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  • Writer's pictureHannah McQuilkan

Are you a rescuer?

Would you describe yourself as helpful, empathetic and sensitive to the needs of others? If so, you may be prone to giving too much in relationships and become a rescuer, which as we shall see can seriously undermine you and your ability to form healthy and balanced relationships.

As a life long rescuer I am hyper vigilant when it comes to this dynamic. When I see it in myself I do my best to stop it immediately. It is something I see a lot in my clients as well, which is why I decided to write this blog.

Rescuing behaviour, also known as "enabling," is a psychological term used to describe behaviour that attempts to protect others from the natural consequences of their actions, often to the detriment of the enabler. This can manifest in a variety of ways, such as taking responsibility for someone else's problems, making excuses for their behaviour, or enabling destructive behaviour by providing support or resources.

Rescuing behaviour is often driven by a desire to help or care for others, but it can ultimately prevent individuals from developing self-sufficiency and can create an unhealthy dynamic in relationships. In some cases, rescuing behaviour can also lead to codependency, where the enabler becomes overly reliant on the person they are trying to rescue and sacrifices their own well-being in the process.

Rescuing behaviour can take many forms, and may include the following behaviours or characteristics:

  1. Taking responsibility for other people's problems: Rescuers often feel responsible for fixing or solving other people's problems, even if it's not their job or if it comes at a personal cost. They may go out of their way to help others, even if it's not asked for or appreciated.

  2. Ignoring one's own needs: Rescuers often put others' needs before their own, and may neglect their own physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. This can lead to burnout, exhaustion, and a sense of feeling unappreciated.

  3. Difficulty setting boundaries: Rescuers may struggle to set boundaries with others, and may feel guilty or anxious when they do. They may allow others to take advantage of them or violate their boundaries, in order to avoid conflict or maintain a sense of peace.

  4. Feeling responsible for others' happiness: Rescuers may feel responsible for others' emotional well-being, and may go to great lengths to ensure that others are happy or content. They may sacrifice their own happiness or well-being in order to please others.

  5. Enabling destructive behaviour: Rescuers may enable others' destructive behaviour, by providing resources or support that allows the behaviour to continue. This can include providing money, covering for someone's mistakes, or making excuses for their behaviour.

  6. Difficulty saying "no": Rescuers may struggle to say "no" to others, and may feel guilty or anxious when they do. They may say yes to requests or demands, even if they are not in a position to help or it's not in their best interests.

Rescuing and codependency are related behaviours, but they are not the same thing.

While rescuing behaviour and codependency can overlap, they have some key differences. Rescuing behaviour is often more focused on actions, such as taking responsibility for someone else's problems or providing support or resources, while codependency is more focused on emotions and relationships, such as seeking validation or approval from another person.

Additionally, while rescuing behaviour can be motivated by a desire to help or care for others, codependency is often rooted in unresolved emotional issues or trauma that lead to a need for external validation or support.

Sound like you or someone you know? These behaviours can be driven by a desire to help or care for others, but can ultimately lead to an unhealthy dynamic in relationships and can prevent individuals from developing self-sufficiency. If you recognise these patterns in yourself, it may be helpful to seek professional support or guidance in order to address these behaviours and cultivate healthier relationship dynamics.

"Being a rescuer can be a noble calling, but it can also be a trap that keeps us from our own growth and healing. Recovery begins when we acknowledge that we cannot save others, and that the only person we can truly rescue is ourselves. By focusing on our own healing, we can become stronger, more compassionate, and better equipped to support others in a healthy and sustainable way."

Tree Mystic

I have been having great results supporting people with these patterns to release and heal right through to the root cause, using Angelic Reiki.

Angelic Reiki is a spiritual healing modality that combines traditional Reiki techniques with the support and guidance of angelic beings. While Angelic Reiki cannot "fix" rescuing behavior directly, it can help individuals who rescue others by providing emotional and spiritual support, helping to restore balance and clarity, and promoting self-awareness and self-compassion.

Angelic Reiki can work on multiple levels, including physical, emotional, and spiritual, and can help individuals release negative energy patterns and beliefs that contribute to rescuing behaviour and codependency. By accessing higher levels of consciousness and working with angelic guides and energies, Angelic Reiki can help individuals connect with their own inner guidance, strengths, and resources, which can support them in setting healthy boundaries and making more empowered choices in their relationships.

During an Angelic Reiki session, I channel healing energy and work with angelic beings to create a safe, supportive, and healing space for the individual. The energy can help to clear energetic blockages, promote relaxation and inner peace, and support the body's natural healing processes. Through this process, individuals may gain new insights, experience emotional release, and feel more connected to their own inner wisdom and guidance. Its amazing what people can see and come to understand about themselves and others that allows for new healthy ways of being to emerge.

Ultimately, Angelic Reiki can help individuals who rescue others by providing a space for healing and transformation, supporting their personal growth and self-discovery, and helping them to cultivate a deeper sense of self-love and self-care.

If you're interested in finding out more about my private sessions click here:

To Your Joy, Freedom and Happy Relationships,


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