Read This if You Don’t Know When to Put Yourself First

Today I want to talk about walking away from something or someone that you may want, when it clearly isn’t healthy for you.

Whether it’s a loved one, a job, a goal, or someone you just met, it can sometimes be difficult to establish your boundaries, especially if you are someone very tolerant and forgiving. One of the hardest things you can do is to put aside your wants, your desires, and your needs and recognize that you should not settle, as well as recognizing when you need to leave. It doesn’t matter how good things might have been or could have been if there is toxicity in this environment. When you feel you are being taken advantage of, when you feel like you have been taken for granted, when you feel like you want to keep giving for the sake of giving because that is who you are – you have to realize that you are allowed to come first. You are allowed to put your mental health and wellbeing before the need to comfort and be there for others. You are allowed to walk away from something or someone that leaves you feeling inadequate, inferior, and invalidated. When you find the courage to open up to someone, to share something vulnerable with them, and they find a way to turn it around, make you feel crazy, make you feel like you’re the problem in every situation, this is when you need to realize that you have to put yourself first and walk away.

I recently made a tough decision regarding this matter. I consider myself to be someone that has always been putting other people’s needs before my own, that looks out for others even at the expense of my own wellbeing, because I care very deeply and I want the best for those around me. Encompassing a giving nature made it very difficult for me to establish boundaries with others, and ultimately it was tough to decide when it was necessary to be selfish. I was scared of losing people or disappointing people to the point where I would tolerate abusive behaviour, simply just to have them around for the good moments or to make them happy. But what I eventually realized is that it doesn’t matter how good things are or how good things could be, it doesn’t matter how happy someone can make you feel or what that job can bring into your life if they don’t respect you or value you as an individual. It can be extremely hard to realize the importance of your wellbeing in these situations if you are always focused on the wellbeing of others. However, as hard as it may be, putting yourself first can sometimes be the best thing you will ever do for yourself in the long run.

It’s not easy to shift your mentality into thinking this way, especially if you have been brought up or accustomed to being a giver. But I want you to know this: your gut will tell you everything, and you need to trust it. Don’t be dismissive of your instincts, of how you feel about a person or situation. Don’t make excuses for toxic behaviour. People will tell you that you are wrong, that you are crazy, that your emotions are not valid, but when you learn to trust yourself you will be set free.

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