It’s Ok To Be Selfish

You read that right. I think it is perfectly fine to be selfish. Let me explain. All through life we are taught that we have to share, to put others before ourselves, to care about others. But when are we taught to think about ourselves?

Today at work, I was putting in a PTO form to have a long weekend in August because I can feel myself getting burnt out. My coworker saw me. She said: “well I need this day and this day just so you know.” You see in my office, time off is first come first serve. She was telling me that to tell me that I needed to pick different dates; however, she had also told me that she hadn’t put in the request for it yet. So what did I do? Now I could have been nice and put her first by picking different dates….hint: I wasn’t nice.

That’s right. I ignored her insinuations and statements and put in for those dates anyway. In the past, the old me would have caved and changed my time off request to different days (in fact I had already picked different days because someone’s else in the office had asked off for my first choice before me). Currently, I’m working on being a person who cares and takes care of herself.

I believe that it’s time we taught our young people and children that it’s ok to do what we need to do to care for ourselves. That we don’t always have to submit to other’s wishes just because it would be nice or helpful if it means we suffer for it mentally, emotionally, spiritually, or physically. It’s time for us to move on from being a people who cater to everyone else’s desires to a people who care about our own needs.

Why would being selfish be beneficial?

We would be healthier, happier, and calmer. We wouldn’t be afraid of offending others at every turn nor be offended by everything. We would understand the value of caring for ourselves. Our families wouldn’t be so broken. As a nation, we would be completely different. It’s important to be aware of what we need for ourselves in order to care for others. We cannot pour into others if we are empty ourselves. It’s so important to refill our stores.

What comes next?

I’m working on myself and being selfish. I am being serious. I am speaking up for what I need now. I’m not letting people walk all over me anymore. I am making plans for myself. I’m working on losing weight. I’m taking time off. I’m taking care of my son. I’m doing me. Anyone who wants otherwise can get in a long line that is being ignored. Either you support my needs and me or you are against me. And I think we all need to be a bit like this altogether. I still love everyone. But I also love me. Do you love you?

 

5 thoughts on “It’s Ok To Be Selfish

  1. Yes! There is nothing wrong with wanting to take care of you, and we should all take care of ourselves. We can tell people “No” but still be kind about it—granted be forceful if they don’t get the hint. But you’re right, we’re not taught to take care of ourselves—it’s always been about other people. But, how can we take care of other people if we aren’t taken care of ourselves? Though it’s ironic, when we put ourselves first to take care of ourselves, it can be seen as being rude and selfish because there’s some people who expect us to drop everything to take care of them as they take care of themselves.

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    1. Absolutely! As a counselor, I’ve learned the hard way that I have to stop and take care of me first! Being a mom, fiancé, counselor, friend means making sure I am healthy. I am so happy you found this article insightful enough to comment!

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  2. I completely agree with you regarding abstaining from the constant need to put others first.

    However, if I may I would like to point out that the way in which you framed your “selfish” intentions sounded rather selfless to me. It sounds more like a prioritization of the people you want to give of yourself to.

    In other words, you don’t want to burn yourself out by trying to please everybody, you would rather turn some people away in order to be able to give of yourself properly for those who matter most to you.

    Also, isn’t selfishness instinctive? When a baby starts crying in the middle of the night, the first thought a parent has is, ” I just want to go back to sleep” but then the parent gets up because he/she knows their baby needs them.

    People see others through their own eyes first.

    I like this article and I think it is a great approach to prioritize and be very intentional when obliging others.

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    1. I have never thought of it like that! However, you are absolutely correct! It is more of a prioritization of people I want to give of myself to. I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts on the topic and hope you are doing well. ~Alley

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