Every situation has a silver lining – discover a mindset that heals and enlightens.

December 10, 2021 · 6 min read

empathy without boundaries is self-destruction
If you’re serious about changing your life, you’ll find a way. If you’re not, you’ll find an excuse. ~ Jen Sincero

Coming from a family which deeply cares about others, I can say that empathy without boundaries is self-destruction. It doesn’t matter how much you take care of others. When the time comes, other people show their true colors and will forget every single good thing you’ve done for them.


That is especially true when it comes to inheriting something and even family members among themselves start fighting. Imagine what happens with “friends” and acquaintances in such scenario.

People are selfish and they care only about themselves. You only empower them by showing them empathy and make them feel even better about themselves.


You need to take care of yourself. Ultimately, you are the most important person for yourself. You need to live and not to exist.

What does empathy without boundaries is self-destruction mean?

Empathy without boundaries is self-destruction means that you are putting other people needs first instead of yours. You become a professional people pleaser and disregard your happiness.

Living for yourself is not selfish. Understanding the line between empathy and boundaries is important for your better mental health and life satisfaction. Taking care of yourself is the key for feeling happy in life.

6 Signs empathy without boundaries destroys you

Here are a few signs when kindness without boundaries self-sabotage you:

  1. You are afraid to say “no”.
  2. You constantly feel unhappy and try to make up for it by pleasing others.
  3. You deeply care about people and you can’t shut this feeling off.
  4. You have a negative self-talk when you try to prioritize yourself.
  5. You forgive everyone too easily.
  6. You occasionally have a burst of negative emotions and leave yourself confused.

Examples of having no boundaries

Empathy without boundaries is self-destruction and these examples prove that well:

  • You always say “yes” if someone asks you a favor.
  • You take care of others more than you take care of yourself.
  • You don’t truly know what makes you happy in life.
  • You constantly feel sorry for people that don’t deserve that.

Examples of having boundaries

Here are a few examples of knowing the limit between empathy and boundaries:

  • When you dislike something, you always express your opinion and try to find a consensus.
  • You don’t sacrifice your time for someone who clearly abuses you: whether that’s your boss, friend, or an acquaintance.
  • You are ambitious and you never surrender to “nay-sayers” that always try to put you down. You always fight for your dreams and trust in your beliefs.
  • When you feel uncomfortable in a situation, you stand up for yourself and your own happiness.

10 Reasons Empathy without boundaries is self-destruction

1. Negative self-talk

 Negative self-talk occurs because of low self-esteem, anxiety, depression. It is caused by habits, such as not addressing relationship difficulties or not believing in your actions.

empathy without boundaries is self-destruction

The problem with negative self-talk is that it becomes automatic. It steals your joy and your mind is focusing only on negatives.


The way to get out of this routine is to be mindful about your thoughts. Address them and recognize. You have to build conscious choices around the negative self-talk and make it into a positive self-talk.

2. Inability to free yourself from worries

Another reason that empathy without boundaries is self-destruction is your inability to ease your mind. You constantly worry and make different scenarios in your mind.


You overthink about things that will never happen or have a very small probability to happen. You can’t free yourself from worries.

3. Inability to move on in life

Whenever you have empathy without boundaries, you become unavailable for new experiences in life. It’s like a blockade which doesn’t allow you to feel excitement and joy in life.

Empathy is about finding echoes of another person in yourself. ~ Mohsin Hamid

While you notice people around you are having the time of their lives, you simply can’t accept changes. You need to change your mindset if you want to see any improvements.


Life doesn’t wait. You have to adapt and move on with it.

4. Not being aware of your potential

By simply spending a lot of time on others, you will never know what you are capable of. While taking care of others is a good thing to do, but it also drains a lot of your time.

empathy without boundaries

That’s exactly why you will not be able to explore yourself or develop yourself further. You need to have boundaries, otherwise having too much empathy for other will destroy you.


You need to start setting goals, learn new skills, and just simply find your passion. Only in this way you will be able to reveal your full potential.

5. You start losing your mind

Eventually, you will start feeling powerless and accept your fate. Break downs will follow up and you will have a sense that you’re going down to an abyss.

You will feel like that empathy without boundaries is self-destruction and there’s nothing you can do. You won’t be able to think clearly. You will start losing sleep, being stressed, anxious, and you will feel exhausted in general.


It might be a scary place to be at if you will face loss of your mind occurrence.

6. You are not happy with yourself

Kindness without boundaries is self-sabotage and you won’t be happy with yourself at all. You might be angry at yourself or disappointed how everything turns out.

You just simply feel a sense of unfulfillment. The only way out of this is to start digging what your root problem is and start taking actions against it. Only then you will feel alive and be happy with yourself.

7. Inability to accept criticism

Before saying anything further, I have to assure you that everyone has troubles to take criticism. It’s rare that a person feels comfortable to receive criticism.

The trouble with most of us is that we'd rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism. ~ Norman Vincent Peale

However, empathy without boundaries can lead you to a complete inability to take criticism. You will feel as if the world is against you and that it’s completely unfair.


You care too much about what other people say about you. Criticizing you without a good reason will leave you upset and angry.

8. You don’t take risks

Empathy without boundaries is self-destruction also because you don’t challenge yourself to take any significant risks in life.

kindness without boundaries is self-sabotage

See, you actually can manage your risks and maximize your happiness in life. You shouldn’t minimize the risks and stop living until the day you are buried.


Like Benjamin Franklin said “Many people die at twenty five and aren’t buried until they are seventy five”. Essentially, your fear is the mind killer that doesn’t allow you to explore life to its fullest.

9. You feel like a disappointment

Disappointment doesn’t come when you expect it. Instead, it comes when you reflect your actions and assess them.

Having too much empathy without boundaries is self-destruction and your dreams, hopes feel lost. You feel like you don’t have time for yourself and everyone around abuses you.

10. You start losing your identity

YOU don’t exist anymore. You are so overwhelmed that you don’t even know who you are anymore.

By changing nothing, nothing changes. ~ Tony Robbins

You are stripped from roles and titles. You don’t feel like you belong in your job anymore. You don’t feel like yourself at all. You might even feel like that the only way to get over this feeling is to start over everything fresh.


Your sense of self comes from your past. You can’t become a new person. You have to accept it and try to improve your version.

How to have empathy with boundaries

First, here’s a short and fun video about what empathy is truly like:

If you feel unhappy and not satisfied where you are at in terms of your well-being, you need to prioritize yourself to have empathy with boundaries.


A healthy empathy with boundaries means to be mindful about your own and other person’s situation. If you sabotage your own needs, happiness, it’s not a healthy empathy at all. If you’re feeling down and still trying to have empathy for someone, you will become a very unhappy person.


In such scenario, here’s how you can have empathy with boundaries:

  • Learn how to say “no”. You don’t owe anyone an explanation. It feels natural to start explaining the reasons behind your opinion, but the truth is that it’s okay to simply reject an offer. “No” is a word that empowers you and gives you more control of your life.


  • Get to know yourself. Empathy without boundaries often comes from not valuing yourself You have to learn what it’s like for you to be scared, happy, compassionate, vulnerable, ambitious, uplifted… You name it. Once you taste what it feels to be truly happy, you will be valuing yourself more.
A great obstacle to happiness is to expect too much happiness. ~ Bernard de Fontenelle
  • Trust the process. While you might know and understand that you should have empathy with boundaries, it’s common that we act differently. It just doesn’t feel right. That’s why you have to have faith and trust the process. It’s for your own good and well-being.


  • Practice self-love. It’s very likely that you are deprived of dedicating some time for yourself to feel better about yourself. You always put others in front of yourself. Kindness without boundaries is self-sabotage. For that exact reason you should start spoiling yourself with your favorite activities, making room for your mistakes, not comparing yourself to others, and being generally easy and kind to yourself.

Final Words From Delightful Mindset

Having empathy is essential for every person. Without it, you will be missing a lot in life, such as understanding other people, which transfers to soft skills.

Nonetheless, like in every field of life, balance is required. You have to find the sweet spot of empathy to others not to harm yourself and other people.


Empathy without boundaries is self-destruction only if you choose this path. Remember that you have to mindful about your decisions and you can always change your direction of your life path.