LoveYourself-400I’ve always been one to put others before myself; it’s just the way that I was raised. Even though having that type of quality is admirable in many cases, as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that it’s both a gift and a curse. In friendships and relationships I’ve found myself putting the feelings of others before my own. In my career there were times where I put my projects on the back burner to lend a helping hand. In many of these situations the end result was common. The person that I helped was on their high horse, while I was left feeling like horse shit. Although I would say to myself “never again,” I always found myself in the same situations because being a giver is a part of my nature. When someone is being unappreciative of your time, effort, and help; you feel used and taken advantage of.

We all have our “aha moments.” It took one of the smallest situations for this lesson to click for me. Recently, this guy who I was casually dating spazzed out on me for responding to late to a text and not telling him whether I had someone over at my house or not. Like really? I’m a single woman. I live by myself and I pay my own rent and bills. The only person who should be concerned with who I have over in MY house should be ME! The old me probably would’ve explained what happened to make the person feel better. But in that situation, I felt like I didn’t owe the person a response, so I left the person without one.

I’m picky about who I date. I’m picky about the type of friends that I surround myself with. I’m picky about certain projects that I take on; and that’s completely fine. If you don’t set standards, your life will be all over the place. Although many of us fear saying “no” or feel the need to explain ourselves because we’re scared of being labeled or viewed as a negative person or we want to avoid confrontation, it’s essential to set boundaries and put yourself first for your own well-being.

When you’re a young adult, you have to get comfortable with being selfish sometimes or you’ll find yourself in a pool of misery. Ultimately the decisions that you make during your 20s and 30s have an influence on your future. Always remember you don’t owe anybody anything. You owe it to yourself to make sure you’re good. You don’t have to answer to anyone. This is your time to live the life you want! If someone isn’t honoring that, then don’t be afraid to tell them “Bye Felicia!”

Written by Brandee

Brandee Sanders is a Harlem-bred writer and editor. Her work has been well received in the media. She's been featured on MSN.com, The Root, NewsOne and countless other outlets. Brandee is the founder of a Harlem-based blog called Meet Me Uptown. In 2014, she launched Brunch With Brandee a one-stop...
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