#49: "The Giving Tree" Has Got To Go

In the episode, we discuss "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein. It is a beloved book by many, but it is problematic to say the least. And altruistic healthcare workers using this as a model of self-sacrifice may want to reconsider.


  • Self sacrifice is not sustainable, isn't healthy and can breed selfishness, narcissism and codependency.
  • Those who neglect themselves at the expense of others suffer the consequences: anxiety, depression, and less efficacy.
  • True generosity begets more generosity. 
  • The most successful givers ALSO score highly in self concern.
  • Self sacrifice doesn't model loving boundaries.
  • Generosity and self sacrifice are not the same thing.
  • Self sacrifice can create a mutually detrimental relationship for all.
  • Healthy, loving boundaries can result in much better outcomes.



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