5 Excuses Women Use to Put Their Needs Last — and Why They’re Total BS

Truth: You are never NOT the most important person in your life

by Maria Kubitz

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Let’s cut the bullshit already.

Our excuses are lame.

You, me, and so many other women DON’T take care of our needs.

We constantly put ourselves last on the long list of people and things we take care of.

Yeah, yeah…I know — every person and situation is unique. But our reasons why we don’t prioritize our needs can be summed up in five basic excuses.

And they’re wrong.

Excuse #1: “I have to take care of my family’s needs first.”

Translation: “My needs aren’t important.”

This is the most common AND the most damaging of all of the excuses.

We’ve heard there is more happiness in giving than receiving. So by helping the people we love, we’re creating happiness.


Well…“happiness” is not the word I would use to describe how I feel after attending to everyone else and collapsing in a heap of exhaustion at the end of each day.

Let’s not kid ourselves. Our fucked-up culture begins teaching us as little girls that our role in life is to serve others.

Our parents. Our spouses. Our children. Our employers. Our friends. Our community.

We are bred to be compliant little people-pleasers.

In fact, many of us mistakenly believe that our very WORTH is defined by how well we take care of others. That’s why so many of us pride ourselves at being able to anticipate every little “need” our loved ones might have to the point where they don’t even have to ask.

Fuck that shit.

Over time, ignoring (or deprioritizing, or downplaying) our own needs breeds resentment. Resentment creates emotional distance. Distance turns into mistrust, and mistrust causes miscommunication. Miscommunication leads to arguments. And on and on and on. It’s a no-win situation.

We’ve all heard this before and I’ll say it again: in an airplane, in the case of a drop in cabin pressure, we’re told to put on our own mask before helping others. We’re no good to anyone if we wait to put ours on last and end up passed out on the floor.

Time to retire this tired, old excuse once and for all.

Excuse #2: “I don’t have the time.”

No shit we don’t have any time. We’ve been too busy taking care of everyone else! We need to stop it already.

Contrary to the lie we’ve convinced ourselves of, our nearest and dearest CAN survive without us doing everything for them. They’re not helpless. It’s just that from the get-go, we’ve trained them NOT to do their fair share.

We did this to prove to them our love and worth and value. No more. We’ve shown them enough proof already to last 100 lifetimes.

Now’s the time to let them prove to us that they understand the essential life skills of responsibility and self-reliance. Which they are perfectly capable of.

Do this and we’ll magically have an abundance of time to focus on our own needs.

Excuse #3: “I don’t have the money.”

Some of us actually don’t. Some of us struggle to keep a roof over our heads and food on our plates. For this group, it isn’t an excuse… it’s an unfortunate reality.

But for most of us, what we’re really saying is, “I can’t justify spending money on myself.” Which is just an extension of our delusion that our needs don’t matter. We’re afraid to be seen as selfish or extravagant.

Give it a rest, sister.

And we can’t get around this one by pointing out how often we go shopping for new clothes and shoes. Because we really NEED yet another pair of shoes. (No really, we do. They’re super cute.)

I’m talking about investing in whatever it will take to finally reach our life’s goals. Our desired careers. Our dreams.

Otherwise, we’re just barreling toward a mid-life crisis full of squandered time and a closet full of inappropriate strappy sandals.

Excuse #4: “I need to check with ______ first before I commit to ______.”

Oh, now all the sudden we have a need that’s worth taking care of? Where was this enlightened version of us three excuses ago?

The problem is this “need” implies we’re not free to make our own decisions. We’re not in control of our own lives. We need permission to do what’s best for us.

Really? What year is this? How old are we?

I get that if we’re wanting to make a major life change or invest a significant amount of joint income on ourselves, it would be very smart to have a discussion about the pros and cons before making a decision.

But if committing to something that helps us take care of a primary need and has huge potential benefits (AKA our sanity and well-being), then wouldn’t you-know-who want nothing more than to support the person they care so much about?

Don’t believe me? Ask them.

Excuse #5: “I need to make some changes in my life first.”

Oh how I’ve personally abused this particular excuse.

We can always point to countless things that NEED to change in our environment before we can justify changing our self-neglecting behavior.

Except that our environment isn’t in charge of our behavior. WE are.

And anyway… 9 times out of 10, the “things” that need to change are not things at all; they’re other people. We wait for our spouses to change their behavior first. Our children. Our bosses. Our mothers (don’t hold your breath on that one, sweetheart).

News flash: we cannot force other people to change their behavior. No matter how hard we try or how long we wait. So if we’re waiting for that before we change OUR behavior, we’ll NEVER take care of our needs. Ever.

Time to finally throw our lame excuses and self-sabotaging behavior in the trash where they belong.

Doing so is freeing. Life changing. And, like so many life-changing endeavors, easier said than done.

We often have NO idea how to even start putting our own needs first. Or even what those needs are.

Fortunately, we at Abundant Yogi have been helping people figure that out for a loooong time (like, decades).

We’ll actually get on the phone with you (LIVE) and give our pure, undivided attention to YOU and helping you discover what YOUR needs are in our signature, invitation-only “Grounding Your Vision” coaching session.

We love to do this…so much, in fact, that we do it for free.

Yes, free! So what are you waiting for?

Or do you need to go check with you-know-who first?

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Maria Kubitz
With over twenty years in a successful marketing communications career at companies ranging from huge corporations like Hewlett-Packard to small startup environments with less than ten people, Maria has seen first-hand what works and what doesn't. In 2012, Maria launched a grief support website where her honest, heartfelt writing has helped ...read more

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1 comment

  1. Deanna

    Wow this line is powerful! Truth: You are never NOT the most important person in your life. Preach!