Some people are genuinely extra caring. They are always keen on making sure that everyone around them is doing well, check on them constantly, and give a helping hand whenever others need them, even at their own expense. But sometimes this type of caring, selfless people take it a bit too far that they forget themselves in the process. They cater to the needs of everyone around them that they forget about their own needs. As a result, they end up drained, stressed, and overwhelmed. To put things in perspective, it takes people with hearts of gold to be that loving and caring but at the same time, you need to show as much empathy for yourself just as you’d do with others. The question is do you always put people’s needs before yours? These are signs that you need to prioritize yourself more.
1. You are emotionally drained. You begin to feel you have no emotional capacity for anything. The smallest things drain you. You have no energy for conversations, and debates, you become avoidant and easily get triggered or irritated by insignificant matters. This is mainly because you focus on fulfilling the emotional needs of others but not yours.
2. You always feel too busy. It is like you are constantly running around and that there’s so much that you need to do and finish but can’t find the time. Throughout the day, you feel in a rush trying to catch up with everything you have while at the same time wanting to meet the expectations of your friends, family, and sometimes colleagues.
3. Others’ requests begin to feel like demands. Out of the decency of your heart, and sometimes shyness, you don’t like to turn down requests from people you love. You keep on fulfilling these requests one time after another until one day, you don’t have the capacity, and because you are not used to saying ‘No’, you do these requests feeling like you are being ordered.
4. You feel guilty for saying ‘no’. Nice people hate saying ‘no’ and even sometimes feel bad for saying it. When put in a situation where you have to choose between doing something for others and your own comfort you prioritize others over you because saying ‘no’ makes you feel bad.
5. Everything that has to do with you comes last. Because you always put everyone else before yourself, you end up finding yourself at the bottom of the list. You notice that when there has something to do with you, others wouldn’t go the extra mile for you like you usually do for them. This is mainly because you usually don’t give priority to yourself and others got used to not prioritizing you either.
What do you need to do to put yourself first?
• Learn to say ‘no’ when something is pressuring you or when you don’t have the capacity for it.
• Be loyal to yourself first before striving to be loyal to others.
• Set healthy boundaries.
• Before responding to others’ needs, take a moment to think if this will reflect negatively on you.
• Treat yourself with the same and more love and compassion you share with others.