Am I too selfish? I want to do this for myself, but she needs my help…Should I just wait to do this for myself until I help her? Maybe I’ll just forget about it. I can just do it at a later time…She said it’s really urgent, so I guess my thing can wait. But when will I do it? Oh well, you know what, others always come first.
How many times do these thoughts pass through your head in one given day? If you say there are far too many to count, then you need to hear this: sometimes you have to put yourself first; and that’s okay.
In a world where friendship is a high commodity and helping others is a key to kindness, it’s hard to integrate yourself into that equation. But, you are just as important as everyone else, which means you deserve just as much care and attention. You should not always have to put others before yourself. And, more importantly, putting yourself before others does not make you selfish; it makes you self-aware. Sure, if you always put yourself above other, there's something wrong- but choosing yourself from time to time isn't selfish- it's watching out for your own well-being.
We grow up learning that we should treat others the way we want to be treated- and that golden rule doesn’t solely apply to prohibiting bullying. It also speaks to the fact that we all want to be prioritized; by ourselves and by other people as well. You are not a bad person if you choose yourself over someone else. The world is crazy, and at times unforgiving, which means that if you want to stay sane, sometimes you have to see yourself as the main priority. You will not, and do not, always have to be the shoulder for someone to cry on when you yourself are going through something astronomical. You do not have to help someone with their exam when you have your own time-consuming work. You do not have to listen to someone vent when you are over-stressed and over-tired. You should, however, be there for your friends when you can, without constantly sacrificing yourself.
With all of that being said, however, if you truly want to be that dependable friend, you can be. You have every right to be there for someone. But, remember that you are also a someone. You deserve to take time for yourself and care for yourself. Everyone is busy, which means that people are not always around. So learn how to choose yourself; learn how to put yourself before others, because other people already know how to do that.
This is an extraordinarily difficult task for some. It can be painful and confusing to choose yourself over someone else. It feels selfish and wrong. But I promise you, that is not always the case. Know that you deserve love and attention; especially from yourself. In the long run, it benefits you and your friends if you make time for yourself and your well-being. Then you can truly be in the moment with them.
Off of that, do not punish others for choosing themselves. If they choose themselves before you, know that there is most likely a reason. Or, know that you have other people there for you, who will not be looking out for themselves at that moment in time. But, the greatest solution for such a predicament is learning how to be there for yourself; even if it feels wrong, even if it feels uncomfortable.
So, choose yourself. Prioritize yourself. Do not sacrifice yourself 24/7. There are indeed selfish people out there, but choosing yourself from time to time does not make you one of them; it makes you a person who loves themselves, even if it’s difficult.