How many people spend their lives habitually caught by doing things for others while leaving their own needs and requirements unfulfilled? The basis of looking after others first is based on feelings of unworthiness and guilt coming from fear of loss.
If I don’t do what they want me to do then they won’t like/love me any-more. They make me feel guilty that I don’t care for them if I don’t put their needs and desires first. My worthiness is bound up in their acceptance of me as their friend, or whatever.
I feel unworthy and guilty if I say no to them.
I don’t want to lose their like/love so I will put my needs second and put their needs first.
Well, over time, you will build sizeable resentment at being a doormat that others use to wipe their feet on. Want to take a guess at who will feel that resentment? Probably some poor unsuspecting person or people that you feel comfortable bullying as you have been bullied. Children, poor unsuspecting youth, generally get this resentment thrust at them.
What are you really afraid of? What is your innermost fear about saying no I do not intend doing that for your first? First, I want to help myself then I will help you. What will they do or say?
Okay, so role-play a bit here. Let’s assume they act out your worst nightmare, then what? So, they withdraw their conditional love, their conditional emotional support, their conditional financial support and any other type of conditional response.
Are you going to collapse into a heap and fall apart? Not likely!
You are most likely to, initially, stumble a bit as you find your new footing. Thereafter you will feel a release from your fear-based existence. After a short while, you will feel exhilarated as your freedom returns. You are no longer enslaved in Fear, you can start to move towards Love love of yourself in your new-found empowerment.
When you state, this is not acceptable to me, you release yourself from your self-imposed imprisonment as a victim.
It may surprise you to find the other person, the abuser, be taken aback, and then crumble, as your resistance to no longer being a victim is stronger in resolve than their ability to bully you.
Your love of yourself, as you stand in your integrity, is stronger than the fear they have over you. You have shown that that fear cannot bind you in imprisonment any-more.
You have moved from Fear of loss to Love of yourself.
You can now come first in your life. Thereafter, you can assist others but first you must be well balanced in your life.