Crowds out self in both in the helped and the helper. The helper does too much and feels too much. This is more than being over-extended. The focus on others is a strategy to avoid ones own pain and responsibility. Over-functioning is a form of cut-off from the self and anxiety of one’s own pain.

The over-functioner moves into the space of another and leaves their own space empty. So the over-functioner is over-responsible for another under-responsible for oneself. Boundaries and intrusiveness are the issues and neither the over-functioner nor under-functioner takes responsibility for destiny. Over-functioning wears out the helper and makes helping less fun and less effective. (from a lecture by Susan Luff)