For instance: Your friend likes this guy and has dragged you to five events this month alone to see him. He has no interest in her, and you’re starting to get embarrassed, but you want to support your friend and you want her to like you. Now she wants you to go to another party. It’s coming up to finals time and you have exams in some of your most difficult subjects. You really should study because you really need to get top grades so you can keep your scholarship. Your usual self, the one that’s telling you that you don’t matter as much as she does, would go to the party. If you did, you would essentially be saying to yourself and others and that you felt your friend’s needs were more important more than yours. This is where the cycle of disrespecting yourself starts, and in doing so, you’re also giving others permission to disrespect you. In reality, your friend has other people to go with (and even if she doesn’t, that’s not your responsibility), and she’s actually just bullying you. It’s up to you to be responsible for how your life turns out, and that exam could be a huge part of that!
So, make an inventory of when you put others’ needs first when you probably should have prioritised your own. With just a little insight into when you’re putting others’ worth relative to your own and with some idea about when you can better support yourself, you’ll be able to think and, hopefully, recognise that you matter. You are going to have to make a conscious effort at first. Some frustrations may surface as you realise when you’ve been giving your personal power away, but hold hard and don’t get upset, as it’s just not worth it.