It’s okay to be selfish. It’s okay to love yourself. It’s important to put yourself, your wants, and your needs, before those of others. How can you help others to be happy, if you, yourself are not happy?
When you Google the word selfish, it is defined as “lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.” If you’re like me, you have the helping gene. You may often find yourself lending money to friends, giving rides to people you barely speak to, or being a sounding board for absolutely everything that goes wrong in someone’s life. If you’re also like me, you’ll immediately lend these friends money you don’t have, rides that take you way out of your way, or you’ll skip lunch so that you can lend your friend an ear. But sometimes, you have to think about you first. It’s more than okay to push consideration for others out of your mind sometimes, while focusing on your own pleasure. It’s impossible to take care of everyone. As much as many of us try to. But it’s even more impossible to take care of others, when you do not have the time or energy to take care of yourself first.
- Know your worth: Demand respect (from yourself and others). Be kind, but don’t be a doormat. Be agreeable, but don’t be afraid to speak your mind. Say yes when you can, but don’t be afraid to say no. And be respectful, but don’t allow others to disrespect you (at home, at work, or on the bus).
- Consider your physical and mental health: Be selfish when you need sleep, food, or a few hours off for a medical appointment. If taking a day off to read a book, do laundry and have a bath will reduce your stress levels by 90%, ask for that day off. You cannot perform in life, in work, in school, if you are not in good health. Be selfish about sleep and anything else that contributes to your personal wellbeing!
- Celebrate your successes: Whether you’ve accomplished a goal, received a promotion, or just did well on a task at work, take a moment to be proud of yourself. Tell someone your good news, pour yourself a glass of wine, or take a couple hours to celebrate with friends. You’ve earned it!
- Say no: We’ve all had that one friend who always needs to borrow a few bucks until payday. Or the friend who seemingly always needs a ride somewhere. I’m sure you’ve also had that boss who expects you to drop all of your plans in order to stay late, or come in on your day off. If you really don’t want to do any of those things, it’s okay to say no. They won’t think anything less of you. Keep it simple: you have another commitment (who cares if the committment is to yourself), so no, you are not availble today. Then go take a bubble bath.
- Finally, accept help from others: You don’t have to run the world on your own. You may not be fortunate enough to have an assistant, but you likely have friends, family, or neighbors who would be glad to help you if you don’t have time to run to the store to pick up a perscription, or if you run out of milk and really want a bowl of cereal, or if you need a few bucks because you forgot your wallet at home! Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You’re not the only one who likes to help others.
After writing down my thought’s on the topic, I decided to see what some other’s had to say about being selfish.
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