One of the reasons I live a somewhat balanced, happy life is because I am selfish when I need to be. What I mean by that is, I never feel guilty when I need to do something for me or my life. Sometimes people feel guilty when doing something that may cause an inch of annoyance, frustration, or sadness in someone else. It’s great if you want to make everyone happy and not cause any problems for them, but what about you?
I do care for others. I’d do anything for my friends. But there should be a line between doing what’s best for others and what’s best for you. You need to put yourself first when it comes to certain things. You shouldn’t be upset in result to making someone else happy. Sometimes you can afford some selflessness, but if it results in you feeling a very strong negative emotion, or being really stressed, think about the situation and how you can change it.
There’s six things you shouldn’t guilty for:
- Saying no/putting your priorities first
It’s nice to do favours for people. After all, you may feel like you owe them one. But it’s important to say no if you’re feeling overwhelmed by tasks, or you can’t fit it into your busy schedule. You’re not superman/woman. If you just sat down to relax after a really busy day, and someone asks you to do something, it’s ok to say no and continue relaxing. You shouldn’t feel guilty for needing to relax. Same goes for if somebody asks you to hang out.
Sometimes, you don’t have to say no completely. Sometimes you can just put your own priorities first. I’m going to keep it simple: If I have a paper to edit, and somebody asks me to edit his/her paper. I do mine first. Although, sometimes it’s not as simple as my example.
- Expressing feelings/crying
Some people have a really hard time doing this. I have a hard time NOT doing this. I hate keeping things bottled up. It feels like a huge weight off my shoulders when I don’t have to deal with something alone. My friends actually gives really good advice so it helps to talk to them. For these reasons, you should express your feelings. It shouldn’t make you feel guilty either. Will it make the person a bit sad for you? Depending on how bad the situation is, yeah probably. But it’s only because they care.
I, in fact, feel kind of uncomfortable if I’m with someone and they don’t know what I’m going through lately. I just think it’s better if they know because if I start to feel upset, I can lean on them. Admittedly, I do sometimes, but rarely, have trouble admitting something to someone. When I experience this, I give myself a rule: tell at least one person.
Additional advice: You should have a go-to person. That one person you go to if you need to talk. Once you have that person, the next time you need to talk, ask them if they’re busy. If you don’t ask, they may be in the middle of something. Therefore, won’t be able to give you undivided attention and/or respond. Wait until your person is free to chat.
- Letting go of someone/drifting away
I have been in a couple relationships where I had to let that person go. It’s definitely not easy or something you want to do, but it’s something you have to do in order to relieve stress. I’ve had negative friends, mean friends, one sided friends. I’ve let them all go and now I have this amazing group of friends.
Drifting away from someone is nothing to feel guilty about. I hang around and talk to people that fit my lifestyle and are positive friends. So naturally I drift away from those who I can’t really connect with anymore and/or bring some type of negativity in my life. If you can’t connect to a friend anymore, it’s not your fault. You’ve just changed, your lifestyle changed and maybe the friends you have now are more suited to the new you.
- Defending yourself, or someone/something you love
I’ve learned to defend myself in the past year. I can turn into a smartass bitch if I need to. No one gets away with anything with me anymore. I’ve defended myself with mental health specialists and staff members at my school. I’m not mean. I try to be as polite as I can. But if I don’t like the way I’m being treated, or the way something done, I don’t hold back. Trust me, there is no reason to feel guilty about this, especially if it’s someone’s job.
I also stand up to my rights as a person with a disability. If there’s no ramp on a city bus, I send in a complaint. If a door isn’t automatic, I request for it to be. Do I feel guilty about this? Um no, because it should be done already.
- Not being ok with something
It’s ok not to be ok. Sometimes I think because I’ve been through so much, the little things shouldn’t bother me. Well they do and that’s okay. A lot of people have done stuff that I am not quite ok with. I don’t feel guilty if I get upset. You shouldn’t fake being okay, even if you feel that it’s a ridiculous thing to be upset about.
I’m currently going through a situation where the “normal” thing to do might be to pretend to be ok with it. But I’m not. And I’m not going to fake it or feel guilty about being upset. I’m going to work through my situation, with my real natural emotions because that’s the only way I’ll be able to eventually get over it.
- Putting your happiness and health first
This is not something you should feel guilty about at all! It’s not selfish. This is my number one rule for myself. This is why I’m emotionally healthy today. This is why my mental health is stable. To follow this rule, I do the last five points, and I rarely feel guilty about it. You should always take care of yourself before taking care of others.
I’ve been on the receiving end to all of these things. I’ve been said no to. I’ve been there for someone who needed to express their feelings. People have drifted away from me. I never want them to feel bad about any of it. I stop them if they start to feel guilty. I want them to put themselves first and not worry about me. I’m usually not bothered by it because I understand and I love them too much.
- What one(s) of these do you allow yourself to do?
- Where do you draw the line between doing what’s best for others and what’s best for you?
Stay strong lovelies <3