I have always believed that there is a thin line between very high self esteem and ego.
When we put ourselves first always, there are two sides to the situation.
Firstly, we end up coming to value ourselves more and understand that our happiness should always be a priority.
On the flip side, we can get too programmed into putting our needs first, and can end up becoming quite selfish.
As a result…
When we put ourselves first no matter what, we can unintentionally hurt others’ feelings.
A classic example of this is in a situation of any misunderstanding, no matter who has started it. A person who has got used to putting their self esteem first at all times might refrain from taking the first step to reconcile.
While it is not always necessary to be the ‘bigger person’ in any misunderstanding, it is a mark of maturity to reach out and discuss the problem and sort it out rather than just refrain from getting off your perch.
Here’s a common example of a situation where people end up walking away instead of resolving issues due to years of putting themselves first:
Very often, people have the ego that comes with the ‘why should I take the first step’ mentality.
So if they misunderstand something a friend says or if their friend doesn’t notice them when outside, even if it was purely an accident, it is never cleared up because the one who felt hurt does not approach their friend to say that this misunderstanding or accident hurt their feelings.
In many cases, the other person may not even have realised something went wrong. Instead of having a cold war with one party not even aware of it and eventually going out of contact, isn’t it better to discuss your feelings then and there and sort it out, and prevent a friendship from being broken by a silly misunderstanding?
Thanks to their unwillingness to put themselves out there and take the first step to approach someone and discuss what went wrong, many people end up putting ego over friendship and walking away from a situation that could have been remedied.
In friendships and relationships
While we can take it more or less for granted that no matter how rude or uncaring or silly we are, our parents will still love us, the same cannot be applied to *most* friendships and relationships.
They require give and take, and nurturing. You need to be open to the other person’s feelings, give them the benefit of doubt sometimes, and not just drop everything and walk away when the going gets tough.
I remember reading somewhere that “Things last longer if they are taken care of, and fixed if they incur damage. That’s why our grandparents have long marriages,long friendships, and long lasting heirlooms.”
While I’m not in any way advising people to stay in toxic situations, it is very common for friends and lovers to argue and have misunderstandings.
In such situations, having an open discussion would do a lot more good than impulsively walking away.
Yes, we are a generation that believes in self love, self care, and putting ourselves first.
However, we also need to be more compassionate and steer clear of developing a selfish streak.
Image Credits: Google Images
Find the author online at: @samyukthanair_