Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Self sacrifice vs Entitlement

Have you recently seen patients or noticed it within yourself a pattern of thinking where you constantly put the needs of others above yours. This may lead to compassion fatigue and burnout. In schema therapy, this may represent a “high score in self sacrifice”.


Have you noticed the opposite where you may regularly put your own needs above the needs of others? This may represent a “high score in entitlement”.


Have you noticed both within yourself which may create a lot of inner conflict.

Being aware of these schemas may help one to defuse from them and reconcile them in healthier ways.

I wonder if you can relate to those patterns within yourself or in the people you look after…

So if one is raised and has been conditioned to always putting others first before oneself, and it’s impacting one’s health in negative ways, what can we do about it?

It is very difficult to change the programming in the “feeling mind/autopilot” isn’t it but here is what we can try. 

The first step of any change is awareness and defusion/unhooking from that.  

Think or have a picture of the oxygen mask in our minds perhaps. Consider changing the mantra to “Oxygen on me first so that I can look after many others” may work for some.  

Perhaps apply the DRSABCD principle to the other aspect of our lives by thinking are there “Danger” to self first before jumping in to assist or save others.  

Maybe think of it in terms of self vs others.  It’s not good or bad.  It’s more about the integration or balance of the two that matters.  Too much about others without self is a problem.  Too much about self without others is also a problem.  Like the acceleration and brake pedals, one has to learn when to use which one in different terrains/context.

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