Self Care Doesn’t Mean Being Entitled

March 18, 2018 (Last Updated: May 31, 2018)
Too often people confuse self care with no longer needing to be considerate of others. Don't fall into the trap of feeling entitled after placing yourself as a priority. Here are five, simple tips on how to practice empathy, compassion, and consideration while practicing self care. |

I was sitting in the airport before my flight and couldn’t stop noticing that people were doing whatever they wanted without considering the large amount of people around them. I understand that running errands and travelling causes a lot of stress and people want to take care of themselves during, but what happened to common courtesy and consideration of others?

A lot of this stems from entitlement, and unfortunately, many use self care as an excuse to ONLY focus on themselves at the expense of others. People are literally attacking and killing each other because of their entitlement on a daily basis. I’m all for #TeamIDGAF, but some people can take it too far sometimes.

It is possible to take care of yourself and put yourself as a higher priority without making others uncomfortable.

In fact, being considerate of others is essential to having a healthy mind. Possessing empathy and being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes is powerful.

Plus, a bad first impression can speak volumes. You never know who you’ll run into again, and if your offense is large enough, people will remember. It really is best for your wellbeing and for others’ if you consciously choose to be considerate.

Here are 5, simple tips on how to achieve that:

1. Recognize how much space you occupy

One thing that always surprises me is a that so many people have no clue how much space they occupy. I’m not talking about necessary space based on your size. I’m talking about making yourself bigger at the expense of others.

You’ve seen it before. People who sit with their legs so wide that it encroaches on your space. Or people who walk in the middle of the sidewalk and expect you to step to the side.

There are countless other examples of not being considerate of others’ space. If you notice that you’re clearly making someone uncomfortable with the amount of space you’re taking up, please consider adjusting.

No one is required to make themselves as big as possible unless they’re in a face off with a dangerous wild animal. Not a bus or plane seat.

It’s understandable if you do this from time to time, but make a conscious effort to unlearn this if you do this regularly.

2. Recognize how loud you’re being in a crowded space

It amazes me how LOUD people can get in public, especially in waiting areas or lines.

As soon as humans are done being toddlers, they begin to really develop empathy and recognize their surroundings, so they cry less and adhere to social cues more.

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re not a child, so there really is no excuse for not being considerate of others’ ears.

When asked what the biggest annoyance is when it comes to phone etiquette, an overwhelming amount of people responded with being forced to listen to others’ phone conversations. It’s almost impossible to tune out phone conversations, especially when the person talks as loudly as humanly possible in a close proximity to you.

When people are glancing at you like this every time you speak, you might want to tone it down.

When people are glancing at you like this every time you speak, you might want to tone it down.

Also, when you’re on the phone, people can only hear one side of the conversation. It’s not a natural or normal thing for humans to endure. We’re built to interpret conversations in their entirety, so when it’s one sided it becomes irritating.

Same thing goes for watching videos without headphones in an occupied space. You may be watching a cute video of your niece at her birthday party, but all anyone can hear are screaming children and a badly sung “Happy Birthday.”

All you need to do is excuse yourself. If you must talk on the phone, try to do it at a moderate voice level or remove yourself from the area.

Want to listen to your music or watch videos? No one else does, so bring some headphones with you, or refrain until you leave the area. No media is worth acting like a child over. 

3. Recognize how you treat service employees

This is HUGE, especially as Millennials and Generation Z enter the workforce.

Service industry jobs are often people’s first jobs ever. Today, it’s not uncommon for people to make a career out of it.

Working in the service industry can already be a blow to people’s well-being as expectations for employees are going up while wages remain stagnant.

When you make minimum wage, tips are absolutely essential. Don’t make a service employee’s job harder by acting entitled and denying them an appropriate tip because they didn’t completely kiss your ass. Yes, they are there to serve you, but you don’t need to be rude about it.

Again, it seems like children are better at recognizing social cues like saying “please” and “thank you” more so than adults sometimes.

You never know someone’s situation. They could be having an awful day, or are tired from working multiple jobs or going to school simultaneously.

I’ve personally made it a rule to not befriend or date people who treat service employees badly. It says A LOT about someone who thinks they can treat someone as lesser than them. Treat service employees well no matter what. Have compassion. Too often people confuse self care with no longer needing to be considerate of others. Don’t fall into the trap of feeling entitled after placing yourself as a priority. Here are five, simple tips on how to practice empathy, compassion, and consideration while practicing self care.

4. Recognize how you treat your friends and family

It seems that the people who get hit the hardest when people start their #selfcare journey are friends and family. Self care doesn’t mean dropping off of the face of the Earth or ignoring your loved ones.

If you are a chronic flaker, be honest about it. It’s better to be honest that you need to take care of yourself than lie about your reasoning. Someone was thinking about you and personally invited you to do something with them. Don’t take advantage of that.

Related post: Why Being An Introvert Rules

Pushing away the people that support you is a one way ticket to damaging your mental health. It’s so much healthier to keep your existing support system as strong as possible. Of course, not everyone will be able to realistically stick around during your journey. If you feel that some people don’t fit into your life anymore, gently explain that to them.

Related posts:
Should You Make Friends In A Temporary Situation?
How To Deal With Unsupportive Friends

The last thing you need are regrets and feeling guilty about how you treated someone in the past. So give your grandma a call to see how she’s doing. Text your friend back. Be realistic with your plans. You’ll feel so much better for it.

5. Recognize your online presence

In the era of #keyboardwarriors, how you treat people online is powerful. The internet has helped to create a new breed of bully and has given old school bullies a platform to continue being mean.

The science behind anonymity is scary. People are way more likely to push the boundaries of being mean when they can do it without being recognized.

It’s a common joke that FBI agents are watching us through our cameras, but it really is that easy to be tracked when you do say something threatening or extremely cruel.

Jokes on you, FBI agent. All I do is look at memes, write blog posts, and sleep.

Even when you aren’t being anonymous, it’s important to watch what you like, comment on, and share. Many careers have been ruined by people digging up dirt on others because what they do online doesn’t align with their business. Although it’s best to not have awful opinions in the first place, don’t like or share any content that can be attributed to any word that ends in “-ist” or is just plain rude.

Don’t attack others online either. It’s possible to build yourself or your interests up without completely bashing others.
Words hurt. You never know what someone is going through when you decide to be a bully.

Plus, it’s way more fun to be supportive! The blogging community is seriously some of the nicest group of people I have ever encountered. The amount of support I give and receive on Twitter and Instagram is unreal! Self care is all about positivity, so why not share the wealth with others?

Related post: Get To Know Me + Responding To Blogging Awards

So, are you ready to be considerate? Good! It really is for the best for everyone involved.

Follow along with my 30 Day Mental Health Cleanse for more tips on how to practice self care without being obnoxious about it.

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  • Reply
    Lori Lavender Luz
    March 26, 2018 at 7:44 PM

    This is such a great list. I’ve always thought that the Golden Rule is, well, GOLDEN. Figure out how you fit into the context of the wider humanity, and be able to switch your viewpoint to another’s. I really like #2 and #3.

    • Reply
      Leslie Johnson
      April 1, 2018 at 9:30 PM

      Thank you very much! It really is that simple. I really can’t feel that I’m maximizing my self care when I undermine others.

  • Reply
    March 26, 2018 at 10:51 AM

    What a great post! These are things that we need to reread throughout the year to get back in the habit of being kind – so glad you shared them! I had an incident today with a service employee who perhaps hadn’t gotten up on the sunny side of the bed this morning but remembering that they are perhaps having a bad day, I opted not to let it impact mine and made my way out of the store after my sale with a smile, a big thank you and hopes that they had a wonderful rest of their day.

    • Reply
      Leslie Johnson
      March 26, 2018 at 11:00 AM

      Thank you! I agree, we really do have a choice in how we treat others. 99% of the time when someone treats us poorly it’s not personal, and it happens to the best of us. I’m glad you decided to give the person a break. It’s the little things that count!

  • Reply
    March 25, 2018 at 1:29 PM

    Great post.

  • Reply
    March 25, 2018 at 8:36 AM

    So happy you said this!!!! People are taking this self-care trend and manipulating its meanings in order to justify their selfish needs and desires, it’s so much bigger than that! The way you act and feel towards other people says a lot about your spirit, this is what you should be working to improve! Great post!

    • Reply
      Leslie Johnson
      March 26, 2018 at 10:58 AM

      Exactly! I can’t feel at peace when I know that I’m making someone else uncomfortable and I have the ability to change that. Sure, there are plenty of things that you really shouldn’t care about, but not everything!

  • Reply
    Iga Berry
    March 22, 2018 at 4:57 PM

    Sometimes it’s amazing how people that shout the most about others being ‘entitled’ are the ones being selfish. Yet try to say something and here we go with the usual ‘entitled millennial’ phrase. Thanks for sharing, Iga Find me at

    • Reply
      Leslie Johnson
      March 23, 2018 at 11:35 PM

      No problem! People, no matter their profession, background, or walk of life, are still people and deserve to be treated as such!

  • Reply
    sharnah baptiste
    March 22, 2018 at 3:13 PM

    loved the part of people taking up too much space, it reminded me that the other day I was on the tram and sat next to someone who had their legs spread and didn’t bother to move when I sat down so I was hanging off the edge of the seat. I get into a lot of arguments online (for all good reason) because I don’t agree with what they re saying etc, but this is starting to have a negative affect on me so this is something I am trying to control, loved reading this post, really well written xx

    • Reply
      Leslie Johnson
      March 23, 2018 at 11:34 PM

      Thank you very much! Online arguments are tricky and I definitely participate in some myself. It’s difficult to refrain especially when someone’s opinion is SO BAD.

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