Should you be MORE selfish?
Since forever we have been told that being selfish is bad. And it is. No one likes to be around someone that constantly puts themselves above everyone and is only concerned about their well being and no one else. But what about those of us who constantly put other peoples needs and feelings before our own? Being selfless is essentially, the opposite of selfish. You always think of others first, and try to do everything you can for them, even if it’s hurting you. That is admirable, and very important. However, what happens when you can’t even take care of yourself anymore because you are so focused and worried about everything and everyone else? I know that when I am stressed out, not taking care of myself and miserable, I am of no help to anyone really and especially not myself.
So at what point does selflessness, actually become selfish? I read somewhere something really interesting: if you are focused on being so selfless that you aren’t taking care of your needs anymore, then you are relying on someone else to take care of those needs or to make you feel good about being selfless…and isn’t that the sort of definition of selfish? Relying on someone else to make you happy? I never thought about it this way, but it is so true. Sometimes we try to need nothing at all and we end up needing everything. I promise you that I’ve learned firsthand you cannot take care of anyone or anything unless you take care of yourself first. If you are not happy then you aren’t thinking clearly.
So how do work on yourself and your feelings? That’s something I’m figuring out right now. I do know that being mindful of what you’re feeling is the first step. For example, I know personally that when I feel like binge eating or exercising excessively, there is some underlying issue that is causing my body to autonomically respond that way. Realizing that is the first step into being “mindful”. If you are in touch and connected with your surroundings and feelings then you can likely find the root of them and make a solution. You have to put yourself first sometimes, and while that may seem selfish, it isn’t. In the long run you are helping yourself and everyone around you.
Always know your worth. Know that you deserve to be happy and feel good, and by doing so you can actually help others more. Know that if you have toxic relationships, giving them up to be happy is not selfish. It is necessary. It is YOUR life in the end, and you come first.