"The RATIONAL Basis" is a registered trademark of Dr. Ellen Kenner
If you have some vague sense that everyone else is somehow more important then you are (your husband, your wife, your parents, you friends and your family), it's well worth asking yourself "why?".
Some people would have you believe that you have two choices: 1-either you focus only on yourself and you don't give a damn whom you manipulate, control or hurt (The "life is a one way street…my way" view) or 2-you focus only on others and let them use, abuse and manipulate you.
What a lousy view of human nature—the choice they offer you is "take advantage of others or let them take advantage of you". Do you see anything wrong with this choice? If you have fallen for this phony alternative—then it's time to expose it and proudly regain your life back.
"Be a bully or be a doormat". That's the phony choice. Many good people mistakenly choose the doormat route. They say to themselves "I don't want anything for myself. I just want to make everyone else happy." Does this sound familiar? If you try to follow this policy, making yourself into a second class citizen, do you notice what effect it has on you over time? Do you find that it is hard to stop that ever-growing resentment as you watch others achieve their dreams while you stagnate and cater to those others?
You may start to think, "What am I, a doormat? Why am I always doing the laundry, cleaning the toilets, making the beds, and giving up the hours of my days to please them? I notice they don't try to please me."
"Why do my relationships always seem to involve giving to those who are willing to take? Why can't they take responsibility for themselves? Why can't we deal with each other as equals? Why do I tend to put myself in a one-down position?"
Do you look back on your life and wonder why you have not achieved happiness? Instead you may feel anxious, inadequate, and depressed.
You may tell yourself: "I always did what I was told was right—to put others first. I gave up my dreams. I sacrificed for my family. I let them decide what I should do, whom I should befriend and what hobbies I should pursue. I lived to please them. I was good! Why do I now feel so empty and bitter?"
Why has this self-less lifestyle made you feel as though you were without a self? Why do you now feel unfulfilled, unhappy, bitter, depressed, anxious and cynical? You were told this code—put others first—was one that was supposed to bring you happiness!
If you are caught in this trap—you desperately need to know that the choice to "take advantage of others or be a doormat" is a choice you should scream—"no" to. Both alternatives lead to unhappiness. They are both irrational. One says take advantage of others and manipulate them. The other says let others take advantage of you. It's like saying to your child: Do you want to beat me up today or do you want me to beat you up?
That's a false choice. The child should answer—let's respect each other and each pursue our own healthy interests. Notice that that is the choice that is left out.
What about the choice in which you focus on your rational interests without ever taking advantage of others and your friends and family are free to pursue their own personally chosen rational interests without taking advantage of you? You deal with each other as traders, not as slave and master.
I guarantee that you will like yourself more and have much healthier relationships when you discover this option.