Being selfish enough to take good care of you first is equivalent to giving yourself the gift that keeps on giving.
To the contrary, people who give to others first often end up being empty and used up with nothing left to give to anyone, even to themselves.
Recount how much time you have left over to take care of yourself when you are busy putting everyone else first. If not much, you are probably feeling resentment toward others. When you sacrifice yourself for others, while not taking care of yourself first, you end up resenting those you are helping. And, it really isn’t their fault. They have a right to ask you for what they want from you; you can’t control that. Even though they might expect you to put them first because that is what you have always done, you are the one making the choice to do so. It is up to you to say no when helping them is hurting you.
Think about the times when you have resented someone you were helping. Have you ever wondered when it would be your turn to be taken care of? Have you thought or said “After all I’ve done for you….?” If so, make a list of those times.
Learning how to say no when saying yes does not take care of you is actually learning how to set healthy boundaries to protect yourself.
Contrary to what you might be thinking right now, setting healthy boundaries and practicing healthy selfishness does not mean you stop caring for others. When you make yourself a priority and establish healthy boundaries, you end up with more to give to others.
It’s like taking care of yourself first so you can care for your child. This is a win-win situation for everyone.