There is a lot of emphasis these days on narcissistic and selfish behavior. It’s true that a consistent pattern of putting yourself first ends up eating at your own joy and happiness. But the same is true if you neglect yourself.

I’ve met too many people who “pretend” to be giving and generous out of obligation or a fear of being unloved. As a result, they turn resentful when doling out favors. Instead of helping others out of the goodness of their heart, their empty tank of self-love causes them to ask the question, “What’s in it for me?”

When you are compassionate with others and generous in spirit, do you also offer that same love to yourself? Putting the proverbial oxygen mask on you first is not an act of narcissism or selfishness. It’s a practice in self-care.

How do you counteract being giving to others with giving to yourself? Spend time with people who are compassionate and loving and minimize time with those who are negative and draining. And when you’re having a tough time, be as generous, kind, and understanding to yourself as you would be to those you love. Our top post this week will give you more ideas on how to improve your relationship with yourself and that in return should boost your relationship with everyone else.

{Flickr photo by Quinn Dombrowski}

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