Nobody wants to be called selfish because it is seen as a negative trait. However, its important to remember that you can’t care for others if you don’t know how to care for yourself first. If you’re exhausted from trying to always please everyone else, how can you achieve the things you want? You might think being selfish is wrong as society suggests, but actually its not as bad as you think. Here are some reasons why being selfish at times can actually be good for you.
You learn more about yourself
One good reason for being selfish is that you discover what matters to you and what you want by rejecting the things you don’t want. Self-discovery is a very important aspect in our lives, especially in contemporary society, since it is partly responsible for our happiness. Being selfish can really help you navigate yourself in the world and make you more mindful. If you prioritise your needs (both emotional and physical) then you can be more productive and you will grow as a person. Putting your needs first means that you are more likely to reach your goals and thus feel more fulfilled in the life you live.
You build confidence and self-esteem
So, your friend wants you to help them on a project that they’ve left to the last minute, but you’re exhausted after the work you’ve been doing yourself. You want to say no and you shouldn’t feel bad about that. Saying ‘no’ is an important stepping stone to building confidence and helps you ensure you are using your time wisely. You’ll also find that there is greater satisfaction in being honest and that doing this is in fact quite liberating. In addition, selfishness can help a lot by improving your leadership skill as it strengthens your assertiveness and will therefore build up your self-esteem.
Like deciding to get out of a relationship that’s not good for you, if you take the time to factor in what you want then you are essentially practising self-love. Being selfish means you can avoid feelings of anxiety and stress as you won’t feel obliged to do certain things or give in to peer pressure. This will mean that you are taking better care of yourself by putting yourself first. Your body will thank you later!
You’ll make better decisions
Imagine you’ve decided to take a break from that full day of studying to do something you’ll enjoy. Sure, this may push you schedule back a bit, but if you feel happier from having some leisure time then its definitely worth it. Continuing on from the last point, you can make better decisions putting your own needs first by finding the balance between what you are sacrificing and what you deserve. Accepting and welcoming things that serve you well will be greatly beneficial to you. This is also great in terms of making progression and you’ll feel more satisfied for it.
You’ll have better relationships with people
Boundaries are not barriers but bridges that help you see where you and another stands. If you put yourself first from time to time then its harder for people to take advantage of you. Moreover, if you invest in yourself as much as you do in others this could benefit your relationships. Professional therapist, Dr. Melanie Ross Mills says that ”the time you spend learning about yourself, developing your talents, and sharing your treasure will be used to love others in greater ways”. Essentially, you can only help others as much as you help yourself. So, if you give yourself your best then you can give others your best self as well.
Let us know if being selfish has helped you live life better in the comments below!
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Lauren is a freelance writer who aspires to be an editor-in-chief of her own publication. Her interests lie in culture, people and behaviour. Her favourite exercise routine is laughing (it really works the abs!).