My Resolution: Treating Myself Better
January 24, 2024
Cristina Crescenzo (she/her/hers), Low Entropy Volunteer Writer
Ever since I was a little girl, I have wanted to make everyone happy, even at cost to myself. The sad thing is that I thought I was being noble, but I was being unfair to the person whose happiness should have meant the most to me: myself. What’s even sadder is that nothing has changed. I still continue to treat others a million times better than I ever would myself; I have tried to formulate some possible reasons why, and all of them make me feel stupid and a little enraged that I don’t care enough about myself to change. My only solace is knowing that I am not alone in this feeling; the world is filled to the brim with people-pleasers and self-deprecators.
Where does our worth go to hide? I don’t even remember the day I started putting others’ feelings before my own, yet I know it happened, and it’s been hard to stop. I was only given one life, but I have spent a quarter of it trying to justify my existence by giving all my energy to others, which is very rarely ever reciprocated. Treating people with kindness and respect, even amid your own turmoil, is a powerful strength, but now I know I should have put some of that positive energy and love towards myself. I must also stop thinking I must rightfully earn my place on Earth; I am here because I was meant to be here.
Furthermore, I have always thought that doing extraordinary things in your lifetime makes you special. I have so little confidence in myself and my own dreams that I have shortened my horizon and aimed for the tiny victories, such as being there constantly for “friends” who use me as some kind of therapist and then abandon me once their regular life gets back in order. Listening to and empathizing with your friends is a good thing, but it can’t just be a one-way street. So, not only do I carry the weight of my own problems on my shoulders, but I also carry everyone else’s. It’s gotten so bad that I have become way too emotionally invested in the lives of people who are more or less acquaintances; there has to be a healthy balance between caring too much and not at all. Therefore, the first step is to step back and focus on my needs and wants for a while. That could be my New Year’s resolution for 2024. It may also help me figure out who is in my life for the long haul and not just to be their emotional baggage dumpster or stand-in friend until the old ones return.
I owe it to the little girl I was and to the woman I am now to treat myself more fairly; this world already comes with a lot of punches, and I don’t need to be inflicting myself with any more. I know in my heart that I am a kind person and that I do genuinely care about people, but that doesn’t mean I should so readily hand over my happiness and time to every person I come across just for a small fraction of the validation I should be giving to myself. It’s true not everyone will deserve it or, at the very least, appreciate it, but from now on, I want to make sure that my actions come from an entirely pure place with no ulterior motive. I should also be more selective to whom I give my energy, but most of all, I want to treat myself the way I have always wanted others to because so many things in this life are fleeting and uncertain, but the person I am inside will be with me till the end of the line.
My name is Cristina Crescenzo and there are many days when I have no idea what I am doing, but writing for this blog makes me happy as I try to figure things out.
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