Being there for someone is something we would genuinely do for the people we care about since we, too, have felt the need to have someone beside us through ups and downs. We’ve been there for friends, family, colleagues, and anyone else who needed our support. But when was the last time we were there for ourselves?
We often undervalue our own worth and suppress our feelings in order to show our compassion for others. As a consequence, we put aside our need to feel supported and appreciated. But, we have to understand that we can’t always have their back no matter how many times we’ve been there for them. Therefore, we may not always get the same level of support that we have offered.
So, above all else, no matter how complicated things get, no matter how tough life has been, and no matter how lost you are — always be there for yourself.
With that in mind, here are 5 tips to remind yourself that if no one else is there for you, you should.
1. Speak up when it doesn’t feel right
Submitting to someone else’s dominance is a no-no. You don’t have to instantly agree to what other people say if it no longer feels right. You should speak out for yourself if no one else will. If what they say invalidates your feelings, resist, because no one has the right to disrespect you and your struggles.
We were often scared to speak up out of pride and fear that others might turn their side against us. But that’s life; we can’t please everyone, and it’s not our responsibility to agree with everything they say. Only you know when you need to speak up for yourself, especially if your wellbeing is at stake.
Speak up and make things right— if no one else will, you should.
2. Say no when a boundary is crossed
We are often mistreated because of our excessive generosity. And boundaries are often crossed when we have been too lenient in allowing people to do whatever they want, even if it means compromising our well-being. If their behaviors have already made you uncomfortable, whether they are relatives, long-time friends, or lovers, you should learn to say no every time a boundary is crossed.
Your generosity will not get you anywhere if it causes you suffering and neglects your well-being. Saying no is not something you should be afraid to say; let them know that not everything is supposed to be crossed, no matter how close you are to that person.
Don’t let yourself feel guilty for saying no to every choice you have to make.
3. Be honest about your feelings
Nobody understands your emotions better than yourself. So, if you’re no longer comfortable, or if you’re already suffering but can’t find the right time to express yourself, it’s best to tell what you’re feeling and be honest about it. You don’t have to withhold anything as long as your honesty frees you from your anxieties and the load you’ve been carrying all this time.
Be upset if it enrages you, ask questions if it confuses you, and be happy even if others aren’t. If you can’t be honest with someone about your feelings, at least be honest with yourself.
4. Give yourself time to heal and grow
You can’t heal in an environment that keeps reminding you of your past traumas. It’s okay to leave if it’s no longer healthy for you, especially if it’s impeding your growth. You don’t have to take up the sentimental value of where you’re from if recovering from there is hard enough. As they say, you can’t heal from the same environment that wounded you. On the other hand, you can also never grow if a part of you is not yet healed.
Healing like growth takes time. So, don’t rush anything, rather, take things slowly and allow yourself ample time to heal and progress at your own pace.
5. Learn from your mistakes
We are not always right, and acknowledging our shortcomings can be challenging at times. With that, the first step in being there for yourself is to accept your flaws.
It’s okay to stumble and make mistakes, it’s all part of the learning process. So, if you’re stuck on something because you’re afraid of making mistakes, you don’t have to. Just keep going. This is the cue to put everything on the line, and if you make a mistake, that’s fine and what matters is that you learn from it and do better the next time.
You don’t have to stop being there for everyone, but you should make time for yourself as well. Consider these five tips and celebrate your personal progress, because if no one else will — you should.