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Are you down with OPP?

Hey Superwoman! Yes, you.

Able to leap a tall building in a single bound, while packing the kids’ lunch, finishing a load of laundry, and completing the report that your supervisor wants on her desk tomorrow. Let’s not forget the small business that you are in the planning stages of starting.

It’s really easy to fall into the role of Superwoman.

We are typically the ones who look after those in our lives. We often multi-task and make sure the needs of those around us are taken care of. It’s just what we do.

But you know what else we do? We tend to take care of the needs and problems of others before we take care of our own.

We get sucked into OPP (Other People’s Problems).

We get stuck in OPP when we identify the needs and problems of others as being more important than our own. In case you didn’t know this, let me tell you…..You are important. You are worthy of self-love and self-care. You don’t have to constantly be busy to prove your value. You are gloriously made. In addition to all of that, please know that SELF-CARE IS NOT SELFISH. Your needs and self-care are a top priority.

So let’s talk boundaries. Boundaries help us to set priorities. They help us to define what are our problems and what are the problems of others.

Boundaries keep us from falling into OPP.

Let me ask you a question….have you ever been to a Women’s Conference? A church event? At large events such as these there are usually three levels of seating: VIP, General Admission, and Overflow. Let’s use these seating levels to help us define the boundaries that we can set in our lives and avoid the trap of OPP.


VIP are the extra special folks. Maybe they are extra special because they are your close family members (kids, spouse, parents, siblings). VIP may also be that good, good, girlfriend that’s been there with you through thick and thin. Think about where the VIP folks sit. They are up close to you, with easy access. When setting boundaries and priorities and deciding whether to get involved in the issues of others, VIP will rank pretty high up there.

Remember that VIP has very limited seating. This means that only the select few are able to get these prime seats.

General Admission

Next it’s general admission. The people in general admission are still in the room with you, but don’t get the same level of access as VIP. When deciding how much to get involved in their problems and issues, the folks in General Admission are a little lower down on the priority list. Your needs come first, then VIP, and then General Admission. Examples of General Admission might include extended family members or Church Ministries.


Last we have the people in Overflow. They typically aren’t in the room with you and might even be labeled as acquaintances. That means they can hear the event speaker or the sermon but don’t have the access that the individuals in the room have. The folks in Overflow might include neighbors, co-workers, or church folk that you see on Sundays and mid-week bible study. Overflow people are important because you are a caring and giving person, but rank much lower than the others and don’t have the same level of access to you.

Take a quick minute and jot down who are in your VIP, General Admission, and Overflow sections. Although you may be tempted to have a ton of people in your VIP section, remember that only those that meet specific qualifications (decided by you) can be admitted. But above all, remember that your needs are important and need to be placed at (or toward) the top of the priority list.

When you find yourself addressing the problems of the Overflow while wondering when you are going to have time for yourself, you have been sucked into OPP.

Please come back next week so we can continue talking about getting out of OPP as we discover that “NO” Is Not a Curse Word.

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