Don’t Fall Apart Trying to Keep Others Whole

· May 6, 2016

We often fall apart when we try to keep others whole, avoid opening wounds, or keep already open wounds from hurting. We do this without realizing, or at least, without seeing the importance in it.

When we get used to giving without receiving, we end up feeling like dedicating a little time to ourselves is selfish, but that couldn’t be further from reality. Exchange is essential in every relationship. It’s essential for people as emotional beings.

Loving ourselves is something that we need to practice every day so that we can be complete. In fact, falling apart results in suffering, which keeps us from giving the best of ourselves.

woman underwater

When do we fall apart?

  • When we give up on taking care of ourselves.
  • When we stop doing things we enjoy.
  • When we stop growing or pursuing our interests.
  • When we stop listening and paying attention to ourselves.
  • When we prioritize the needs of others and ignore our own.
  • When we compete to be “perfect” and stop being ourselves.
  • When we try to disguise our reality and our opinions.
  • When we turn sacrifice into obligation.
  • When we think we’re bad people for trying to rest our heads, breathe, and find relief from environments that suffocate us.
  • When we give in to blackmail from people who always ask for favors and inhibit our growth.
  • When we sacrifice our well-being and get carried away by the people around us, putting off the things we like to do so that we can please others.

It’s complicated, yes, but that’s why we should choose to find balance between our passions, our concerns, and our commitments to ourselves and others. If we do that, we can live happily as our complete selves – with no ifs, ands, or buts.


woman with scissors

Sometimes we have to forget how we feel to remember what we deserve

When there’s no reciprocity, we’re breaking the principle of balance that we need to maintain so that we don’t fall apart.

We should remember that emotional relationships are not mere interactions, but rather they demand an exchange that maintains our social and emotional balance.

That is, we can’t base all of our exchanges on the word “give.” We also need to ensure that there’s a balance, that we “receive.” This is not selfish at all, it’s enriching.

The people who give everything of themselves – who offer themselves completely to others, who don’t receive anything in exchange, and don’t do anything for themselves – end up feeling empty and hurt. We can’t put aside our self-esteem so that other people can be happy, or we’ll end up torturing ourselves.

flying with the butterflies

Only by maintaining balance can we take care of ourselves without leaving others behind.

Giving and receiving are a part of the same puzzle. This is what makes us capable of love and deserving of love and recognition. We should be able to:

  • Assert our rights: If there’s something that we don’t feel good about, or that we simply don’t want to do, we should assert our right to have personal space.
  • Cultivate our interests and hobbies: This is the basis of satisfaction, happiness, and personal growth. It’s important that we don’t stop taking care of ourselves and feeding our interests.

Remember that big changes always involve an adjustment period. Even though change can be painful and uncomfortable, the improvements you experience will make it clear that, far from being the end, it’s the start of a great emotional time in your life.

Images courtesy of Christian Schloe