The Curse of a Generous Heart (Also, Burnout)

The Curse of a Generous Heart (Also, Burnout)

A podcast I was listening to said something about burnout being the result of having a generous heart. That people with a generous heart want to help someone else.


The Curse of a Generous Heart (Also, Burnout)


The Curse of a Generous Heart (Also, Burnout)


Then my brain flipped it on its head. What happens to selfish people? Do they get burnout? 


In this context, I’m using the word selfish as more of a cruel disregard for others, rather than a “selfish by putting your oxygen mask on first” type of situation. The negative selfish, not the positive selfish.


I have no answers to this – but it has been floating around in my head for a few months now.


Do you think selfish people can get this kind of burn out?


14 Replies to “The Curse of a Generous Heart (Also, Burnout)”

  1. I think anyone can get burnout and it more depends on the source – internal or external. I think some people also create rods for their own proverbial backs by taking on too much (for others, or for themselves). This is often cos we’re bad at saying no, or we’re control freaks. Or both!!!

    1. Good point – the ability or want to say no can play in heavily!

  2. I think it’s both – there’s a school of thought that what is seen as selfishness by others is really generosity to self…

    1. Or those who know how to enforce boundaries – some see that as selfish when they’re used to getting things from you.

  3. I think selfish people look at things differently, their feelings may be more along the lines of not being given what they feel they deserve perhaps? I don’t think they feel much guilt or anything at all about not giving to others….

    SSG xxx

    1. Oh yes, good point. I can certainly think of some people who have that deserve approach.

  4. Maybe the get burnout from not having their entitled perception of how life should be for them fulfilled? That’s a very thought provoking question you have posed! 😉

    1. It’s something I certainly don’t have an answer to – but it is still swirling in my head.

  5. Hmm thought provoking question! Sometimes self preservation can be wrongly perceived as selfishness. I think we’re all susceptible to burn out though – it’s almost par for the course these days. Everyone just seems so busy!

    1. I think it totally gets wrongly perceived that way – it’s a change to those who used to use you (in a good or bad way!) for/with something. Establishing boundaries can be healthy but people rarely mention the pushback that can happen.

  6. A really interesting question. I have no definite views. However my post in 2 weeks describes my burnout. Which by the way, I had never heard of in 2002 until a psychologist I was seeing told me the name.

    Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek. Next week is 7/51 T: Telling Self-Care Stories #1. 17.2.2020. Hope to see you there AND the next 10 prompts are on the home page now! Denyse.

    1. I really don’t have views on it either but it’s an interesting thought. Maybe it varies so much person to person that there isn’t really enough to have a strong opinion.

  7. Anyone can be burnt out – the whole generous heart thing, though – I wonder if it’s compassion fatigue they’re referring to. Those in helping professions {such as, yours truly} struggle with that often. But I would think burnout, in general, can affect anyone. Although, as I say that, I wonder – if selfish people don’t give a shit about anyone but themselves, what are they going to burn out from?

    1. Compassion fatigue sounds like a good phrase for it. I guess it depends if the selfish people are really truly selfish (in which case I assume they can’t burn out) or act selfish and know it’s wrong (in which case it sounds exhausting and they could burn out).

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