Being selfish is an adjective that is greatly looked down upon in our society; it’s something coaches hate in their players and it’s something a hiring manager will turn away a potential employee for possessing.
On the other hand, have you ever thought that being completely selfless will only hurt us eventually? We can’t always jump bridges to help others. We can’t always say yes to every favor that follows us. We can’t always be aiming to make everyone else’s life a walk in the park.
Society often mistakenly associates selfishness with greed, maliciousness and evil. This article isn’t intended to pursue you all to walk over to Satan’s world. It’s simply to help you realize that: we all have our own set of eyes, mind, soul and heart for a reason. We all have specifically unique characteristics embodied within ourselves and for that matter, why not work on channeling them?
At the end of the day, it’s vital: you must help yourself, before you help others. Meaning = make sure you’re healthy, taken care of and happy before you drop everything to rush over to pick up someone else’s pieces. Trust me, been there, don’t that and I’m glad I had my loved ones to help me realize that sometimes you just have to have a selfish day. How can you possibly take care of someone else if you can’t properly take care of yourself? I couldn’t maintain my mental stability, good GPA and happiness if I was constantly worrying about maintaining those things in everyone else’s life. With the devotion of worrying and taking care of my sisters 24/7 and working to establish stability within my family, I had to eventually learn I couldn’t carry the whole world on my shoulders. One must learn to balance “let’s work on me” time with “let’s help other people” time- we can’t be doing only one or the other all the time, life is all about balance.
You are responsible for your own happiness and it’s vital you work to find what makes you happy and unhappy. Think about how many families, careers, marriages, friendships, etc. have crumbled due to someone being unhappy? We are nothing without our happiness. The above statement is a very simple six word statement however, it’s a piece of wisdom that can easily be applied to every little thing and every big thing in life. I’m not aiming to say we should all be selfish until we gain happiness but rather, one must recognize when sometimes our attention needs to be on us, rather than other people.
Here are a few steps to becoming a little more selfish:
1) Before agreeing to do something, ask yourself: “Do you really want to do this?”
2) Be well aware that if you say yes or no to a request/commitment, you’ll have to live with the consequences. Will you be okay with it?
3) Get accustomed with saying “no” sincerely, but politely. “No” doesn’t always signify negativity and there is a respectful way to decline someone’s requests, while still showing compassion. For example: “Hey ___, do you want to hangout this Saturday?” Reply: “I actually have a lot of studying to do/busy this weekend so I’ll have to say no. But maybe another time?”
4) YOU are an important person in your life, maybe the most important person. Make time for yourself and things that make you a happy and healthy you.
5) What brings you pleasure? Is it taking a Zumba class at the gym? Reading a book? Watching a Korean Drama? Find what it is that brings you pure joy and relaxation and try to fit it into your schedule!
Readers: Would you classify yourself as almost completely selfless? Would you have enough gut to admit you’re too selfish? What are a few other tips you’d suggest to help readers realize we do have to put ourselves first sometimes?