If you always say “yes” to these 11 things, you’re putting yourself last

Has it ever felt like you’re stretched a little thin? Always trying to accommodate everyone? Fell into the habit of being a “yes” person?

If so, you’re not alone. 

At some point, we all say yes to things we don’t really like or try to make someone else happy at the expense of our own needs. 

But, have you ever considered the toll this can take on your happiness and general life?

Oh, and it definitely doesn’t stop there!

Saying yes to seemingly innocent behaviors or thoughts could be why you’re not as successful as you’d like to be, either. 

Where and on what we spend our energy determines how our life turns out. 

If you’re always saying yes to any of these things, you’re not putting yourself first:

1) Overtime work. 

We’ve all been there – your boss drops by your desk near the end of the day, asking if you can stay a bit later to wrap up a project.

It’s only an occasional request…

But if you find yourself nodding along and agreeing every single time, even when you had plans to catch up on your favorite Netflix show, you might be unintentionally putting yourself last.

Constantly saying yes to extra work will leave you drained and affect your work-life balance and personal time. 

Want to know what else affects your personal time?

Always agreeing to…

2) Plans you’re not excited about.

Ever been in a situation where friends propose plans that, deep down, you’re not exactly thrilled about?

It could be a social thing that clashes with your introverted side’s need for a bit of solitude or maybe an event that you’re just not that into…

Whatever it is, always agreeing to go when you’re not really excited means you’re putting your preferences and needs on the back burner. 

And I get it – it’s natural to want to accommodate others. 

But it’s equally important to honor your own desires. The impact this has on your overall happiness is unmeasurable. 

3) Last minute plans.

Last-minute plans can be fun! Man – I love some spontaneity… There’s nothing like the thrill it can sometimes give.

But if you find yourself saying yes to impromptu weekend getaways or unplanned dinner parties that continuously disrupt your schedule, it might be a sign that you’re putting yourself last

As I said, being open to spontaneous moments can be exhilarating. It’s just that it’s easy to feel pressured to constantly be available in the hustle and bustle of daily life. 

And that’s not a healthy thing. 

While being flexible can be great, not having a balance that respects your time and priorities isn’t. 

4) Negativity and self-doubt. 

We all have moments of self-doubt and negative self-talk. Sometimes, it just creeps in!

But if you consistently find yourself trapped in a cycle of pessimism, it might be because you’re saying yes to it. 

However hard it is to accept, the truth is, these thoughts won’t keep popping up if you’re not entertaining them.

Sure, negativity will still be there even when you’re ignoring it. But instead of lingering thoughts and a downward spiral, negative moments and self-doubt will be fleeting. 

You are good enough. And you can do it. 

Don’t let persistent negativity convince you otherwise. 

Break free from these thoughts by saying “no” to them- out loud if you have to!

Similarly, you should also stop saying yes to…

5) Unhealthy habits. 

Now I get it:

Unhealthy habits can make you feel good!

I, too, have more than I’d like to admit. 

But if we’re being honest – the nice feeling of indulging in these habits doesn’t last. 

And there’s a reason for it. 

Unhealthy habits don’t support long-term plans, happiness, and health.

They’re all about instant gratification and temporary relief. 

If you neglect things supporting your goals in favor of unhealthy habits, you’re not putting yourself first. 

So, the next time you want to say yes to something you know isn’t good for you, try to focus on something else that’ll serve you in the long run.

6) The snooze button.

Sleeping in? Yes, please! 

Lazy mornings are definitely a treat for me…

But consistently surrendering to the snooze button can put all your other goals and needs in the back seat. 

When and how you start your day sets the tone for the rest of it. 

And since many successful people vow that rising early is the best thing you can do, I think it’s fair to say if you’re always catching those extra Zs, you’re probably not putting yourself first. 

When you stop saying yes to the snooze button, you’ll find that you have more hours in your day. Literally.

Ever since I started, I suddenly have time for reading, a face-care routine, and planning my day. 

And you wouldn’t believe the difference it makes!

I know it might sound silly, but you’ve gotta trust me on this one. 

Getting a good morning routine down that starts at least an hour before most people wake up will change your life. 

7) Social media. 

I’m stepping on some toes – I just know it. 

But if you feel a little offended by this one, you’re probably guilty of doing it. 

Saying yes to social media will drain you. 

Now, this isn’t about scrolling through videos and posts to learn a new thing, engage with interest, or simply pass some time. 


This is about reaching that point where your digital habits make you push your priorities aside.

Excessive social media use will negatively impact your mental health, productivity, or both. 

Whether you fall into the comparison trap or simply waste time giving attention to something that doesn’t benefit you in real life – social media can unintentionally become a barrier to self-care. 

8) Toxic relationships. 

Connecting with other people and being there for them is important. But consistently prioritizing toxic relationships can take a toll on your emotional well-being. 

If you find yourself saying yes to someone that drains your self-worth and energy – for whatever reason – you’re not putting yourself first. 

It can be hard to recognize toxic relationships at first. Especially if you want to believe everyone is good, kind-hearted, and worth a shot. 

Here are some signs:

  • You can’t trust them, or they never trust you.
  • You always feel drained or negative when you’ve been around them.
  • You make excuses for their behavior. 
  • You always give, and they always take. 

Whether it’s a partner, friend, or someone in your family…

If you keep entertaining these types of people and saying yes to relationships with them, you’re subconsciously saying no to yourself. 

9) Gossip.

Some people will say gossiping is one of the worst things to engage in and that people who gossip are toxic. 

I disagree.

I think having a gossip sesh with your partner, best friend, or mom can be good for your soul. 

Especially when it’s just about venting and no harm is meant. 

But here’s the deal:

If you’re always drawn to conversations that involve talking about others behind their backs, you need to start considering the impact this has on you.

Gossip can destroy lives

Even if you don’t plan on spreading what you hear, walking around with certain information about other people will influence how you see them and how you generally feel in their presence. 

And when it comes to gossip, both are rarely positive. 

If you want to put yourself first, you need to choose your conversations wisely. Focus on those that build authentic connections and trust.

Want to know what else you shouldn’t say yes to?

10) Naysayers. 

Like people who always gossip, those who always find a way to see the negative will hinder your personal growth. 

Giving them your time or energy will crush your spirit. 

Not only will these types of people constantly make you feel silly for any idea you have, but they’ll also lower your self-confidence. 

Surrounding yourself with skeptics will turn you into someone who ends up saying yes to negative external voices. 

Nothing good can come from this.

If you want to put yourself first, you need to be around people who believe in positive outcomes and encourage you to follow your dreams.

11) Clutter.

You don’t have to believe this for it to be true, but a cluttered physical space often mirrors the mind. 

Saying yes to disorganized surroundings and chaos will affect your ability to focus and prioritize your needs

And before you know it, you’ll be too busy trying to figure out what’s going on around and inside of you to do what truly makes you happy and grow. 

Calm and clarity are key to a better you. 

Clutter doesn’t provide either. 

Freeing yourself from unnecessary clutter – whether that be things, people, behaviors, or negative thoughts – will improve your mental health and increase your success in life. 

You should always make time for what genuinely matters to you and say no to the stuff that doesn’t.

Natasha Combrink

Nats is a writer who loves creating content for purposeful brands. She enjoys spending time outdoors, crafting, and diving down rabbit holes. After rediscovering life, she wants to help others live to their full potential. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

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