It is difficult to say to you should be your number one priority when we were raised to think of others first, be good and you will be rewarded, but the truth is no one will care more, love you more or be strong for you when you need it the most than you will be yourself. You will only have yourself until the end and it is so important for you to understand to have healthy boundaries and the ability to make decisions that will always have your own best interests at heart.
There is a difference between selfishness, selfless and loving yourself. Selfishness comes from the state of lack, not having enough and always wanting more of what that thing or item may be in that person's life. We see them as greedy or needy as if there isn't enough to go around. The same goes for people who are selfless as they feel they need to share themselves, their love and give their attention to such an extent, completely draining themselves to point of exhaustion and living in the state of lack.
We live in a mirrored universe and our state of minds will often reflect back to us our believes and that means Like attracts like. Who you see as selfless people always find the selfish as they are a vibrational match to each other with a thinking mind of there is not enough to go around. You don't have to give love to receive love, and you certainly don't have to drain your own resources to feel appreciated and feel that is the only way you will get love in return. You are not depriving someone else of that item or attention by thinking it should be going to this person or that person or worse I am not worthy of it so I have to give it away. That is called self-sabotage. Self-sabotage is where you take something away from you which you are worthy of receiving and wanting.The love vibration is what created us and all that is in this universe. It is infinite and forever flowing.
So you see that a selfish person thinks the only way to receive love is to take from others, where a selfless person feels the only way to get love is to give to others. When a selfless person gives all of them and who they are for attention and love in return, the fact is you can never be guaranteed to how much love you will be getting back as you will have no control over that. You have to ask yourself what your emotional needs are and how they can be met. Ask yourself how can you meet those needs instead of using self-sacrificing behaviour to gain approval and unmet needs from others where you have to seek approval, recognition or prevent those who we love so much to not leave us.
Why do we do it;
We will feel like a good person, feel important as you can offer something they want although the feeling doesn't last long before you ask yourself why am I doing this?You do it because you don't want to see others struggle or experience pain like we have in the past and you believe it is the right thing to do. As long as it feels good to do so.And to maintain that connection with those close to us so that we don't end up losing them from our lives.
Remember every time you say yes to someone else when you don't want to, you are saying no to yourself and your priorities.
Solution: Instead of going against the grain of your being to say no, say to them that you will think about it or find a solution to the problem without you giving yourself.give yourself time to think things over before making any commitments or putting yourself in a sticky situation where you rather not be.
love and light to all