How many times do you feel obligated to say yes? This could be to family, friends, co-workers, bosses, significant others, etc. Saying yes makes you feel like you’re the dependable one, you’re the go to guy or girl, you’re THE PERSON people can always count on, and that makes you feel well, good! Saying yes is good, being there for others is great, but often we say yes to others and forget to say yes to ourselves.
I remember in college I was always a yes girl. You’re going to a forum? Sure, I’d love to learn more about that thing! Party? I’m there! Study partner? I’m sure there’s something I can study, too! I literally always wanted to be there for my friends. This came from such a good place and naturally I’m a social butterfly so it never felt wrong in the moment. Then afterwards, I would feel exhausted and like I needed a place to recharge. Being there for others was my strength but learning how to prioritize myself was my weakness.
As I grew older and a tad bit wiser I started realizing that I wasn’t able to be the same me when I was pouring from a cup that had only droplets inside. I wanted to say yes, so I did. And then I saw myself unable to connect with people. Truthfully, I needed rest. Rest from social interactions, from thinking about work, from running errands, and thinking about my responsibilities. I wasn’t able to be my regular self when I had so many things on my mind. I wasn’t able to make connections when my mind and body was going eighty miles an hour and never stopped to refuel. I desperately needed to make a pit stop.
Prioritize your yeses. Say yes to yourself first and be sure that you aren’t neglectful of what you truly want or need. Be there for people, show up, but first show up for yourself. There will be days when you feel like you can’t squeeze everything in, but you want to try. That doesn’t mean don’t try, but be honest with yourself and others. Don’t rush into commitments or on the contrary turn everything down. Tell them, “I’d love to do this but I don’t know if I can truly commit right now.” They will respect you for that and if they don’t, you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. You are worth your time. Pour into yourself first so you can give your best self to others.