A while back, I wrote about always putting yourself first, And a lot of the private messages I got were asking about how to do that without feeling guilty.
Because we are raised with the message that we are to give to others, even at sacrifice to ourselves, and it’s very hard to overcome that.
I think people naturally equate putting yourself first with being a selfish asshole, and that’s not it at all.
In fact, I believe that by putting myself first, I’ve been able to open up and give far more than I ever did before. But that’s neither here nor there.
When talking about putting yourself first, I don’t mean grab the first (and biggest) slice of cake, or the last cocktail wienie, or bilking someone out of their pension.
I mean things like:
- Putting YOUR Values before the values that others want to impose upon you.
- Putting YOUR boundaries ahead of other’s desires for you—physically or emotionally.
- Putting YOUR life needs (like your finances, a place to live and your career) ahead of the things people ask from you.
- Putting YOUR mental health above others’ need for drama, codependency, relationships with you, whatever.
And so on.
And not being mean about it. Your needs are more important and valid to you, but not to everyone, and recognizing that fact can help you keep them in nice and tight and close, instead of using them to steamroll others.
And by holding firm to what is RIGHT for YOU, you need not focus on others at all.
Because you are not harming them or denying anything except yourself and your personal resources.
On the other hand, by valuing and protecting your resources, you will find that you are able to give them (when YOU choose, when it’s RIGHT) to those who matter most, in very authentic ways.
And that matters.
And people will try to make you feel guilty.
People are often assholes, intentionally or otherwise.
However, if you stick to YOUR needs and desires, and let people have theirs without invalidating, there is nothing to feel guilty about, and a lot to take pride and pleasure in.