If you have a supportive personality, if you usually put other people before yourself, or if it matters to you that people like you back, this article may seem like a radical piece of advice! For hyper-supportive types, you only know how to feel good about yourself by taking care of others. Let me show you the benefits that your relationship and those you love will receive when you take some time for self-care.
How Self-Care Benefits Your Relationship
Increased self-care leads to more self-love, creating a kinder, more receptive you. Receptivity is important to your relationship whether you are male or female because your lover feels secure with you when he or she trusts that you won’t reject him or her.
Increased self-care and self-love creates a more confident you. Confident people are sexy! Confident people also go to bat more easily for those they care about. That makes you very attractive to your partner and makes them feel good about themselves and about you. For instance, a confident man will go to bat on behalf of his woman if ever she is disrespected by another. A confident woman will go to bat on behalf of her man by affirming him in her conversation with others. Confidence can build trust and grow love.
The more you actively care for yourself, the less needy you are of others. Spouses love this! The less needy you are, the more time and energy your have for the stuff of relationships that creates bonding and deepening of your love! Trust me, a big fight or emotional session brought on out of need strains a relationship. It doesn’t deepen the intimacy! Making love, having adventures, loving conversation, and discovering new places together are just some of the stuff of relationships that creates bonding and greater intimacy.
Increased self-care leads to greater awareness of where others are “at.” As you grow your sensitivity to your own needs, you can become down right psychic about the needs of others. This doesn’t mean you go around rescuing everyone because you can more easily “read” them. It looks more like being able to acknowledge where they are in such a way that they feel seen and heard and can more confidently handle whatever’s going on. Rather than seeing you as a rescuer, they experience you as someone who has their back.
Increased self-care means that you slowly but surely get more comfortable saying “no” to the things, people, and circumstances you really have no business taking on. Supportive types especially are prone to offer support beyond their ability to provide, resulting in resentment and grudges held. One of the most beautifying things a supportive person can do for him or herself is to learn to calmly and peacefully say “no.”
Being able to say “no” also means your “yes” means “yes” and your “no” means “no.” No wishy-washiness. No saying “yes” only to find you’ll come to resent everything and everyone associated with that “yes.” This level of integrity makes others trust you more. And trust is good for relationships.
What Does Self Care Look Like?
It looks like just about anything that brings you pleasure! Some people take the word and apply it to getting caught up with doctors’ appointments or eating right or exercising more. Well, I think all that stuff is about being responsible. For self-care I look at things like bubble baths, favorite foods, petting my dog or cat, enjoying a belly laugh with my husband, the way the air smells after a big snowfall, the way the rain sounds when its drops are big and fat, taking time out for me, a good book. Self-care also means going through life slowly and sensitively enough to recognize when I’m hurting or “off” so that I can stop and address my need.
Do you see? It’s just taking the time for the stuff that brings me pleasure and paying attention to my needs the way I would anyone else’s. It’s simple but it’s hard to do when I’m putting everyone and everything else first. And when I don’t do it, my relationships suffer because I feel taxed and resentful.
I don’t know if I’ve persuaded you but if you even take a few moments out of each day to slow down, breathe deeply, and be present with something – the food you’re eating or the way the air smells at whatever season it is or the touch of someone’s hand in yours – and take in the sensual and emotional pleasure of being present just because you’re worth it, you will find that your eyes twinkle just a little bit more at the sight of your beloved. That twinkle can warm the cockles of their heart (whatever “cockles” are!). That twinkle in your eye and the warmth in their heart can fan the flames of your love and attraction for each other.
You, your relationship, and the person you love best of all are worth you taking care of you!