My entire life I have been taught that being selfish is a horrible thing. That those who are selfish don’t care about others and only do what’s in their best interest. Pair that with the fact that I am an only child. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard over and over again that because of that fact I must be selfish.
For the longest time when people would say that to me I would go into a mildly defensive, stand up for myself, try to change their mind mode. I would explain that I did all sorts of things for other people, that my mother had taught me to be thankful for what I had and to give to others. I had to prove to them that by golly I was NOT selfish.
Then one day I was reading someone else’s opinion on selfishness and it completely changed my mind about selfishness.
First off, here’s one definition of selfish- having or showing concern only for yourself and not for the needs or feelings of other people.
Not to be confused with a narcissist- Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. Those with narcissistic personality disorder believe that they're superior to others and have little regard for other people's feelings.
Being selfish means I sometimes put myself first. There are times when I have to and you may need to as well. Here’s why.
If you are running on empty, without much energy, sleep, nutrition, love, fulfillment, whatever it is in your life that makes you feel physically, emotionally, and spiritually well, then you my dear are giving others in your life your best crap.
When you have low energy, that’s what you give to others. When you have low excitement, that’s what you’re passing on to others. When you keep going when you have nothing left, you are hurting yourself, and as a byproduct, others too. If you’re cranky, what’s the chance you aren’t going spread that crankiness on? Is that what you want to give to your friends, significant other, or children?
We tend to think others won’t make it without us. That we must simply squeeze out every last ounce from our being before we can say we’ve done enough. That’s simply not true.
Notice I didn’t say being selfish 100% of the time was called for. I said, sometimes it is. When you need it so you can be your full functioning awesome self.
This is where quality vs. quantity is huge. Would you rather spend 30 minutes of good quality time with someone or 3 hours of crap time?
People like us when we’re feeling good and nourished. Think about how you feel when you’re around someone you know is depleted Their low energy can really rub off on you. Or vise versa. When your own energy is low or high, you rub off on them as well.
Being selfish means you do what you need to do to create the good, healthy, positive energy that feels good to you, AND give that same energy to others.
I am selfish when I need to be and don’t mind saying it.
Where can you start being selfish today?
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I am grateful to be able to spend some time with you virtually today. Thank you.
As always, take from here what works for you, share this with your friends if you think they might benefit, and the rest… you can leave behind.