When to Put Ourselves First


Hi, everybody. I’m Mike Staver. This is Mondays with Mike, a weekly video series where I answer questions from people just like you. Here’s this week’s question.

“I’ve been told since I was a kid, and that has been some time ago, to put others before myself. At what point is that incorrect? At what point do I not put others in front of myself?”

I think when it starts hurting you, right? Because if you are not able to keep yourself right, then you can’t help anyone. So it’s kid of like, you know, put your own oxygen mask on before assisting someone else, you know? I think it’s incorrect if you are having the life sucked out of you by somebody or something, right. I love the ‘put your own mask on before assisting others’ idea. Got to take care of you before you can take care of them.

I think it’s probably OK to put yourself first if there is a situation where your health would be significantly compromised. For instance, let’s say I have a peanut allergy and my friends want to go to a Thai restaurant where they use a lot of peanuts in the food. So I go look, I’m not going to go, I know it’s your birthday, but I can’t go for Thai food. You guys go, and I can catch you afterwards. That’s me putting me ahead of them because it’s consequences. That’s a simple example. I think if you’re going to have a significant trauma over time, or if you are in a circumstance where it’s all take, take, take, you’re going to have to figure that out in terms of, you know, I’m going to pull back a little in this particular case.¬†Very, very important.

I had a situation like this recently where somebody wanted to go to a concert and I didn’t want to go. And they really wanted me to go. I didn’t go. They were unhappy, but in that case, I was so exhausted, my voice was going, it would have been a bad time.

That goes against a lot of what we’re taught. Oh, be selfless. Nobody’s selfless.

I hope that’s helpful!

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