For something to count as a case of self-sacrifice:
- what is sacrificed must constitute, benefit, or matter to the self in some stronger sense than that for the sake of whom/which it is sacrificed; and,
- the sacrifice must be made for the sake of someone or something else.
There is some intentional ambiguity in this definition, because ‘constitute,’ ‘benefit,’ and ‘matter to’ are three different possibilities. Something can be said to constitute someone if it is their self or is part of what is their self. A sacrifice is of something that constitutes the self if someone sacrifices their life, or, for instance, their memory, their limbs or organs, their dignity, their identity, their integrity, or their basic capacities. Something benefits someone if it is something that is in their narrowly understood self-interest to have or keep. For instance, someone who gives up an opportunity for a job interview, or their resources, or their physical comfort, is ordinarily understood to be sacrificing something beneficial to them as an individual. Something matters to someone if it is something that is important to them, something that they care about, that they value, or love, or are committed to. If people can have an obligation to make a certain self-sacrifice, they might be obligated to sacrifice something that matters to them; they might even be obligated to sacrifice that which is more important to them than anything else.
The need for sacrifices and compromises as I said is often mentioned in discussions of romantic relationships. Are the two the same and if not, which of the two is most needed in romantic relationships? Love is frequently described as involving sacrifices and resisting compromises. In reality, the situation is typically the opposite-relationships require fewer sacrifices and more compromises.
To compromise is to give up the pursuit of a better prospect in order not to risk an existing situation, even if it is perceived to be somewhat worse than the prospect that is relinquished. Although the prospect might be better and even considered feasible, the person decides not to pursue it.
The realm of sacrifice is in the actual realm; the realm of compromise is in the possible and imaginary realm. Sacrifice entails actual deeds and losses. One cannot sacrifice in one’s mind what one does not have in reality. Compromise typically entails inaction and possible losses, which are constantly reconsidered in our minds.
So, here are signs you live for everyone but yourself:
You try so hard to make everyone around you happy:-
Your biggest worries are if you’ll offend or harm someone doing something that makes you happy and if you are currently doing right by everyone if your life. You constantly tiptoe around everyone you love because you don’t want to do anything to make them not love you or love you less.
The most weight you carry comes from the burden of trying to please everyone around you but yourself. You are not doing most of the things that would make you happy because friends or family members have expressed their feelings about it. You are scared you’ll lose people if you start to focus on yourself. You are scared that if you do something that you have always wanted to do, you won’t be loved.
You get so upset if you aren’t able to make someone happy:-
Not like “upset” but you really can’t let the fact that you might’ve hurt someone goes. Now you are having to go out of your way to remind them that you aren’t a bad person and you hope they can forgive you. There is nothing more disappointing than feeling like you’ve unintentionally hurt someone. You somehow find the ability to blame yourself but you forget that their happiness is out of your control.
You say sorry for literally everything:-
Apologizing for everything, even for saying sorry so much, is probably your biggest downfall. In actuality, your apologetic comments are telling others that you are sorry for being who you are. You say sorry so much because you don’t know any other way that could show them how you feel about yourself without making the situation uncomfortable.
Your decisions revolve around everyone but you:-
This is a bit more obvious, but it still happens all the time. You stop doing, saying, or feeling certain ways around the people you love because they have brought it to your attention that it makes them uncomfortable. You cancel plans to fit in other people’s schedules into yours.
You always feel like a terrible person for saying “no”:-
And here it is. The one word that you are most afraid to say because again, you want everyone but yourself to be happy.
You don’t want to leave your room but your friend asked you to go out to dinner and you can’t say no. You love to grocery shop alone but your roommate asks if she/he can come with and you can’t say no. You want to study in the library alone but your friend wants to be with you studying and you can’t say no.
Although you can’t say no, you sacrifice the wanting to be comfortable and at ease for the benefit of others. Saying no would have made you happy and would have felt much better but because you sacrifice your happiness for others, you just can’t say it.
None of these 5 things will ever take away from you being a generous person. It is the time that you stop living for others and start living for yourself. Stop apologizing for being who you are, for being honest, and for being vulnerable.
You are who you are, and the only thing that should make you worry about that is the people you keep in your life that make you feel like you have to apologize for who you are. At some point, you are going to have to realize that it’s easier to make yourself happy rather than everyone around you.