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Put Yourself First for Once
AND STOP FEELING GUILTY ABOUT DOING WHAT'S BEST FOR YOU
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I opened Facebook today to find a friend request from a person I vaguely remember from 30 years ago. I actually had to look at their profile to see if I knew them at all.
Sound familiar? And like you’ve probably done, I paused a moment and thought, “Well, I hate to hurt their feelings.” And then I hit delete without another thought.
I did the same thing over the last couple weeks with my social media accounts. With the help of an app, I scanned through my friends and followers and cleaned house.
Was it difficult? At first. After all, it feels really good to have thousands of people pay attention to you on social media. right? It feeds our ego and sense of identity.
If you’re honest, you pay attention to those numbers, too. And many people (like me) compare the number of followers and friends we have with other people’s accounts.
When did quantity over quality of relationships become so important? If that’s not true for you, good for you. But for most people, it’s a factor in their sense of self-worth.
Why? Because we crave significance and belonging. Humans are hardwired for relationships. But maybe more than ever, we settle and sacrifice quality for quantity.
I’m not just talking about social media. Consider the relationships you have in life. How many actually contribute constructively to your existence in meaningful ways?
You know as well as I do that some relationships you have function more like bots than buddies. They attach themselves to you have no benefit to your friend count.
So why is it hard to separate yourself from these individuals and delete them from your life? Because they give us a false sense of security. They inflate our egos.
Have you ever gone out with a group of friends only to feel like you just wasted a night? And then you think, “Why did I do that again? Next time I’m going to say no.”
When we give our time to people who don’t reciprocate in a meaningful way, we expend emotional energy we could be investing in building authentic relationships.
In my decision to clean house on social media, I found thousands of friends and followers who do nothing more than pad my pride. They bring no value to my life.
If I’m honest, I know of flesh and blood relationships who are no different. They take. They don’t give. And it’s time for me to stop giving them the attention others deserve.
Putting yourself first isn’t selfish. There’s only so much of your to go around. Consider who might be a drain on your life. Hit delete. And then invest that energy elsewhere.
There’s no reason for you to feel guilty for doing what’s best for you. As I’ve learned the hard way recently, life is short. And there are no do-overs. Just regrets.
It’s hard. But start today. Make the difficult decision to clean house online and in life. You’ll never lose by replacing a few artificial friends with authentic relationships. ■
If you need help with the subject matter of this blog for your personal or professional life, contact me to discuss one-on-one consulting options. I will reply personally. —T.