When someone asks you to do something for them, it is important to take a moment to look inward and consider the impact on you before committing.
If you are happy to do it, then by all means help them but do it without any expectations of receiving praise or compensation. If you expect these things, and don’t receive them, you may start to feel bitter. Instead, do it because it makes you feel good. In this case, your happiness will not be contingent on the reaction of another.
If you don’t want to do it, then ask yourself if you are going to feel guilty for saying no. If you would feel guilt, which should not be every time you are asked, then put the other person first and say yes. It is much better for you to not carry any remorse. Guilt leads to karmic debt and you may subconsciously feel the need to pay for it at some point.
If you are going to feel resentful towards the other person because you did not put yourself first, then put yourself first by saying no.
For example, one evening Lily and Isaiah are relaxing on their couch when Lily says that she wants to watch a television show. Isaiah tells Lily that he doesn’t want to watch that show. Lily takes a moment to look inward and realizes that…
Scenario 1: …she would feel resentful towards Isaiah if she didn’t get to watch the show. Lily tells Isaiah that she’s really been looking forward to the show and that she’s going to watch it but they can watch a show that Isaiah wants to see next.
Scenario 2: … she doesn’t actually care that much if she sees the show at that moment. To prevent feeling guilty over forcing Isaiah to watch the show, Lily decides not to watch it and put Isaiah first. She can still watch the show at another time when Isaiah is occupied if she likes.
When you take that moment to look inward, you can realize what the end result of your decision will be. Armed with that knowledge, you will easily be able to know which path prevents Extreme Ego from invading your life.