Stress takes on so many different forms in our lives. We could be worried about a presentation in school, a meeting at work, a fight with a family member, financial issues, or even lack of sleep. The way we deal with these individual stressors can directly affect our overall mood and mindset. “Putting yourself first” is a difficult concept. Self care is super important, but how do we balance life with stress while still putting ourselves first? In this post, I’m going to talk about putting yourself first in a toxic relationship. Toxic relationships can shape themselves in many different forms; be it a boss, a partner, or a friend. There are fine lines on how to deal with each of these.
Self respect is huge and egos can run even bigger. If you have a job where your boss constantly asks you to do tasks beneath you or you can’t seem to please them- is that the time and place to put your foot down and walk out? Self respect is important, but there are some things in life we need to put our head down and put the blinders on. Show up, do the work, and go home and try to remove yourself from the day. A job is a job and sometimes we won’t get along with everyone there. Put in your time and when it’s appropriate, you will reap the rewards. However, if your boss is mentally or physically, then it’s important to reevaluate. Sometimes people have no choice financially and have to put up with abuse for longer than others. It’s a means to an end and it’s temporary. Start looking for jobs on the side and when you can line something up, then you can leave.
What About a Friendship?
What about a toxic relationship where someone on the outside is fun and caring but when it comes down to issues that bother you, time and time again they put themselves first. The title of this blog post is “Put yourself First”, so why am I critiquing someone for doing that? There is a difference between putting yourself first while also being a kind person. A friend who takes advantage of you in any capacity isn’t a friend at all. People make mistakes, it’s human nature, and we’re allowed to slip up once in awhile. It’s when this behavior becomes a pattern that it’s a problem. There comes a time in these specific relationships where you need to put your foot down. You don’t deserve to be a doormat and the energy you put into this person isn’t being returned.
How do you put yourself first with someone like that? If it’s a friend, confrontation can be intimidating. Distance and time is best. Try to slowly start removing yourself from the equation. You don’t need to give an explanation every time you can’t (or don’t want to!) spend time with this person. There doesn’t have to be this huge fall out, you can separate yourself and you’ll find a renewed sense of energy you didn’t have before. Sometimes people in these toxic relationships can suck the life out of you without you even realizing it. Once we cleanse, we feel refreshed. Perhaps these relationships can be mended with time, maybe not. However, kudos to you for taking the time you need to evaluate what you’re giving and getting out of this relationship.
You Are in Control to Put Yourself First
Moral of the story: toxic relationships are what you make of them. If you take yourself out of them, you are in control. These people are toxic so take away their power. Do not concern yourself with what their posting on social media, what they’re saying to other people (true or false) and what they are asking of you now that you’re more distant. You give them the power to be toxic. When you no longer allow them to do so, you’re in control, and you can live a mentally healthier life. Don’t we already have so much to worry about?
By: Erica T.