Helping others is virtuous. Helping others at your own expense is foolish. You must take care of yourself first for several reasons: your survival, saying No is good for you and you deserve what you give others.
I read a post just today from a Facebook Friend who notified her Facebook Framily that she cannot be there for anyone right now so she was taking a break to be there for herself. She is doing the right thing. Brava for her! She didn’t blame anyone for her current predicament. She said it was her fault that she was worn out emotionally.
She never says no. She is always there for others. She must now step away or she will shrivel up from doing for others. When you are the strong one, the go-to person, people never consider they wear you out. They expect you to be able to handle it all. Well they are wrong. And what happened to reciprocity? Everyone give a little and we’ll be okay.
I used to over-help and it was my fault. No one asked me to do that. I’ve just always felt if I had something or some information that could help someone, why not share it. That wasn’t the problem the problem was I also tried to motivate and lead them to what was good for them. Never works out. Simply put you can’t want more for a person than they want for themselves. It is not your job to help them want it.
I also learned to say No. Raising women to say No has not been a priority for society. I learned from my Mom that No was okay but for some reason I would feel bad like I should do so-and-so. And that I should at least explain why I wasn’t going to do so-and-so or why I didn’t want to do so-and-so. I no longer do that. I don’t use Should anymore. I now say No without one iota of vagueness or ambiguity; both externally and internally. I don’t have to explain anything to anyone. Plain and simple.
You have a right to not do anything you don’t want to do. Ask yourself would the person asking this of me would they do this for me if I asked? Answer the question truthfully. As you get better with saying No you won’t need to ask that question you’ll just say No without a hint of anger or hesitation. You don’t want to do it. Own it. Just say No.
Lastly, don’t you deserve all the attention, care, devotion and motivation you give to others? You do. If you don’t know that truth then get yourself some professional help and figure it out. Get real with yourself. Learn how to appreciate yourself. Take all that you do for others and shower it on yourself.
You should always be first in your life. Self-care is not selfish.
(c) Valerie Lee 2016