The altruistic self-advocate

2019-06-06

I did an internship once at a company I liked. They liked me too, so they asked me to skip my next term of school to come back and work there for another few months.

It was a big decision, and I struggled with it. To help me out, my boss told me something I’ll never forget.

He explained that I couldn’t make the decision with the best interests of the company in mind. The company already had lots of people to worry about it. But if I didn’t consider what was right for me, nobody else involved would do it on my behalf.

There’s a kind of toxic altruism that says “What will they do without me? I should do everything I can to help the people in my life.” Well-intentioned as that is, it’s misguided. It’s good to worry about other people, but you can’t help anyone at the expense of your own well-being. You need to think about what’s best for you. If you’re not willing to, you can’t count on anyone else to do it for you.