Some people are givers, some are takers. And as you coach, you’ll come across both extremes of people. Today, though I want to talk about the giver. Specifically the type of people who give and give and give. I call these people my caretaker clients. 

Who is a Caretaker?

A caretaker is someone who uses their time, money, and energy to assist their immediate family members, friends, or possibly even colleagues. They give a lot and cannot stop themselves from giving. It is their nature. But caretakers oftentimes do so at a sacrifice to themselves financially.

Like most behaviors we see as coaches, there are no absolutes when it comes to caretakers. What I mean by that is a person does not have 100% caretaker tendencies or have NO caretaker habits. There’s a spectrum people fall on.

Important Things to Know About Caretakers

First, regardless of how painful or destructive some of their relationships may appear, especially to those of us observing from the outside, at their core caretakers are likely to exhibit compassion, empathy, and generosity. Without these people, the world would be an uglier, harsher place.

Second, be extra careful not to shame your caretaker client for caring about others. This could quickly lead to them continuing the behavior but hiding it from you because they feel judged.

How to Coach a Caretaker

I wanted to share with you the coaching template I created and use when I observe that my client has caretaker tendencies. I use this guide to facilitate a healthy discussion with clients so I can determine my ability to help. There are many times where the questions, discussion, and activities presented help the client tremendously.

However, if you find yourself with a client who is not experiencing progress or deeper awareness after completing this exercise, don’t hesitate to refer that individual to a Financial Therapist. A financial therapist has the skills to go even deeper with the client on the root cause of their caretaker pattern, which may be exactly what is needed for some individuals.