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The Hidden Toll of Overfunctioning: Unveiling Resentment and Rediscovering Self-Care

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

In today's fast-paced and interconnected world, it's not uncommon for many of us to take on the role of "overfunctioners." We tirelessly go above and beyond to meet the needs and expectations of others, often at the expense of our own well-being. But beneath the surface of our selfless actions lies a subtle yet powerful emotion: resentment. In this blog, we'll explore the detrimental effects of overfunctioning, shed light on the reasons behind it, and discover practical ways to prioritize self-care without guilt.

  1. Understanding Overfunctioning: Overfunctioning is a behavioral pattern characterized by assuming excessive responsibility, micromanaging, and taking charge in various aspects of life, including work, relationships, and personal affairs. While it may seem noble and altruistic at first, overfunctioning can gradually erode our emotional and physical well-being.

  2. The Resentment Paradox: Resentment, an often unspoken and overlooked consequence of overfunctioning, builds up over time due to the imbalance between giving and receiving. When we consistently prioritize others' needs over our own, resentment can silently grow, poisoning our relationships and overall happiness. It's essential to acknowledge and address this resentment in order to restore a healthy balance.

  3. The Root Causes of Overfunctioning: To effectively tackle overfunctioning, we must examine its underlying causes. Several factors can contribute to this behavior, including societal expectations, fear of disappointing others, perfectionism, and low self-esteem. Understanding these triggers allows us to develop a more compassionate perspective towards ourselves and take proactive steps toward change.

  4. Communication and Collaboration: Overcoming the habit of overfunctioning often requires open and honest communication with the people around us. By expressing our needs, concerns, and desires, we can foster healthier and more balanced relationships. Encourage collaboration, delegation, and shared responsibility, allowing others to contribute and grow alongside us.

  5. Cultivating Self-Care: Recognizing the negative impact of overfunctioning is the first step towards reclaiming our own well-being. Here are some practical strategies to cultivate self-care:

a. Set Boundaries: Learn to say "no" when necessary and establish clear boundaries in your personal and professional life. Communicate your limits to others and prioritize self-care without feeling guilty.


b. Practice Self-Reflection: Regularly check in with yourself to assess your needs, desires, and emotions. Engage in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment, nurturing your own passions and dreams.


c. Seek Support: Don't be afraid to reach out for help. Surround yourself with a support network of friends, family, or professionals who can provide guidance and encouragement along your journey.


d. Challenge Perfectionism: Embrace the idea that imperfections are a natural part of life. Let go of unrealistic expectations, both for yourself and others. Embrace self-compassion and celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small.


e. Prioritize Self-Care Activities: Engage in activities that promote relaxation, self-expression, and self-care. Whether it's practicing mindfulness, exercising, indulging in hobbies, or simply taking a break, make self-care a non-negotiable part of your routine.


Overfunctioning may initially feel like a selfless act, but it can gradually erode our well-being, leading to resentment and burnout. By understanding the root causes of overfunctioning and implementing self-care practices, we can reclaim our own happiness and build healthier relationships. Remember, you deserve to prioritize your needs and dreams, without guilt or resentment.


Interested in learning more about how EMDR can help you? Schedule a free 15 min consult to learn more! With offices in Gilbert & Phoenix Arizona, our therapists are ready to help you achieve your limitless potential.



Gilbert Location: 2563 S. Val Vista Dr. Ste 108. Gilbert, AZ 85295

Phoenix Location: 1440 E. Missouri Ave. C270. Phoenix, AZ 85014

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