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Yeah it's probably an INFJ thing. I feel that to be truly effective caretakers, we must first be able to take care of ourselves in all aspects. Once you've put your own internal house in order, you will have the capacity to take care of all those around you. There is no need to stop if you have the capacity. After all, this is what gives meaning to the lives of INFJs.
 

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I grew up taking care of the family also. I went to school 600 miles away - that helped and then I moved on to taking care of the people close to me that I met. Now I finally want to screen my intentions. Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.

I still want to help others, it just became a reflex and that takes too much out of me. I want to teach a person to live a better life and I want to be around people with that intention as well. I am determined to be happy and I can no longer rescue people who are just trying to postpone their own work and I become an enabler in that. Now sometimes I am sure that I have helped even if someone just needed to postpone their own work. Now I feel that I can no longer help in that way. I can help by being the person I am and being an example of peace on the inside - so I must do my own work - and I try to maintain that peace, self love, happiness - a 24/7 job most times.
 

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As a child, I had to be more adult than my parents (who had tendencies to act like children). Don't know if that applies to the subject matter, but watching their follies gave me the wisdom I'd later use to guide my friends.

Other than bits of advice, I'm awful at helping/taking care of people. This is probably why I usually lean towards martyrdom.
 

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I like listening and trying to console my friends with emotional problems but I don't really have a caretaker complex. Like zomboy said I don't think I'm that good at it either. Maybe it's bc I'm the youngest child with family members who thrived off being dominant caretakers. I tend to leave people to their own devices unless they ask for help.
 

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I did not grow up taking care of my parents or siblings, though I do have a certain tendency to care for others in my immediate vicinity if they are ill or experiencing physical or emotional trauma. I do not go out of my way on search of people to take care of. I came very close to entering the nursing field when I was younger. I admit that there is still a certain draw, though I think that doing this on a constant basis would exhaust me.
 

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I did not grow up taking care of my parents or siblings, though I do have a certain tendency to care for others in my immediate vicinity if they are ill or experiencing physical or emotional trauma. I do not go out of my way on search of people to take care of. I came very close to entering the nursing field when I was younger. I admit that there is still a certain draw, though I think that doing this on a constant basis would exhaust me.
Like you, I could not be a caretaker on a constant basis. I would burn myself out completely. I handle caretaking the same as you, "tendency to care for others in my immediate vicinity if they are ill or experiencing physical or emotional trauma." There was a time I strongly thought about majoring in psychology and specialize in children/teenagers. Thank goodness, I realized beore doing so that I would overwhelm myself to the point of losing myself. This is not a win win situation to me.
 

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I never had any younger family members around to take care of growing up, but when I got hired for my first job I realized that I kind of had a talent for it (although severely lacking in practical experience).

I have also tended to play mom to some of my close friends. Seems to be a pattern that has been really easy for me to fall into.

Trying to develop other ways of relating to people.

I agree with Dalien, taking care of people as a job would probably (and has) lead to burn-out. I'd rather do something more technical or intellectual, if I could.
 

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During my childhood, as in my adult life, I merely strove to be an island of not-crazy in an ocean of crazy, which doesn't quite fit since I am clearly crazy.

Okay, an island of good-crazy in an ocean of bad-crazy.
 

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Yes... i grew up taking care of my younger sibling/cousins. and handling most of our family's affairs. gradually, less of the latter as i've asserted my independence more.

I can't suppress it though. Especially if i am asked for help, i think of it as "im in it now. im in it to the end."
 

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I don't have a caretaker complex, but I do find myself trying to save friends from bad situations...I notice that a lot just don't bother,I care and I want to prevent something that would obviously make them suffer...I don't understand why isn't this everybody's instinct...
 
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