Self vs. Others

Self vs. Others
December 14, 2017 No Comments Mental Binh Nguyen

Have you ever thought me-time is desperately needed? Or have you ever thought you are doing just too much for others? Have you ever think that you are not getting in return? Stressed, lonely, restless, underappreciated are all the emotions that come along with doing too much for others.

The truth is that we must take care of ourselves first, to take care of others.

Isn’t that true?

Yes. It is. Why else would the flight attendants tell us to put on our masks first, before, we tend to someone else? Idealistically, if everyone were able to take care of themselves then the better chances of survival we have.

Because, the reality is that, if we are dead, sick, ill, not up to par, we wouldn’t be able to do anything for others.

So yes, we must take care of ourselves first THEN we take care of others.

So what is it so hard to do?

  1. You feel guilty for self-care because of expectations.
  2. You were thought that you are supposed to make sacrifices for others.
  3. You were formed that “nice” means helping or doing things for others, and you want to be seen as “nice”.
  4. You’re lacking the self-confidence to make any requests for yourself.
  5. The time is just not the right time for self-care.

And so on . . . . . .

There are so many reasons/excuses/explanations as to why you’re not taking care of yourself. And how do you feel about it? You are still tired, still worn out, still burnt. What are you going to do about it?

The options

  • Do nothing – stay tired and worn down
  • Rebel – fight back, say no to everything
  • Negotiate your requests – talk it out to find a win-win solution for both sides

I sure hope that you are choosing the last option. It is the best one. Sure, the first two will give you results and it might very negatively affect your life. Instead, why not communicate with the other side to talk about what you need, as well as, meeting the other’s needs. Both sides will win.

“How?” you ask

I am not a magician or anything. But what I have learned from my siblings is the phrase “speak for yourself”. Either my sister said that out of annoyance or she is actually teaching me a life lesson. Either way, I learned so much from that phrase no matter how it is said.

First, you’ll need to set a boundary.

  1. Your child wants your attention all the time and you need to get some work done.
  2. Your friends are consistently asking you for help and you have personal errands to run.
  3. Your boss keeps piling work on top of your overflowing pile of already assigned work.

Then, you make a deal.

  1. So you tell him, “okay, you can watch TV for 1 hour while I work and after I will give you my undivided attention.”
  2. You tell your friend to come “hang out and run errands together”. This way, you and your friend can have a route or a plan to combine errands if needed. If it is something that you’re not able to combine. Make a date out of the “help” that your friend wants. Make it enjoyable and set a specific day and time to “help out”. That way your friend has the chance to find someone else if it is urgent and if you were to help out, you will not think it of a chore.
  3. You have to discuss your level of wellness with your boss. Make sure to let them know that you’ll need a pause of an addition of assignments. Then set a certain day to start on new projects.

Last, you hold up your side of things.

  1. You would actually need to use the 1 hour that you have to do what you need to do. Because your child will come back for more attention and you will need to give it to them.
  2. Of course, either way, you’ll get time to run your errands and help your friends.
  3. Not only are you telling your boss, “Hey, I’m floored. No more new assignments for now. I will get to them in two weeks.” but you are also getting some time to get caught up. You’ll have to get caught up and be okay with working on the new projects.

What if they say “no”?

Most of the time people would not say “no” because they understand that humans have limitations. Yet if they do say “no” because they do not understand that concept, then you will need to say “no” to their “no”. Because at the end of the day, you are the only person that has to deal with your tiredness and overwhelming feelings.


About The Author
Binh Nguyen
Binh Nguyen An ambitious individual with a lot of interests in arts, psychology, politics, and knowledge. Writing is a passion to release pent-up energy that weighs me down. Self-expression is a must to feel independent of social norms. Knowledge is crucial for understanding and making decisions.