When You’re Always There for Others, You’re Never There for Yourself

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

“If you want to love others, I think you should love yourself first.”

— RM

‘Call me at any time of the day. I’ll be there by your side no matter what.’

When someone says this to you, or you say this to someone else, you feel special. On the receiving end, you feel loved; on the giving back, you feel responsible. You feel that urge to be there for someone whom you genuinely love, as caring is something we are wired with by default.

Life is funny and mysterious at the same time. It provides you with surprises just when things are flowing smooth and calm as a river.

Then suddenly, it decides it’s time to turn things around, and we are met with obstacles that shake every nerve of our being. You miss your loved ones and crave their support during these times, and when tables are turned, we are there for others.

However, life and its situations are never that easy. Some moments and emotions you like to keep to yourself. Not because you don’t have someone to share your deepest worries with but because you are tired of being there for everyone else. This time, you crave your own company. You want to spend time doing the things you love, even if it means that you don’t have to talk to anyone.

When We Realised the Importance of Self-love

We are social animals. We all felt the value of a face-to-face conversation during the pandemic. Still, through technology, we stayed in touch and, for a change, spoke to those people whom we lost touch with. We tried to make the first move and do away with all grudges as we all felt how unpredictable life could be.

But there are always two sides to every situation. We also realised the importance of slowing down. We learned how refreshing it is to take ourselves out on a date. We discovered the joy of getting lost in the most mundane things of life, and most importantly, we learnt to listen and address those emotions which we ignored due to our fast-paced life.

Kindness is rare. Thus, we try to remain kind even though we deal with comments that prick like thorns. But we cannot be kind all the time, especially when people start taking our kindness for granted. It’s then when you shut all doors, put on your favourite music, and let yourself go. It’s when you need to be with yourself.

Think about it. It’s exhausting to be a listener and empathise with pain. Everyone needs to detox and put themselves first above everyone else.

Let’s look at it this way. If you are emotionally drained, there is no way we can be there for others. So, to fill up our emotional tank, we need to disconnect, and when we do so, it results in the following benefits:

  • Have you noticed when you are less frustrated, and you snap less at others when you spend quality time with yourself? You feel rejuvenated, and you now are willing to be patient enough to be there for others.
  • When you spend time with yourself, you get an opportunity to understand yourself and what you need to deal with.
  • Have you noticed, when you cut external noise, the mind brings up emotions that you had no clue you were feeling? It’s only then that you get to the root of the issue and address it. As a result, you feel lighter and now can help people better.
  • When you take a break and be with yourself rather than others, you discover things and people who make you happy. You see, when we are constantly addressing others’ needs, we don’t reflect on the people who are toxic to us.

When You Choose to Disconnect — You Identify Those Who Will Always Stay Connected

Some people have no respect for your sanity and expect you to be at their beck and call. When you take time off, you realise who truly understands you and is willing to see you grow, even if it means that they won’t hear from you for a while. That’s when you identify those people who will stay with you and who were with you just for a season.

This is what I learnt when I chose to say enough to be there for others and spend time with myself. I knew how fulfilling it can be to take myself on a date and be.

Where I could chat with my inner voice and debate with my emotions over coffee, I could address my deepest fears, face my feelings telling me what’s right and wrong for me and how I am responsible for my growth and think beyond my fears.

We think it’s easy to spend time with ourselves, but it’s not. When we embrace silence, we don’t use another’s company as a distraction to put our demons on a backseat.

It takes courage to listen to our dark emotions and then battle them through to see the light. And this only happens when we make an effort to say no, lock our phones in the drawer and say hello to the voice in our head that says –

‘Ah, I was wondering when you would finally make time so that we could talk.’

Dear reader, inclusion to the Medium Partner Program is currently not eligible for Indian writers. If you enjoyed reading this article, please consider buying me a cup of ‘coffee’ here.

Also, do read this wonderful poem by Ali that tells us that every flaw in our body is beautiful and that’s exactly what makes us unique.

Thanks so much for your time!

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Sujona Chatterjee

Sujona Chatterjee

Living life the only way I know how — one day at a time.