As human beings, we are social and emotional creatures. We interact with other individuals and form relationships with them, whether that be familial, friendly, sexual etc. We all have our own standards on what to expect from each relationship that we share with individuals. At times however, we fail to recognise that everyone whom we encounter have different notions, ideologies and perspectives of how they see life from their point of view. Therefore, this affects their judgement of how they see relationships. Due to this, every individual acknowledges that each relationship works two ways, and therefore, there must be a certain level of compromise and understanding and most importantly, equal communication between both parties.
As human beings, we tend to invest so much love, time, care and respect to the people surrounding us, and whilst doing this, neglect ourselves. Why is this so? One reason could be that we are made to feel inadequate by society: billboards and advertisements continuously showing the ideal body of the present time, previously it was being a size 0, now it is being curvy with plump lips and a round butt, ‘slim thick’ but the ‘right kind’ of slim thick.
Another reason could be due to previous unhealthy relationships, which has clouded our judgement. The list is endless. My point is however, that, as a young child, you are never taught to invest time, love and respect to yourself. You are always made to think about the majority, about those around you. You are seen as the collective and not the individual. Think of primary school days when one student misbehaved and the whole class got set back, missing minutes off their lunch.
As human beings, we make homes in people, we get emotionally attached to others whilst failing to realise every individual has different standards and expectations in life. We expect people to give us the same love respect, care that we give to them, and then when we don’t receive that, we get upset. And then, when those same people walk away, they take the homes we have built in them as well. They take away that love, time, care and respect we have spent ages building inside of them, hoping that they too would return it. In reality, we should have been investing all that love, time, care and respect into ourselves.
My point is, do not expect people to treat you the same way they treat themselves, and rather than investing time in people, invest in yourself, know your self-worth. Love yourself, treat yourself with kindness and respect, first and foremost, before anyone else. And no, it isn’t selfish.