, and this is my story.
In this world, you’re always going to be too much or too little of something for someone. Maybe you’re told that you’re too loud, too quiet, too bright, too dark, too sensitive, or not sensitive enough. As you grow into the person that you’re destined to be, people will try to interfere.
Someone will always want you to be just a little bit different from who you are. Maybe you’re more liked when you’re more outgoing. Maybe you’re more accepted when you’re silent. Whatever it is, you will always be encouraged to change, to adapt, to “fit in.” And when you make that tiny change, you’ll think you’ll finally be “fixed”, finally you’ll be perfect, right? Wrong.
I’ve experienced this firsthand so many times. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been told that I care too much. People would tell me that as if it were a negative part of me that desperately needed to be fixed in order for me to survive in this harsh world. As if caring too much is a flaw.
To me, caring too much means that I have a big heart, and that it beats to the same way that I live: to the beat of my own drum.
It’s just one more color to add to the rainbow that is uniquely me. And, if you’re someone who cares too much, this rings true for you, too.
Admittedly, sometimes caring too much hasn’t always worked out in my favor. But, that doesn’t mean it’s a character defect. Here’s what you need to know about caring too much, and why it’s not a bad thing:
When you care too much it means that you value your relationships.
You put time and effort into them because you genuinely care. Yes, you may text first – or often – with those you love. You may call them when you haven’t heard from them or be excited to see them when it has been a while. You may even buy them little gifts, for no other reason than just to let them know that you love them. That is okay. You don’t need to apologize for following your heart and expressing your feelings.
When you care too much you will love with everything you have because you don’t know how to love with anything less.
You will give your heart and soul to those you love because that is how your heart is. You know how to be open, how to be vulnerable, and you’re not afraid to show it. Don’t be ashamed. It’s a beautiful and rare treasure to be able to express your love.
When you care too much you’re going to get hurt.
People won’t always know how to accept your love. That’s not your fault. People will hurt you, and though it will sting, you have to keep reminding yourself that it isn’t your fault. Everybody loves differently, everybody shows it differently. If someone doesn’t show you the same love or care as you do to them, that doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t love you, they just show it the best that they know how.
When you care too much you’re still going to let people in.
Despite what your head tells you, despite how many times you’ve been hurt, you’re still going to trust and let people in. It’s just who you are. That’s not a bad thing. You desire close relationships with people and you know that you have to let people in if you want to establish that.
When you care too much you’re going to hurt people, too.
Of course it’s not intentional, but disagreements will happen, arguments will happen, and sometimes, you will hurt someone’s feelings. It’s not because you want to. It’s because you feel everything so deeply. It’s because you care. It’s because your heart has been negatively impacted in some way and you don’t know what to do with that hurt. Own it. Apologize. But, most important, forgive yourself.
When you care too much you will always try to see the best in people.
No matter how many times someone has hurt you, you’re still going to look for their positive traits and qualities. This doesn’t make you a doormat or a pushover. This actually makes you strong. Strong because you’re not letting someone bring you down. Strong because you’re not letting anyone change your outlook. Strong because you can overlook the hard times and remember the better times. Strong because you’re choosing to remain positive in the midst of adversity.
When you care too much you’ll sometimes put too much value into what people think or say about you.
Constructive criticism is necessary. It helps us grow and mature into the best individuals that we can be. But, be sure to never take someone’s criticism to heart. I know, it’s hard. You’ll want to please people. You’ll want to be perfect for people. You don’t want anyone looking negatively at you. But, you won’t be perfect. You weren’t meant to be. Never seek validation from others or let others tell you what your worth is. You define you. Period.
When you care too much you’ll make a fantastic friend.
Anyone who knows you and has you as a friend, should know that they have someone genuine and real. Because of your willingness to be there for others and to help others, you will go above and beyond for your friends, family, or anyone you love and care about. You will give and give and give, all with no regrets.
When you care too much you will discover how passionate you really are.
You will put your best energy into your passions and work toward your dreams and goals. You won’t give up or give in, even when times get tough.
When you care too much you will learn valuable lessons that you wouldn’t learn any other way.
You’ll learn how to help people, how to be there for others. You’ll learn how to heal, how to grow, and how to stand confident in yourself and your worth. You’ll learn that while it’s amazing to care for others, that it’s just as amazing and necessary to care for yourself with the same amount of love and comfort.
“Despite what you feel, you are not too much. You are not too sensitive or too needy. You are thoughtful and empathetic. You are compassionate and kind. And with or without anyone’s acknowledgment or affection, you are enough.” ― Daniell Koepke
Sweet friend, be proud of who you are. Be proud of your heart. You’re a rare light in this world and we need your kindness, your compassion, your love. We need you to care. Stop apologizing for caring too much. Stop apologizing for your feelings and for your heart. Care too much. Be too much. Live your life unapologetically.
Featured Image Credit: Andrea Vehige