Are you making yourself a priority in relationships?
We’ve been taught to put others before ourselves and that is humble and moral. If you are a “good” person you shouldn’t be selfish. The golden rule says to treat other people as you wish to be treated. In relationships, though, many people treat others better than themselves. This over-giving behavior is caused by the shadow of selfishness.
Selfish can be a dirty word and most people reject that personality trait and it goes into their shadow. What you deny does not go away, it just gets buried deep into your personal unconscious as shadow. Ultimately that energy gets projected out onto others to compliment your pleasing personality.
You may feel that your past relationship partners have been selfish. Your ex took more than they gave and you felt rejected and disrespected. No one, though, can treat you poorly without your permission. In relationships, you will always attract your shadow until you deal with it.
Many of the popular dating tips will tell you not to ask for what you want because it will scare the other person away. They will tell you that asking is needy and turns people off. But, if someone gets scared away when you ask for what you want, is that someone you want anyway? The reason you aren’t treated well is because you’d rather be the victim than be considered selfish.
The persona of someone with the selfish shadow is pleasing, kind and never wants to disappoint others. If you take on the role of the pleaser, someone has to be the taker. If you approach relationships with the idea that others’ needs are more important than yours, then that is exactly what you will experience.
To shift the pattern you must first take responsibility that it is your pleasing persona that is creating the takers in your life. Second, understand the reasons for your pleasing isn’t really about the others, but more about you looking like a good person and not being abandoned. You are giving to get, which isn’t giving at all. Lastly, start making yourself a priority and then you will begin to see your relationships reflect that back to you.
Of course, when you change your role, the takers in your life won’t be pleased at all. You will be tempted to go back to your old persona because some may drop away and get angry. You can now face your greatest fear – the shadow of selfishness and see it for what it really is – a limited idea that keeps you locked in a prison of endless pleasing of everyone but yourself. Pleasing is exhausting.
Being selfish isn’t taking advantage of others, but honoring your own needs. The most loving thing you can do for yourself and others is to treat yourself with love and respect. A great line you can say to the takers in your life, “I am not saying no to you, but I am saying yes to me.”
What are you tolerating in your life? How has the persona of being a “good, pleasing person” kept you trapped in unhappy relationships? When you realize that you are divine and honor yourself in the same way you would hold anything sacred, you will begin to see your relationships reflect back that same honor.