Neglecting Yourself by Serving Others
You are a solid partner. A loyal friend. A generous sibling, child, and parent. You devote yourself to making others happy. You’ve even chosen a career where you serve and help others.
That’s how good at it you are.
And it’s not incredibly hard for you. You seem to have a knack for it. You know what people need and find yourself able to adapt to meet it. It feels good to be helpful and needed.
People praise you for how thoughtful you are. You give the best gifts. You remember people’s birthdays. You’re the kind of person friends call to talk to on a bad day because you’re understanding and caring and empathic.
You are tuned into others’ wants, needs, and perspectives. You really show up for others.
But why is it so hard to show up for yourself? So foreign to know what you feel and need and then ask for it?
Sometimes you feel like your relationships are one-sided and that people can’t support you the way you support them. Sometimes you find yourself eating your feelings to keep the peace and harmony. After you have made a concession, it’s only in hindsight that you realize it didn’t work for you.
You don’t actively avoid checking in with yourself. You just don’t remember to do it. It’s so unfamiliar. It almost feels … selfish.
While you often achieve harmony, there is a cost to it. Sometimes you push things down until you can’t anymore and then you explode. Or maybe you don’t feel as connected to people as you would like. You wonder, “would they still like me if I didn’t do as much?”
Maybe there is a way to be kind to others while also being kind to yourself?
You wouldn’t know where to start though. You have been “this” way for so long.
I can help you explore the reasons you focus on others over yourself and to examine whether it’s working for you. We can work on practicing self-compassion in a way that actually improves rather than deteriorates your relationships. This personal work has important implications for your professional life too as you move toward serving from a place of care for yourself.
Learn how you can balance care for others with a commitment to yourself through therapy.