TODAY: I will say ’no’ to a request if I am already overextended!
I understand that my time and energy are important resources to be respected and used wisely.
How many of you remember Karyn White’s soul ballad “Superwoman”? What may well have begun as a give-and-take situation eventually deteriorated until it was a one-way street. The woman in the song is forced to realize “I’m not your superwoman” , because she’s only giving and seldom receiving the positive energy and love from her partner that she needs.
We also have our needs that must be met; times when we need a shoulder to lean on or an open ear and heart. As long as our relationships are mutually empowering everything is fine. We feel free to give when and what we can, knowing we will also be on the receiving end when we need something.
Intimate relationships aren’t the only relationship where an imbalance can lead to problems. How many of us have suffered through friendships or work situations where – if we are perfectly honest with ourselves – we are giving far more than we are receiving? Maybe it’s hot-wired into our socialization, but especially (black!) women feel we have to be there for everyone:
- partners who need our attention
- girlfriends with relationship problems
- co-workers unable to meet their own workloads
We sometimes forget, however, that when we allow other people’s needs to supersede our own – in other words, when we ignore the common sense of self-care – we quickly find our own physical energy running low, our emotions strained and our spirits flagging. This uneven burden compromises the basis of our relationships, as well as our own overall health.
What’s on your personal to-do list today?
How much space have you left for self-care? More importantly, what priority have you put on your “me time” – whether it’s an entire day or just 10 minutes?
- Understand that you can – and should – say “no” when your plate is already full.
- Accept that someone else’s priority need not be your own.
- Realize that you don’t need to be a “superwoman” for anyone else.