Friday, September 23, 2011

Anger Management - Putting Yourself First

What does putting yourself first mean?
I don't believe our society really teaches us how to put ourselves first. We know how to put the needs of other people first, wherein we're encouraged to be considerate and understanding and empathic towards other people. But we are not really encouraged to look after our own needs. Society makes you think that if you choose to look after your own needs, then you're being selfish. Nothing could be more further from the truth. Some people focus too much on the needs of others, often to the detriment of their own needs.

Do you do this? Do you focus on everyone else's needs but your own? First, you need to change how you think about the term, "me first," or "being selfish". You need to broaden your understanding of this term. Putting yourself first is not necessarily a bad thing to do. In fact, it is needed for your own psychological, sometimes physical well-being. It does not make you a selfish individual, and if you can broaden your context around this. For example, how you think about this term, putting yourself first, then this is the first step to getting in control of your anger.

Why do we struggle with this, you may wonder. I honestly believe, it's because we need approval from other people, and when we don't get this, this destroys us inside. Think about your own life for a second. When you interact with other people, when there are conversations or when people ask things of you, is your first thought to please them or make them like you? The answer is probably yes. And this simple way of being really influences our behavior.

Think back over you life, maybe the last couple of years. How did you behave when somebody asked you to do something that you didn't really want to do? Or when someone crossed a personal boundary of yours? Please refer to the chapter on boundary setting if you are unclear about what I mean by this. What did you do? Did you stand up for yourself and think about, "what's important for me?" Or did you respond by thinking about what the other person wants and "how can I make them happy?" The answer is probably the latter. You would have not really cared about yourself and would have wanted to make the other person happy.

This can get people in a lot of trouble when it comes to anger management. It can cause people's anger to brew and brew and brew. It is not really a sustainable way of being, and eventually people will explode. Eventually, YOU will explode! So you may think that you are helping other people by being the nice guy or the nice girl, but ultimately this behavior is to your own detriment. It is really causing you anger management problems, and ultimately, negatively impacting your close personal relationships. It's a vicious cycle.

Putting yourself first also means making decisions for yourself and not letting others make them for you. Sounds like a crazy concept, doesn't it? Making decisions for yourself? You take the statement for granted. "Of course I do," you may be saying to yourself. But do you really? When you think about your life, how often are you actually making the decisions in your life? How often are other people really making these decisions for you? Think about this question and statement for a second. When you run your ideas through other people, i.e., friends and family, do you get them to give you specific advice on what decision you should make, or do you get them to give you their perspective, i.e., different things that you need to be thinking about?
View the original article here

No comments:

Post a Comment