Updated: May 18, 2022
Apologize - to offer an apology or excuse for some fault, insult, failure, or injury
If you're reading this, there's a good chance that you've decided to be first in your life. If so, congratulations! Now that you know what you want, let's learn how to go about getting and maintaining your first place status.
The first thing you'll want to work on is apologizing when it's not your fault. When you decide to put your own core health traits above someone else's expectations, with that decision comes the refusal to apologize for it. It's not your fault you don't want to sacrifice your time, energy, and/or money to separate parties. Of course, there are right and wrong ways to go about refusing someone, but never let someone convince you that you're wrong for refusing. You don't need to care so much about how people see you that you become a people-pleaser. Because then, you risk setting the norm that any form of rejection requires an explanation. Sometimes, the answer is no, and that's all it needs to be. Say you can't. Say you don't want to. Say it makes you uncomfortable. But depending on the person and the situation, there doesn't need to be a different answer if they ask why. Learn to be blunt with that.
It's also not your fault if you can't help someone without hurting yourself in the process. From not having the money you need for your own groceries to leaving your bank account with a negative balance, there are different levels of hurt. So you can choose to tolerate a certain level for as long as you want, or none of the levels. And just because you choose none doesn't mean you're gaining anything from someone else's lack or loss.
Them: Can I borrow eighty dollars? I need to...
You: Not this time.
Them: But I really need this.
You: I can't help you.
Them: So what am I supposed to do?
You: Either ask someone else, or do without.
In this situation, you gained nothing from not lending the person eighty dollars. You even offered the person two options for how to solve the problem. But you didn't make it yours by lending money you didn't have to spare at the time. And just because the options you gave aren't things they'd consider doesn't mean they won't work.
Before you start to apologize, ask yourself a few questions.
Is this my fault? / If so, how?
What did I do wrong?
How could this have gone better?