Personal Development

How Self Care Stops You Being Selfish

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Imagine if you will a little girl – let's call her Flossie – skipping to school one sunny morning without a care in the world.

As she skips past a bus stop, she notices something shiny on the ground. "‹

She screeches to a halt and smiles with delight – a £2 coin lays on the floor and there is no one around to claim it"‹!

Now Flossie is an honest little girl, but with no one around to return the money to or hand it in to, she quickly picks it up and runs as fast as her little legs will carry her to the sweet shop.

"‹self_careShe spends all the money of sweets – sweets which are usually rationed to her.  She leaves the shop with the biggest bag of sweets she had ever seen in her life!

Such a happy day, until…"‹

Being a generous soul, when she gets to school she shares most of the sweets with her friends, and is happy to.

One of her friends had a chocolate bar and offered half of it to Flossie but despite it being her fave kind of choccie bar she declined.  It didn't seem right to take from someone else.  "‹

Her good fortune doesn't go unnoticed

Some people "‹that aren't really her friend take advantage of her good nature and are quite happy to ask Flossie for some sweets.

She tries to say no, but is told she is being selfish, which horrifies her so she gives sweets immediately.

Also, she really wants people to like her so she hand out more sweets

Then, when no one is looking,  a mean girl comes and takes all of Flossies remaining sweets.

All the sweets have gone, and Flossie didn't even have one of them.

She hides in the bathroom and cries, not wanting her friends to see her in case it upsets them.

The joy she had felt finding the money has been replaced by disappointment and resentment, and she feels demoralised and used.  She swears that next time, she will keep her sweets to herself and NO ONE will get any.

What happened?

  • She didn't think of her own needs
  • She wanted to please others, and this drove her to put them first
  • She didn't accept sweets when offered to her
  • She didn't say no as she didn't want to upset anyone
  • She was taken advantage of because she didn't have any boundaries to keep her safe
  • She was bullied, leaving her feeling worthless and violated.
  • No one cared that she didn't have any of her own sweets
  • She didn't give anyone a chance to help or comfort her

How much different it might have been to have taken her share first, and then shared the rest around her friends – saying no to the hangers on.

How much happier would she have been?

Poor Flossie.  A difficult but valuable lesson for her to learn"‹

Imagine that you have an emotional bag of sweets.

If you constantly give and never take then before long, you have nothing left for either yourself or others.

You need a balance – giving to yourself, giving to others, and allowing others to give to you.

Self care is allowing this to happen. Self care is replenishing your emotional sweetie bag.

A monthly massage, a manny/peddy, a little indulgent treat is lovely and can go towards re-filling the bag, but for real balance you need to give to yourself, say no to those taking advantage and allow others to give back.

Question for reflection:"‹

If you saw Flossie in the playground, what would you say to her?

Original Source of Article Posted with Kind Permission from Jane Travis


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About the author

Jane Travis

Jane Travis - Know your needs, meet your needs. Enabling you to find more happiness in your everyday life. A practising counsellor, psychotherapist and supervisor at Reflections Counselling Lincoln , she takes the experience, training and knowledge from over 10 years client work to help you discover your value and live an authentic life.