Think about the people you care about…
In relationships (platonic/otherwise), we’re always giving and taking. Often we try to give as much as we can, thinking we’re giving the best we can. But are we?
Over time I started to realise that just cause I was giving – being there for friends, looking out for romantic partners how I could, etc, didn’t mean I really was giving my best self.
I’ll pause for a moment to break down “best” versus “better” self.
Everyday we should be striving for better. I lapse sometimes (not gonna lie), but for me that’s usually the plan ^_^. When I use “best self” here, I mean it in the sense of wherever you are in the moment. Back to it…
So how do we give our best selves to other people?
-> You + Giving Your Best To Yourself First = Giving Your Best To Others <-
It’s about being selfish. That word’s been given a bad wrap. Okay, okay sure, the dictionary’s definition doesn’t paint it in a particularly nice light but it’s how we use it that makes the difference.
Selfishness can be good. Use it for good. Think about this: How the heck can you look after someone else if you don’t look after yourself. You might think you’re doing a bang up job of it, but beyond the surface, probably not.
-> The Process <-
Difficulty Level: Challenging
- Step 1: Stop for a bit and take a look at your life. No, not at you yet, your life. Ask yourself: What do I do everyday for others. Really think about this.
- Step 2: Now we get to you :). Consider if you do half the things you do for others, for yourself. Examples: You take mum for groceries every week, but are you eating properly? You listen to friends’ problems, but do you take time to share yours and unload?
- Step 3: Start being more selfish. Human beings are selfish, no doubt. But, because of its negative connotations, we think we can’t say “no” or look out for ourselves when we need to. Be selfish when you need to be.
- Step 4: When you have to be selfish for your own good, say “no”, and/or take time for yourself, don’t feel bad about it. This one’s tricky, cause you will initially.
- Step 5: Keep at it. This is changing the habit of doing more for everyone else than yourself. You have to
It may seem odd – pushing selfishness as a way to be a better friend, lover, etc. Think of it this way though – if you’re helping someone going through a hard time emotionally for example, and you aren’t paying attention to your own emotional health, somewhere along the line things will break. Either in you or with them. Can’t hack it forever guys.
I’ve tried and it doesn’t work. Ironically some situations ended up making me feel quite put out. Even though me giving more of myself than I realistically could wasn’t anyone else’s fault.
Psychology Today explains how to look out for yourself.
So what’s the main take away? Be a bit more selfish (doesn’t mean you should be an ass btw). Look out for you, look after you, and I am positive you’ll be able to give your best self to others too.
Do you find it hard to look after you?
Comment below :).