It Is Okay To Be Selfish

Yes, you can do both!
Yes, you can do both!

The word 'selfish' is always viewed negatively and its definition is fairly negative in itself. However, I am starting to see a more positive side to selfishness and I believe it is a very important part of maintaining good mental health.

Don't get me wrong, there is definitely bad selfishness. People can be selfish when they certainly shouldn't be and their lack of consideration for others reflects badly on them and upsets others. So what do I mean when I discuss 'good selfishness'?

What I mean by this is having the ability to put yourself first without feeling guilty about it. I find it's usually the nicest and most selfless people who get taken advantage of and often end up having poor mental health because they're being treated badly by those around them. It is okay to say no, it is okay to distance yourself from someone who is toxic and it is okay to put your emotional needs before someone else's, if your emotional needs are in dire need of some help and healing. For example, if you're going through a depressive episode and you need time to yourself, but you know your friend is not experiencing similar issues, it is okay to take that time for yourself and if your friend makes you feel bad for doing so, that's someone who does not respect you and your emotional needs and should either be spoken to or left behind. You can be 'selfish' without upsetting or hurting another person.

It is okay to say no, it is okay to distance yourself from someone who is toxic and it is okay to put your emotional needs before someone else's.

I have been 'good selfish' for a long time, but no-one has ever said that I am selfish or viewed me negatively. In fact, it has turned out the opposite. People view me as someone who doesn't deal with their crap and is not afraid to move away from a toxic relationship/situation - someone who has respect for themselves. That feeling that I could leave at any point, makes the relationship appear more valuable and precious, something that should be cared for. I have found people respect me a lot more because I am not afraid to stand on my own two feet and put my own needs first. If you respect yourself, then you naturally demand (and receive) respect from others and it becomes more obvious when someone is not treating you right.

Get it?
Get it?

If someone is unnecessarily rude to me, disrespects me or treats me in a way I wouldn't dream of treating someone else, they get ditched. Life is too short to spend time with the wrong people who don't treat you right. And you know what's happened as a result? I have received numerous apologies over the years from people who have treated me badly. If I had continued talking to them, they would never have realised their behaviour is unacceptable; it is usually when someone stops talking to you, that you start questioning why and looking at your own behaviour trying to find the answer.

Life is too short to spend time with the wrong people who don't treat you right.

Learn to love yourself and soon you'll realise that you're worth a lot more than the way someone is treating you and that you deserve better. Better is out there, it's just hard to find, but it's worth holding out for it. Most people are always interested in their own gain anyway, so don't be afraid to do the same and work on overcoming that guilt you feel - a guilt that comes from the negative connotation of the word 'selfish'. Forget about the meaning and remember the principle.

It Is Okay To Be Selfish

Further reading: https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/cui-bono/201501/good-neutral-and-bad-selfishness


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What Guys Said 16

  • selfishness and instant gratification are the leading problems of todays world
    when we think only of ourselves we tend to walk all over others and not care what happens to them
    back in caveman days humans were like that, we mostly got eaten.
    then we learned to look out for each other and work together, we did the eating, then we used this to work together and create civilizations and marvels the worls had never seen before.
    and what do we do now since we have worked together to eliminate all possible threats?
    we kill each other over bits of paper and tiny pieces of shiny metal.
    we take risks and poison ourselves for a few moments of adrenalin rush.
    we steal from others so we can buy toxic chemicals becuz its too much to ask that we be patient and work to earn the drugs or bling that we want.
    we sell our souls to the great god money and fuck anybody that won't pay us to do nothing...
    we are human, are we above the animals?
    tell me how many animals would stoop so low as to imitate humans...

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  • Everyone is selfish. By its literal meaning people do things everyday that make THEM feel happy, which in itself is a selfish act. Even if you get a buzz from doing a selfless act, then it can be considered that your motives are based on selfish philosophies...

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  • There are times when everyone needs to be selfish, and put themselves first. You ever notice that some of the most giving people, are not really happy and tired all the time.

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  • Don't do good to expect good in return, do good cause you think you're good and good is the right thing to do !

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  • I believe its ok to feel selfish feelings but its not ok to make selfish actions that harm others.

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  • everyone is selfish either ur parents are selfish they r doing everything to showoff world or for there future or for watching u happy everything is selfishness in this world so dont think u r selfish but its u who is resposible for ur self

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  • I went out of my way not to be selfish for most of my life. I realize now I was wrong. The selfish ones finish up with everything they want and need and they use to the un-selfish ones to achieve it.

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  • Great take. The world truly would be a great place if everyone valued the time they spent with others as precious.

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  • Yes I have to be selfish sometimes

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  • thank you i will be selfish

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  • I agree

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  • don't like selfish people

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  • rather simple stuff

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  • no not me

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  • Me too.

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  • Agreed

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What Girls Said 8

  • I agree and I liked this. In fact I think it is not being selfish if it is positive. If you just look it from your side of view and don't see that you affect others or don't even care, then again you are being selfish.

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  • Sometimes. Not all the time... you can't spend your life being constantly selfless to keep others happy.
    I've tried it, it's frustrating and you end up miserable for a while. Because you can't be all things to all people, no matter how hard you try

    You have to look after yourself first.

    Selfish in an uncaring, inconsiderate way, is not a nice way to be either though

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  • If we are supposed to love others as we love ourselves, we shouldn't treat ourselves like garbage.

    Great post

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  • Which is why a lot of people only spend time with those who they like or have something to give in return, life does not work out for those who do not.

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  • actually, you use the wrong word. That is not selfish but wise because over the years you learn that people can no longer use you for their benefits. This world is twisted since what they call sacrifice to seem to be used selfishly. But only God sees behind all things and that is what we call intentions so you do not depend on what you look and it ain't anybody's business since people think to have a warranty over you while you never gave them a warranty. They steal your talents and become rich and they steal your ideas and they get rich.
    So they want you around them and listen to what you say.

    That is what they do to you. So it is better to avoid them. And not talk to them. You only can talk to people who are good and not use you secretly for your ideas and later claim it is theirs.

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  • Take care of yourself first!

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  • good one

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  • Cool beans.

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