When Actions Speak
It is not uncommon to consider our actions with respect to others. Sometimes this looks like a willingness to do for others, to go above and beyond for the sake of a relationship. Sometimes this means much thought and effort put into an event, or a present. Sometimes this may look like difficulty saying no or holding a boundary for fear of offending or hurting another’s feelings. Our actions towards others is one that receives much attention, with even the golden rule being to treat others as you would be treated.
Perhaps, however, it is time to consider what your actions say to and about you. When you are willing to gift your time to others, but can’t find time for yourself – what does this say to you? When you are willing to spend money on and for others, but are not willing to spend it on yourself – how does this reflect on the value you place on yourself? When you are willing to sacrifice your own boundaries on the alter of another’s opinion or feelings – how does this impact your perception of self?
In the context of relationships, it is important to consider the feelings, wants and needs of others. Unfortunately, it is common that we forget the relationship we maintain with ourselves. If our actions are speaking, shouldn’t we be aware of what we are saying to ourselves? When we don’t consider our own wants or needs we tell ourselves that those are not important. When we refuse to invest financially in ourselves we tell ourselves we are not worth it. When we don’t honor our own boundaries, we tell ourselves that our emotions are less valid or less important than those of others. The negative messages we convey to ourselves can be detrimental on our self-worth, and negatively impact how we view ourselves.
It is time to not only treat others as you would be treated, but also to treat yourself as you treat others.
Submitted by Rachel Narow, Licensed Clinical Social Worker