Admit it. There are times that we badly want to be selfish because we are too exhausted of prioritizing others before ourselves. We are sick of being gaslighted just because of an attempt to set aside other people because we need to attend to our needs first. Selfishness is a bad rap, and our elders, religions, and our society made us all think that being selfish is entailed into being evil, greedy, and merciless. We are always expected to help and give. They consider refusal as a bad shot and some people will even take it against us.
There is too much negativity that is implied to being ‘selfish,’ and we should end that connotation right now. People are not supposed to guilt-trip those who want to put themselves first because first of all, we do not have a heavy responsibility to other people at all times. We have our own struggles too, so it is okay to be selfish but not in a way that we are taking advantage of others. Rather, be selfish in a way that we are preserving ourselves to do good things for other people as well.
Even psychologists agree with the idea that it is important for us to become better persons. Here are the reasons why we should ditch the guilt of becoming selfish.
1. You’ll feel healthier and more balanced
With too much responsibility in keeping others happy and fulfilled, we sometimes overlook our needs and wants. Letting go of excess baggage enables you to become more focused on how to improve yourself. Once you clear your sight from being blocked by others’ affairs, you could identify what are the aspects that you need to work on. There will be lesser stress and frustration because there will be lesser people involved. Once achieved, you will feel that you became healthier and more balanced because you have more time to work on yourself.
2. You’ll know how to love yourself even more
When you start being selfish, you will realize how toxic it is for you to be always available for other people. Limit yourself from giving too much until there is none left of you. There is nothing wrong with self-love most especially if you are having a light feeling for preserving yourself. It is not that easy to wholeheartedly love yourself, but once you learned it, there is no way they could take a part of you to have their selfish gain.
3. You’ll be able to come up with rational decisions
Considering what your situation would be when making decisions helps you come up with rational decisions because you do not see only what would happen to the people around. You would also see how your decision will affect you. With this, you are more likely to think hard which leads you to best choices instead of settling with decisions that make you dig for your own grave. You are being selfish for a good reason so better ponder on what could happen to you before diving in.
4. You’ll have better relationship with others
They say that you cannot give what you do not have. This also applies to why you should be selfish. You need to fix yourself and be stable first to avoid conflicted relationship with others. You also need to be good to yourself so you will be able to know whose shoulders to rub. Being selfish comes with self-love so you are more likely to pick people who deserve you. Having better relationship with others is not always about what you sacrifice for them. It is also about how other people respect your space and understand if there are times that you need to prioritize yourself. You just have to find the right people.
5. You could protect your mental health
It is too overwhelming if you are always obliged to always be available for others. It is not that you do not want to extend help, but it is just really tiring sometimes because you too are in chaos. Well, let me tell you that it is totally fine to be selfish and paddle your way in saving yourself. Other people also need to swim by themselves. It should not always be you to resolve conflicts for others, do extra work for your boss or workmates, or be an emotional punching bag of your friends. Your mental health matters. Let go of the burdens… because you have to.
6. You’ll learn how to say ‘no’
You are not for everyone so stop always nodding to what they ask you to do or what they want you to be. You are your own captain of the ship, and no one should be in control of your life but you. Badly want to refuse the invitation in catching up with your friends because your social battery is low? Too tired to do someone a favor? Doesn’t want to be engaged? Just say ‘no.’ You do not have to make other excuses. Refusing just because you do not want to do something that you are not obliged to do is already a valid reason. Preserve your energy to the things that deserve your efforts.
7. There is more time for introspection
If you do not have a lot of affairs with other people, you will have more chance to understand yourself. Reflection on your actions, emotions, and relationship with other people gives you opportunity to become more aware of yourself. The issues with yourself will be addressed before things get worse. You will be proactive in preventing yourself from a total self-destruction for being too selfless.
8. It promotes self-growth
Selfishness in a healthy way enables you to work on your emotions, strengthen your mental abilities, and improve your attitude towards life. Through these, you will be able to identify the things that you need to refine for you to become more productive, empathetic, and rational. It gives you more opportunity to develop yourself in many aspects may it be in your career, relationship with other people, or way of thinking. When there is self-growth, you will attract the things that are best for your well-being.
Being selfish takes a lot of courage because it is like you against the outdated norms of our society. For a very long time, they made us believe that we should be selfless, that we should put others first, that we should be heroes and martyrs. Probably, this can be considered as one of the toxic traits of Filipinos. Sure, you might be able give a significant contribution for being selfless, but there are times that this custom also leads to manipulation.
People have their limits. We all deserve to nurture ourselves through being selfish, and this might be a hard pill to swallow most especially to those who are so centered with their morals.