Being Kind to Yourself

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  • I'm the sort of person who likes/needs to look after people. When I'm with someone who's unwell physically or mentally; or if I see someone who I feel is lonely; I have a deep-rooted yearning to 'fix' them. Even in my profile I've put 'fixer' as my occupation :rolleyes:


    For about the last 6 months I've really stopped and started down the path of looking after me. That could be anything from the obvious of having a pampering treatment like a massage to simply allowing myself to not do something that I feel I should be doing. But bloody hell it's hard!


    How kind to yourself are you? Do you spoil yourself at all? Do you feel guilty when you do or do you not give a fuck? :D Were you once bad at looking after yourself but are now an expert? Or were you once good but are now bad? What's changed or helped you? Are men and women different at looking after themselves?

  • I'm the sort of person who likes/needs to look after people. When I'm with someone who's unwell physically or mentally; or if I see someone who I feel is lonely; I have a deep-rooted yearning to 'fix' them.


    Ohhhh, that's me, too, to a tee. Makes life flipping complicated sometimes, I am very much a heart over head person so i'll do anything to help anybody, but sometimes people can't be fixed, or don't want to be, even if they think they do. And it's knowing where to draw the line, going out of your way to help someone is fine, to a degree, but when their problems start to impact negatively on your life, there's gotta be a cut off point somewhere. Mind you, having lived on the streets with people with massive issues, i've probably met more than my fair share of people needing fixing.


    As for being kind to myself, yes, it is hard! If we go to a car boot sale, we'll get home and unpack the stuff and i'll realise i've bought something for Tet, and Rosie, and stepkids, but never anything for myself, it just never occurs to me to think of myself. That's quite a trivial example, but it's true in most aspects of my life, I think. I rarely spend any money on myself, don't do much for my birthday, if i'm having a bad day, I don't even tend to mention it - whereas i'm always buying little gifts for others, or thinking up amazing birthday surprises, and if someone's having a bad day i'll do everything possible to cheer em up. And yep, I do tend to feel guilty about not doing something that I feel I should do.


    I don't think i'm unkind to myself either, though. I get a buzz out of helping people, so it's not entirely selfless. I reckon I should give myself a wicked birthday this year though, I deserve it! :D

    I've been tripping from sipping the dripping dirty water tap,
    i've been thinking i'm drinking too many drinks all by myself.
    I've been poking a voodoo doll that you do not know I made, for you, of you.

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Twister: I changed a comma to a full stop, cos it was annoying me! ().

  • A very interesting thread... hmm well i practically ware myself out sometimes, i helped do a mates house up on a night for nothing, it was a tip worse than what mine has been like recently, then i try and help my folks out at there spot, then i think i need to see my auntie more regulary who has just gone in a home, then an old retired work mate who s misus died and it has made him all depressed, and i got to a point this year where i just thought what about me? i looked in the mirror a shappy clapped out mess and thought to hell with this i need some me time, but then i feel guilty, another mates girlfriend whom he was engaged to left him, so i try to find a balance but my god it takes some doing,


    Work is also a big part of the ,, problem,, but how can you call work a problem when it feed and clothes you. but i have to think of every move for the next day next month next year competition etc etc all the time and i often think fuck it this is madness, but i cant help it work does rule my life i wish i could devote more time to my needy friends well thats wrong really they only contact me for worries when really required men do that they kind of try to sort there shit out on there own, unless like me a give you lot on here hell.


    I guess i have been guilty of me time lately totally greedy really but i just had to sort my shit/house life etcetc together.


    I once said to a lass i know i was thinking of becoming like a sort of carerer or shrink as i just wanted to help other peoples lives out but the lass said i think you would find it hard to cope and you have to just permanently sort out people stuff, forgetting about yourself, and i thought how selfish but i see what she means now it takes a very special person to look after other peoples lives not caring a scrap about there own.


    Anyway rambled on sorry i think there are far more worthy people on here to put there valid point on than me.

  • I'm terrible at looking after myself in a pampering way. I find it incredibly difficult to spend money on myself, even when I'm given money or vouchers as a gift from someone else! I feel like if I don't "need" a thing it's somehow wasteful and undeserved.

  • I've been rubbish in the past but....next week I've booked myself a horse-riding lesson :D


    OK, not the standard idea of 'pampering' but it's something I've wanted to do since I stopped lessons when I was about 9 or 10 and I've always put it off with all sorts of excuses, when in reality it was because it would be a proper 'treat' and I should be spending the money on more important things and on other people :)

  • There are basically two types of people - givers & takers. And whichever camp you find yourself in, it's hard to change. The takers don't even realise they're like that a lot of the time - it's just like breathing - automatic behaviour that they've probably had since childhood. Givers are just the same - it's an integral part of their make-up, and however much they try and change, their basic need to help people and serve others will out.


    I'm also in the 'givers' camp along with probably a lot of people on this forum. I believe the counter-culture movement attracts people like that - you want to be part of a mutually supportive network, and help others who are struggling financially, emotionally out of kilter, physically challenged or with a host of other needs. Sometimes it's not a lot that's needed - a listening ear (very, very important!!!), a warm hug, a helping hand or a word of advice. But in order to give unselfishly, it's necessary to be nurtured as well - if not by others, then you must do it yourself from time to time, or you will find yourself lacking the strength you need to continue effectively. So - all you caring givers - spoil yourselves from time to time - you deserve it.

  • I have always been the type to give to others first, often to the detriment of myself, I've always had the ability to bounce back from difficult times, good reserves of inner strength. Trouble is now I am a bit burned out and I feel frustrated as this was such a big part of my sense of self . Since this has happened I've done a lot of thinkiing and have begun to wonder if it's just easier to help others with their problems than face my own. I haven't answered this question of myself yet, but I can't help but wonder if it is part of the driving force behind such a powerful need to help others.

  • I don't think I'm either a giver or a taker :S I can actually be pretty selfish on many levels but at the same time will make huge efforts for the people I care about. I don't automatically put other people first, but I don't automatically put myself first either. I do try and fix people sometimes and will give people a second chance if need be but if I'm properly let down I'll cut them out. Now I'm confused - I sound far too well balanced :p

  • I don't think I'm either a giver or a taker :S I can actually be pretty selfish on many levels but at the same time will make huge efforts for the people I care about. I don't automatically put other people first, but I don't automatically put myself first either. I do try and fix people sometimes and will give people a second chance if need be but if I'm properly let down I'll cut them out. Now I'm confused - I sound far too well balanced :p


    OK,OK,OK, Noctula - we'll have a group for the third type of person - who does both a bit of give and take...... and you can be the first one in it ;)


    Yes, I was being a bit simplistic - but in most cases people will be predominately one or the other.

  • I very much like to look after people... I was a stand-in mother to a lot of people before I had a child (including most of my boyfriends...) and I wouldn't want to change that, but I think it would be helpful if I could mother myself a little bit too. I'm OK at being kind to myself in some respects - I don't feel guilty for having treats to eat or sleeping late when I have the chance, etc... but because I have self-esteem problems I tend to feel I don't deserve good things, and when it comes to cooking myself a balanced meal, for example, I tend to think "what's the point?" if it's only for me to eat.


    I also find it very hard to ask for or accept help because I guess I assume people won't want to do it, or it will be a huge inconvenience to them, and that I'm not worth the bother.


    And another thing, I suppose, is that I give myself a tremendously hard time about things. If I'm saying "God I'm such a twat" and someone asks me "would you think that about *me* if I did the same?" then I realise the answer is no, of course I wouldn't.


  • I also find it very hard to ask for or accept help because I guess I assume people won't want to do it, or it will be a huge inconvenience to them, and that I'm not worth the bother.


    I recognise that bit, but I've got the added thing of not wanting help because of a (sometimes misplaced) independent streak - the sort of streak you get in a 3yo (I see it with Rhiannon) who can do it herself because she's a big girl and then throws a wobbly when she 'can't' do it, but doesn't want you to do it for her either :S

  • There are basically two types of people - givers & takers.

    I disagree and see that as quite a polarised and overly negative view.


    I think that people have the capacity for both, and that helping ourselves (or reaching out for help) is just as important as helping others - after all, the good we can do for others is limited when we don't have our own house in order. Many people have an issue with accepting help, and feel like they're somehow wrong for seeking it ... and a perceived attitude of "taking is bad" can actually be quite restrictive to our wellbeing.


    Also being too caring can potentially fall into the category of caretaking - which is more a control issue and often disempowering in a way that prevents people from solving their own problems. Almost a failing to see someone's potential by constantly mollycoddling them.


    Personally I put myself first ... and while that could be perceived as overly selfish, making my own wellbeing and happiness a priority means I'm far more capable of being there for other people too. Nobody sane would seek financial advice from a poor person or diet tips from the obese, so if we need support it's always better to seek it from people who are happy!

  • hmm i think i am a giver and a taker (not in a gay way fnrr fnrr, sorry) like i think most people if there honest are, weird thing is i am always worried about what people think of me or are they judging me, so is it more of an image or fake persona thing ie does the real me come out when im wound up, at times i can be a proper prat if iam in "one of those moods" however i also like to do all i can to be as decent a human as possible and i have a long way to go.


    I feel its my gain to help others out, thats it really, i guess i put family first and i suppose myself if i am really honest, i still think i need to do a hell of a lot more for other people. Although i ve done bits i would say but i won't be all bragdocio and list them all, like i said you lot do a hell of a lot more for fellow man than i will ever do.


    and again thanks noctula for pm ing me when i was a bit low .

  • I'm terrible at looking after my self Always put everyone first it wouldn't feel right not tooI would do anything for anyone and often do Steve is always telling me I would give the shirt off my back But it's part of who I am I care I take my vitamins and try my best to eat well but that's as far as it goes For me there's much more important things to spend money on than pamper sessions etc I can't justify it For example Steve knows a guy he has no one he tried to hang him self before Christmas Now he wouldn't come to our house on Christmas day he was too embarrassed I had twenty pounds put too one side now I could of give it him to ensure he had gas and food over Xmas or I could of spooky myself no contest really I won't be changing anytime soon either

  • I dunno, I am not intrinsically bound to fix people, but neither am I selfish, and I often burn out, having done for others and neglected myself for long periods of time - cue depressive episodes.
    I never go to the hairdressers ( I cut and colour my own hair) or wear make up or perfume or buy or wear nice clothes, I have *never* taken myself off to a spa or anything remotely like it.
    But I have come to the conclusion that nobody else is gonna do it for me so I have recently started looking after myself a bit more - even just doing my hair instead of putting a baseball cap on for work, painting my nails, buying myself some perfume for christmas.
    (You see the irony in that last bit?)
    And yes, riding again with Daisy is spoiling myself but I earn my own money so I will not be made to feel guilty, and yes I do intend to get a pony of our own and I won't be made to feel guilty about that when the time comes.
    I think making that bit of time and effort for yourself allows you to give the rest of you unconditionallyt to others without begrudging it.

  • Post by Reacher ().

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  • Personally I put myself first ... and while that could be perceived as overly selfish, making my own wellbeing and happiness a priority means I'm far more capable of being there for other people too. Nobody sane would seek financial advice from a poor person or diet tips from the obese, so if we need support it's always better to seek it from people who are happy!


    I tend to agree with that - it's how I've started to look at it over the past couple of years (slowly coming around to it ;) ). I don't think it's helped (personally speaking) that there seems to be this unwritten rule floating around that women especially are supposed to be naturally unselfish, caring and nurturing and put other people first at all times - particularly their children (I know that isn't the necessarily the case, but there seems to be a lot of subtle pressures out there). I don't always put my daughter first, not in the way people might consider - I tried and hated it because I started losing all the parts of me that made me happy and kept me as 'me' and started feeling guilty every time I wanted to do something for me - and that included working.


    So I'm making the effort now to make decisions, and do things, that benefit me with the caveat that they don't harm my daughter and if I can keep myself happy by looking after myself and putting myself first, then I'm generally nicer to be around and less likely to want to lock my daughter in a cupboard whenever she throws a wobbly.... :p

  • There are basically two types of people - givers & takers.

    No there aren't. There are basically two stereotyped extremes that people's behaviour can be pigeonholed into. ;)


    All humans are different, and the extent to which any individual gives or takes will vary - often from day to day. It's ridiculous to try and reduce any area of human behaviour into simplistic categories. :shrug:

  • Personally I put myself first ... and while that could be perceived as overly selfish, making my own wellbeing and happiness a priority means I'm far more capable of being there for other people too.


    Hmm... I was married to someone who trotted that mantra out at every opportunity - and used it to justify bullying, aggression and violence to adults as well as children. Brings back horrible memories!

  • No there aren't. There are basically two stereotyped extremes that people's behaviour can be pigeonholed into. ;)


    All humans are different, and the extent to which any individual gives or takes will vary - often from day to day. It's ridiculous to try and reduce any area of human behaviour into simplistic categories. :shrug:


    Oh well, I guess the older I get the more ridiculous my opinions become. Of course they ARE only MY opinions formed after dealing widely with people in various spheres of life and in many different countries, over the past 60 odd years - but I think I'm still entitled to them.


    Currently I support and advise a wide range of people who broadly fit into those two categories. As a Brit who has decided to live in a foreign country, I see many who come and make no real effort to learn the language , integrate or contribute in any way to local society. They are often ones who have watched UK TV programmes encouraging people to go find a better life elsewhere than the UK. They often complain that it's frustrating that the administration, commerce and social/medical services have made no effort to provide English language support for whatever their needs are. When they do inevitably need interpreting or translation help, then they are often reluctant to pay for it, as it means there may be a little less cash available for "living the dream". They look down on the indigenous population and ridicule age-old customs and life-styles, whilst loudly telling everyone about their privileged life-style and wonderful weather.


    And then there are the so-called building trade artisans who cook up their qualifications on the ferry trip over, and set out to find as many insecure non-French (or any other language applicable to the location) speaking and trusting individuals to cheat and fleece out of their incomes/pensions as possible, sadly with great success. I've seen, and been involved in helping many people and families whose lives have been totally ruined by these vampirish blood-suckers. I think that they would broadly fit into the category of 'takers'.


    On the other hand there are good-hearted folk of various nationalities, who try and offer help and support, with no thought of remuneration or thanks. In fact, I can honestly say that the majority of the local people are the most generous and helpful of any I've ever met. Perhaps we could loosely designate them as 'givers'?


    Then there are the two stereotypes you can see within personal relationships - and it doesn't take long to see which people are the ones who invariably get their own way, and those who compromise regularly. Of course I was expressing a simplistic view, but one that given enough time and space I think I could try and justify (but I'm not going to). There are many other examples of 'givers and takers' that I could provide based on personal observation, but fear being drawn into a heated discussion, as being of a fairly sensitive nature, would probably put me off posting at all. I dread confrontations with my every fibre..... so probably better call it a day.

  • Mrs BeadyJean,
    Please keep posting your valued opinions. Not everyone will agree with you but it does not make your views any less valid. I for one value your input as I lack a mother figure in my life x

  • I think we have it bred into us that it is a negative thing to be selfish, but actually it isn't always the case :S. I think it is healthy to care about others and want to help them, but at the same time, take care of yourself and be careful not to get used as an emotional dumping tool for other people. I know what you mean about the two extremes though BeadyJean, I think you get extreme givers who attract extreme takers, they are so desperate to fix the other person, and the other person is so desperate to be fixed, it turns into a very unhealthy situation.


    As for being kind to myself, I think I need to try harder at that:p