Is caretaking getting the best of you?

Casey Onder, PhD
2 min readSep 18, 2022


Photo by Matheus Viana on Unsplash

Do you care or do you caretake? Empaths often do both.

Regardless of whether you are one you’ve probably noticed that caring feels good — or at the very least fulfilling. Caretaking, where it’s not desired or truly required, most likely drains you — especially as a long term pattern.

Unclear about which you’re up to? A few hints to help distinguish:

… Caring sounds like = How you feel matters

… Caretaking sounds like = I need to make you feel good

… Caring looks like = I try to manage my impact for the greater good

… Caretaking looks like = It’s all on me — It’s all my fault or my responsibility

… Caring feels like = I love to help

… Caretaking feels like = It’s my job to

Note: “Caretaking” control patterns versus pure caretaking look very different.

Like any other lens on our selves and the world, our motives for caretaking are unclear until we consciously distinguish them. Caretaking can come from a place of heartfelt care — and equally or in addition from guilt, obligation and unworthiness.

Is caretaking a pattern in your leadership or personal relationships? The good news is that you can lighten your load, when you care enough for yourself to.

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Casey Onder, PhD

Psychologist, success coach, believer in solid behavioral science and the power of tuning in.