The word selfish is defined as: lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.
The idea of being selfish has gotten a bad rep and is often used to criticize someone. After all, being selfish means that an individual is often unable to recognize people around him or her. I believe that when someone is selfish the majority of the time they can be difficult to be close to because the non-selfish person is left feeling unnoticed or devalued.
Have you ever thought about how it’s OK to be selfish? I would argue that being selfish can even be good for you and may at times be necessary. It is important to be able to put yourself first and do what’s best for you. If you’re always doing for others you’ll miss out on what you need.
Imagine that a friend asks you to dinner and you don’t want to go because you’re having financial problems. You say yes anyway. Maybe you’ll go and have an awesome time but then end up feeling stressed when your credit card bill comes in. Alternatively, maybe you’ll feel angry at having said yes and not be able to fully enjoy dinner. It’s not always easy to say no to people but what is the cost at saying yes?
It can be OK to go to the gym after work instead of meeting up with a coworker, friend, or family member. It can be OK to stay home alone and have time to yourself to decompress over meeting up with people. Some people re-energize through being around other people and some people need time to themselves. I recommend asking for what you need and sometimes allowing yourself to be selfish. You can be honest with others or you can keep the reasons to yourself. As an outsider, try to remember that someone saying no might not have anything to do with you.
When people say yes to please others problems may arise. Either they later resent their friend or themselves for saying yes or worse yet they become a person who consistently cancels on others and leaves people thinking they are selfish in the negative sense of the word.
Being selfish as a way to take care of you is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s sometimes necessary to be a little selfish. Taking time for ourselves makes us better people, parents, friends, partners, and employees.