The Art of Learning to Put Yourself First

Many times, when someone wrongs me or miffs me, I react in a way that’s probably extremely unhealthy: I absorb the blame, swallow my emotions, and sometimes try to cater to them instead. This usually happens when the person involved is carrying some sort of burden at the moment, but sometimes I convince myself I’m annoying and burdensome without any other extenuating circumstances involved. I don’t know where this stems from; it could be something that comes from some form of self-conditioning in which I’ve convinced myself that what I have to say or what I feel isn’t important enough.

I struggle with this, because it means that I’ve told myself and others that my feelings aren’t significant or worth considering — and while I often do it to provide a safe space for my friends, I have begun to realize that there are ways of expressing myself while also asking for respect and realizing my feelings are just as important and valid.

Photo credit: Wall Street Journal

Another thing I seem to do is forgive people for the things that they’ve done or said to me before they themselves address it. That seems problematic as well, but it’s calming to me, as it creates peace of mind. While the other person may be wrong, and may not address it, holding anger inside of myself is unproductive and makes for a damaging mental state. This doesn’t mean that I don’t confront the person — I’ve begun doing this as a means of overcoming my aversion to confrontation — it just means that I don’t hinge my mental health on their response.

Photo credit: Wall Street Journal

I have some bad habits — bad habits that affect me. These are just two of them. What’s important is that I’m realizing them and making an effort to change. I can take care of myself and still be a good friend.


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