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People Pleasers: Here's Permission To Be More Selfish

01/13/2016 11:58 EST | Updated 01/13/2017 05:12 EST
Shutterstock / Ivelin Radkov

Happy New Year, friends!

Now that we are a few weeks into the New Year, how are your resolutions going? Are you eating cleaner? Have you made the gym your second home? How about that bad habit you swore you would get rid of in 2016?

My resolution revolves around one particular bad habit that I have been battling for the past decade. It has me putting myself on the back burner for virtually everyone I know: family (good and bad), friends (good and bad), co-workers (good and bad), my partner (who can be good, bad and sometimes both at the same time!), and so on.

This bad habit of mine, which is great for the people above, put me last on my own priority list and wasn't giving me much room to practice self-care. So, this year, my partner and I both decided that this bad habit we share must end in 2016.

Our resolution for this upcoming journey around the sun is to be selfish.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines "selfish" as, "concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself: seeking or concentrating on one's own advantage, pleasure or well-being without regard for others."

My question, I pose to you, is if we tweaked this definition and practiced concentrating our time and energy to our own advantage (without hurting others); pleasure or well-being BEFORE others; then what's the big deal? Shouldn't we think of making choices that will benefit ourselves and future?

Think of the numerous benefits people would have if they concentrated on their own well-being before judging, comparing or "helping" others. Shouldn't we try to set an example and live a healthy lifestyle so others can, too? Is being selfish really that selfish?

For the past decade, I have put others before myself. I've put so much on my plate to accommodate others and juggled so many balls in my attempts to help and support loved ones that often it doesn't pan out so well for me. I end up burnt out, boundaries broken, lashing out at my loved ones and lacking time to give myself self-care.

I really do believe that testing out my new definition of being selfish will be a win-win situation, both for myself and the people in my life. Nothing is worse than spending time with someone who has a million things on their plate and can't be present around you.

If you find yourself trapped in the habit of people-pleasing to an extent that your own happiness is trampled on, try and practice a healthy dose of self-care and selfishness. Not everyone who is related to you, or who you have known since elementary school, will be in your life forever.

People come and go in different chapters of your life, and if practicing putting yourself and your future first results in eliminating certain people in your life, it might not be such a bad thing. Here are some tips to help the excessive people-pleaser in you to take a break in 2016:

  1. Evaluate the people in your life. Eliminate the toxic relationships and add more positive, like-minded people to your tribe.
  2. Prioritize your time and energy to people who deserve it, and don't forget about "me time."
  3. Set boundaries, they are needed for self-care.
  4. Stop feeling guilty. It's OK to say no. Remember, you don't always need to justify yourself!
  5. Be honest and communicate your thoughts, desires and wishes.
  6. Who cares what others think?
  7. Take responsibility for your life.
  8. Make smart choices that will help you get to where you want to be.
  9. Love yourself and others unconditionally .
  10. Put yourself on top of the pedestal.

Whatever your resolution is this year, I hope your happiness and well-being will be a priority. Being selfish to an extent is not such a bad thing, at the end of the day, those who love you unconditionally want the best for you, right?

If you still don't believe me, read "7 reasons you need to make 2016 your selfish year."

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