When I was younger, I used to sacrifice myself for others. I would put everyone else's needs before mine. Everyone was more important than I in my mind, and by doing that I thought I was being selfless. As I grew up, I realized that I should put myself first. That if I didn't do that, nobody else would do it for me since I had to teach others how to treat me, how to talk to me, how to be around me and by putting everyone before me, I was just showing them that I was not enough or that I was not worth it. It takes a lot of effort to balance the energies between selfless and selfish to find a middle ground where you can put yourself first but still care about others.
Today, I had an experience that opened my eyes on how some people are not able to see anything but themselves. Some people may say these people just don't realize what they are doing or that they don't even think about other people's needs. For me, these people have a tendency to be only selfish and just care about themselves and if something goes different from what is expected, they can not accommodate. They can not put other people's needs first, not even once. Sometimes, making small sacrifices is part of being in relationships and caring for others. We all make sacrifices and it is up to us to decide whether we want to act selfless and put the other person first at times, or we want to just focus on ourselves.
The hardest lesson is to find the middle ground where you can give and receive. It is not good to only give, and it is not good to only receive. It is the flow of giving and receiving that keeps the energy circulating so it does not stagnate. If only one area of this flow works, it is possible that the flow will be depleted because nobody can give forever and not receive in exchange. The same happens with the person receiving. If he or she is only receiving, it will get to the point when things will have no value and receiving will not mean anything anymore, it will be taken for granted and not provide happiness or joy. Harmony between the two is key. Sometimes we can give 80% and receive 20%, sometimes it will be 60/40. We should strive for 50/50 so nobody is depleted and the relationships work in a harmonious and balanced manner.
The key is to be able to balance between selfless and selfish so you can put yourself first but take others into account as well.