People who always think of others first need to stop doing these 12 things

Are you the kind of person who always puts others first?

I hear you. It’s a tough gig.

You’re forever running around, trying to meet everyone’s needs and expectations, often forgetting about your own. Sound familiar?

The truth is, you might be doing more harm than good, both for yourself and for those you care about.

Many of us are so accustomed to prioritizing others that we don’t even realize the toll it’s taking on our own lives.

So today, let’s talk about it. 

Here, we’ll discuss the 12 things you need to stop doing if you’re always thinking of others first.

Ready? Let’s dive in.

1) Saying yes to everything

One of the most common pitfalls for those who always think of others first is the inability to say no.

It’s natural to want to help when someone asks for it. After all, kindness is a virtue. But agreeing to every request that comes your way can leave you overwhelmed and stressed.

Let’s be honest, time and energy are finite resources. When you constantly commit yourself to others, you inevitably have less time for your own needs and goals.

Learning to say no is not about being selfish, it’s about setting boundaries and prioritizing your well-being.

It’s okay to turn down requests that are not aligned with your capacity or priorities. You are not obliged to set yourself on fire to keep others warm. It’s crucial to strike a balance between helping others and taking care of yourself.

2) Ignoring personal needs

I’ve been there, trust me. Always thinking about what others need, and forgetting to check in on my own needs.

There was a time when I would work long hours to meet deadlines, skip meals to help a friend in crisis, or miss out on my favorite activities because someone else needed my time. It felt good to be needed, to be the go-to person. But over time, it took a toll on my health and well-being.

One day, I found myself drained, both physically and emotionally. I realized then that I had been neglecting something crucial – me. I had been so focused on others that I had forgotten to take care of myself.

That’s when it hit me – you can’t pour from an empty cup. To take care of others effectively, you need to first take care of yourself.

Since then, I’ve started prioritizing self-care. Whether it’s taking time out for a hobby, ensuring I eat healthily and exercise regularly, or simply taking a few minutes each day for self-reflection – these actions have truly made a difference in how I feel.

3) Over-empathizing

Empathy is a beautiful trait. It’s the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. But did you know there’s something known as ’emotional contagion’?

Emotional contagion is when we ‘catch’ and feel the emotions of those around us. And while it can foster connection and understanding, too much of it can lead to emotional exhaustion.

This is especially true for those who always put others first. They often find themselves shouldering not just their own emotional burdens, but those of others too. This can lead to chronic stress and even burnout.

While empathy is important, it’s essential to guard your emotional boundaries. You can understand and validate someone’s feelings without taking them on as your own. It’s about caring, not carrying.

4) Not setting boundaries

Setting boundaries is a crucial part of maintaining healthy relationships. It’s about defining what is acceptable behaviour and what isn’t.

Those who always put others first often struggle with setting boundaries. They fear that saying no or setting limits may upset others or make them seem unkind.

But the truth is, boundaries are not about being harsh or selfish. They’re about respecting your own needs and well-being. They help you maintain your integrity and prevent resentment from building up.

It’s perfectly okay to say no when you need to, or to ask for space when you feel overwhelmed.

5) Compromising your dreams

In the pursuit of being there for others, there’s a risk of losing sight of our own dreams and aspirations.

We might sideline our passions to make room for others, believing that we’re doing the right thing.

But it’s vital to remember that our dreams are as important as anyone else’s. They are a part of who we are and what makes us happy.

It’s not selfish to follow our dreams, it’s necessary. We need to honor them and give them the space they deserve in our lives.

Living our dream can inspire others to do the same, creating a ripple effect of positivity and fulfillment.

6) Losing your identity

pic1810 People who always think of others first need to stop doing these 12 things

When you’re always putting others first, it’s easy to lose sight of who you are. You become so enmeshed in others’ lives and their needs that you forget about your own dreams, passions and identity.

I’ve seen this happen to people I care about. They give so much of themselves to others that they end up feeling lost. They forget their own likes, dislikes, and what truly makes them happy.

This is a heartfelt appeal to anyone who resonates with this. Don’t let your light dim while trying to light up others. 

You are not just a caregiver or a helper. You are an individual with your own identity. And that identity is worth cherishing and nurturing. So, don’t forget about yourself while caring for others. Your uniqueness deserves to shine too.

7) Forgetting to celebrate your achievements

Once, I worked tirelessly on a project for weeks. It was a big success, but instead of celebrating, I immediately moved on to helping a teammate with their work. I didn’t take a moment to acknowledge my achievement.

This is something many of us who always think of others first do. We downplay our achievements, thinking it’s not as important as helping others. But this can lead to feelings of being unappreciated and unnoticed.

Your achievements, big or small, are a testament to your hard work and dedication. They deserve to be celebrated. So, take the time to acknowledge your triumphs and celebrate them. You’ve earned it!

8) Avoiding conflict

People who always think of others first often go to great lengths to avoid conflict. They worry that standing up for themselves might lead to disagreements or hurt feelings.

But avoiding conflict doesn’t necessarily preserve peace. In fact, it can lead to resentment and misunderstanding in the long run.

It’s important to express your thoughts and feelings, even if they might lead to conflict. Healthy disagreements can actually strengthen relationships and lead to better understanding.

Don’t shy away from expressing your viewpoint. Your feelings and opinions are just as valid and important as others’.

9) Not setting boundaries

Did you know that setting healthy boundaries is actually a form of self-care?

Having clear boundaries can improve our emotional health, relationships, and even our professional lives.

Yet, many of us who think of others first often forget about setting boundaries, believing it’s our responsibility to always be available.

But remember, it’s not only okay to set boundaries, it’s essential for your wellbeing.

10) Believing you’re responsible for others’ happiness

This one hits close to home. It’s easy to feel that the weight of the world is on your shoulders, that the happiness of those around you depends solely on you.

But it doesn’t. Happiness is a personal journey, and each person must find their own way.

It’s not your job to make everyone else happy.

You can support, love, and care for them, but their happiness is their responsibility, just as yours is your own.

11) Over-apologizing

I’ve noticed that whenever I choose to do something for myself, I feel a sense of guilt and end up apologizing unnecessarily.

The truth is, taking time for oneself or saying no to a request doesn’t warrant an apology.

By constantly saying sorry, I’m indirectly reinforcing the belief that prioritizing myself is something wrong.

It’s crucial for me to understand that self-care is not selfish, and it’s okay to make myself a priority without feeling the need to apologize.

12) Neglecting self-love

The most crucial thing to remember is this: You deserve the same kindness, respect, and love that you give to others.

Often, those who always think of others first forget to extend these gestures to themselves. But self-love is the foundation of a healthy mind and body. It’s about recognizing your worth and treating yourself with kindness.

So, don’t forget to take time each day to do something that makes you happy. Appreciate your strengths and forgive your weaknesses. Treat yourself with the same compassion and kindness you offer to others.

Final thoughts: It’s about balance

The heart of this issue lies in the delicate balance between selflessness and self-care.

Being considerate and thoughtful towards others is a beautiful trait, and it’s something that should be celebrated. But it’s equally important to remember that you too, are deserving of care and consideration.

As human beings, we’re wired to form connections and help each other. Studies even suggest that acts of kindness can release endorphins, creating a natural high known as the ‘helper’s high’.

But just as a car can’t run on an empty tank, you can’t continue to give without refilling your own reserves. Self-care isn’t selfish; it’s necessary for your well-being and mental health.

Take a moment to reflect. Are you balancing your care for others with care for yourself? Are you setting boundaries that protect your emotional health? Are you celebrating your achievements and embracing self-love?

Remember, it’s not only okay but essential to prioritize your own well-being. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash

Pearl Nash has years of experience writing relationship articles for single females looking for love. After being single for years with no hope of meeting Mr. Right, she finally managed to get married to the love of her life. Now that she’s settled down and happier than she’s ever been in her life, she's passionate about sharing all the wisdom she's learned over the journey. Pearl is also an accredited astrologer and publishes Hack Spirit's daily horoscope.

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