Taking Selfish Back

As a therapist I have worked with dozens (maybe even hundreds) of patients who believe that it is not ok to put themselves first when it comes to getting their needs met.  This pervasive belief permeates into relationships where them may be taken advantage of and may be at risk of becoming fully co-dependent.

The belief that we are being selfish if we have boundaries, ask for what we need, or ever disappoint someone can create an exhausted cycle of resentment (because we actually don’t like being on the back burner all the time) and low self-esteem (because ultimately we can’t do it all).  Overtime, we feel rundown and our mental health can be greatly impacted by this lack of acknowledgement from others and from ourselves.

Interesting to me how the word “selfish” has such a bad wrap.  We feel wrong, guilty, and ashamed when we feel our behavior is selfish in anyway.  But I encourage my clients to rethink their definition of what this word means.

Putting ourselves first is essential if we are going to create the energy we need.

Having boundaries is key if we are going to heal and protect ourselves from toxic stress.

Being selfish is actually essential if we are going to break out of our patterns of abuse…because acknowledgment is the corrective experience.

Speak Your Mind


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