Can you be too reliable?

stressed laptop user
Everyone wants you to be reliable, but you have to know when it goes to far.

Yes, it is easy to become too reliable if you are always willing to give in to others’ wants and needs.

On top of this, by being too reliable, you will have less time for what you want, as you will always be helping others. In time this may make you feel guilty about ignoring your goals.

Reliability is necessary; people need to know they can trust you, but you need to be careful as you don’t want others to take advantage of you.

You will attract more work than you can do.

In the workplace, it is crucial to do a good job, and part of that is taking on projects and getting them done. But if you take on too many projects, then you might find that they never stop coming.

Outside of work, when we are willing to help our friends every time they ask, they might start to ask us to help with things they don’t need help with.

Don’t be surprised if you get overworked when you accept extra tasks.

People might not be trying to take advantage of us when they ask for help; they might view us as someone willing to help.

The problem here is familiar; we tend to get more of what we already have. If you always say yes, people expect it, so they will be more likely to go to you for help.

Being the most reliable person often means you will be the first to get asked next time.

You will allow other people to disrespect you.

People won’t respect you or your time if you never say no. If you always say yes, some people may be thankful, but others will see this as an opportunity to take advantage of you.

Respect can come down to viewing other people’s time as valuable as our own. Thus if someone doesn’t value your time, they aren’t treating you respectfully.

If people ignore what matters to you, they aren’t treating you with respect.

When you always take on what other people ask of you, you indirectly say that what you were doing didn’t matter. If you treat your goals and values as something that can be thrown away, you might start to believe that.

Sometimes respect comes down to letting people value what is important to them. If you are too reliable, other people won’t give you a second of time for yourself.

You won’t be able to get done what you want to do.

In work and life, we tend to have goals or values that we deem necessary and worthy of our time. For that reason, this is where we spend our time if we have any of it.

But if you are always reliable, people will always be coming to you for help, so your schedule will quickly fill up. When all your time is taken up doing things for other people, you won’t have time for yourself.

If you don’t value your time, no one else will, and your time is all you have.

If you are young, you might still believe you will live forever, but that is not the case; you have limited time on earth. If you aren’t willing to say no, you will never have the time for what matters to you.

People who value their time will always look for ways to lighten their load; if you always take on the extra weight, you will have no space for your projects or goals.

You will end up overworked or busy.

Being busy at work and in life is a good thing; it helps us pass the time and prevents us from getting too bored. But it isn’t good to be so busy that you don’t have any time to think.

Having time for leisure is the key to doing high-value work and making a big difference. If you are always busy, you might be able to grunt through everything, but you won’t have time to innovate.

Being too reliable means, you will always have something on your plate, leading to burnout.

It is ok to be busy sometimes, but if you are busy all the time, nothing good will come, and you will feel overworked and exhausted.

Always remember to value your time and be willing to say no when your plate is already full. Otherwise, you will never get a break, and you won’t be able to do your best work.

The unreliable people will get a free ride.

Sometimes your boss asks you for help, and in those cases, you should probably say yes, but what if someone who always seems to be watching YouTube asks for help?

Putting your best foot forward is crucial, and so is doing an excellent job at everything you try. But always ensure you aren’t covering for other people’s mistakes, as there are lazy people everywhere.

Don’t let lazy people get a free pass; say no when someone is trying to take advantage of you.

If you are doing all the work in the office, or you are always helping out your friends, then you will be given everyone else who isn’t helping a free ride and an excuse not to help next time.

Be a good friend, be a good worker, say yes when you aren’t busy, but always think twice when asked to take on more work, is someone taking advantage of you?

You will stagnate and be unable to move forward.

If you are always busy doing everyone else work, you won’t have any time for your work. And the work that you think is important probably is the stuff that will make the most difference.

Being good at your job is one thing, but being the one to take on everyone else’s work isn’t going to lead to a good place. 

If everyone in the office depends on you to do every little task, management will realize that you can’t move up because nothing will get done otherwise.

The best way to stagnate is to make yourself irreplaceable.

Being a high-value employee is good; you want to keep proving yourself. But if everyone becomes too dependent on you, no one will want to give you a promotion because they will no longer have their workhorse.

The best way to move forward is to solve visible problems quickly. But if you are stuck doing everyone else’s grunt work, you will have no time for what matters. And instead of moving forward, you will stay in place.

Someone else will always get the credit for your work.

In the office, when you get your work done, you pass it on to your manager, and they thank you for your efforts and give you something else. 

But if you are taking on everyone else’s work, then they will be the ones to pass it on to their manager and, in turn, get the credit. Whoever passes the work up the chain gets the recognition.

If you do other people’s work, they get the credit for it.

Being too reliable means that you will be taking on work that is someone else’s responsibility. While they might thank you for your efforts, they aren’t going to tell their boss that you did it all. They will keep the credit for themselves.

If you do other people’s work, then they get the credit. If you do your work, then you get the credit. In most offices, recognition is more important than ability, effort or results.

You will never be able to show everyone how amazing you are.

You are a truly amazing human being, and the work that you are doing matters to you and the people around you. But if you are always busy with everyone else’s crap, you will never show the world what you are capable of.

Time is our most precious resource, and it is always limited, even if it doesn’t seem that way. This means we only have so much time to show the world what we’ve got; the more reliable we are, the less time we have for ourselves.

You can’t show the world your fantastic idea if you have no time to develop it.

The world is filled with good ideas, but there isn’t always excellent execution. To stand out and make a difference, you need to be able to get things done and show them to the world. 

Being too reliable will mean your hands are always tired, and you will have no time to build out your dreams. Be willing to say no and focus on what matters most to you.

Remember, it is ok to be selfish sometimes.

Do you see yourself as a reliable person? Do you think you can be too dedicated at times? What would you suggest to someone who is having trouble saying no? What have you learnt from being the person who always takes on extra work?

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Robert Carr

Over the years, I've learnt to see things in a different light. This website is my place to share those insights and give my unique perspective on living a meaningful life.

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