Helping others is a good thing. Volunteering, taking a stand against oppression of all sorts, and being a good citizen benefits everyone. So where is the line between simply being a good person and having a savior complex?
What Is a Savior Complex?
A savior complex is a compulsion to seek out people who you feel are in need of your help so that you can fix them. The "help" often ends up hurting both people. Here are some examples.
Rushing in to save the day can be very harmful to others because it sends the message, "You can't do it. You need me." This deprives them from having the opportunity to stand on their own two feet. It can create a sense of learned helplessness.
It's not fabulous for you either because people with savior complexes often give so much away that they don't have time or space to take care of their own needs. Additionally, they send the message, "I don't need anything" so there is no one there to give them the love and attention that they need.
How to Break the Savior Complex Cycle
This may not be easy, but everyone can do it.
Being the savior may be the way that you learned to feel important and safe. It may be the way that you get your self-esteem needs met. So, it can feel like doing the following things is wrong. I suggest you give it a try and then evaluate.
Healthy relationships are equal. They contain give and take. You want a healthy relationship, don't you? Then ease up on the goodie goodie act.