Selfish has always been defined as a negative word. Merriam Webster defines the word “selfish” as 1 : concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself : seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others. 2 : arising from concern with one’s own welfare or advantage in disregard of others a selfish act.
Sure, does sound negative. Most people try NOT to be selfish, or regarded as selfish. Some people are so focused in life they may not even realize when or if they are actually being selfish. Others are full aware. No matter how giving or altruistic or selfish you really are by nature, there are 5 important times when it’s definitely OK to be a little, if not a lot selfish in life.
10 Times it’s OK to be Selfish
1. When you’ve given someone everything you can and they don’t appreciate it.
You’re not the giving tree. There is only so much “giving” or “unselfishness” you can afford upon another person without getting it back in return. It will only lead to resent. Life and love is give and take, not give, give, give, while the other person takes, takes, takes.
2. When your financial situation is at risk.
Love don’t pay the bills. You can be charitable, and give to others all you want, but if you are in a situation where you may get evicted, you can’t afford to pay your electric bill, or maybe even your next meal, it’s ok to do what you need to do for yourself. You’ve got to take care of you.
3. When you are working toward a personal goal.
People may be upset at the time and resources it takes for you to accomplish your dream, and they may not even understand it. But if your goal/dream is what you want more than anything else in this world then by all means do what you need to do to get there, even if it means you are selfishly dedicating all of your time and energy to achieving it. After all, its what you want, and only you are going to get it for you.
4. When you have nothing left to give.
This goes for mental and physical. Sometimes you have a few extra dollars and sometimes you are short on cash. Sometimes you have given someone everything that you have and simply have nothing left. You don’t owe anyone a lung or a kidney or any other essential organ. Do what you can for others but don’t feel bad when you do what you do for your own best interests. You’re the only one who’s going to look out for them.
5. Celebrating your success.
Today is your day. You earned it, you worked hard, you made the sacrifice and now you can reap the rewards. It’s ok to make this day about you and your success and achievements. You deserve to celebrate them and be recognized.
6. Your birthday.
Only comes once a year and everybody gets one. It’s ok to make this day all about you and not feel guilty. Spend it in whatever way you want that makes you happiest, even if it means spending it alone, getting peace and quiet.
7. When people cross boundaries.
Sometimes you need to make boundaries clear. Sometimes you need space and time to recharge and reflect. It’s ok to ask others to step back and give you room to do what you need to do for your own mental well being.
8. When you just don’t have time.
If you’re like me, you’re super helpful and you have a hard time saying “no” to anyone. In fact, sometimes you may even volunteer your services without anyone asking because you’re just that nice of a person and feel obligated to help. But it’s ok NOT to help, especially when you’ve got a lot on your plate and you need to focus. You can’t help everyone all the time.
9. When you need help.
Sometimes it needs to be about you and your self interests and you simply need help. It’s ok from time to time to ask your friends to help you or accept help from others to help serve your best interests. As long as you return the favor later and greatly appreciate it, because hey, thats what friends are for!
10. Any situation where your personal health is at stake.
Your health comes first. You need to worry about you because not many people are going to if you don’t. If you are in any situation where your unselfishness is affecting either your physical or mental health, it is ok to shut it off, walk away and do what you need to do for yourself.
11. When you hit the Powerball or Megamillions.
Just kidding. You don’t need to turn into a bank or a seed investor for your friends and family, but feel free to share your good fortune with the ones you love most. 😀
12. When you are carrying or doing most of the work.
It can be exhausting supporting or taking care of another person, especially if they are capable of holding their own and contributing but just don’t. It can be frustrating and hard to get your own stuff done. This is a time when it’s ok to take a step away and concentrate on yourself or do what you need to do, because it won’t get done otherwise.
13. When you are dealing with a difficult time.
You may have lost your job, lost a loved one, are facing health issues, a midlife crisis, or any other personal, emotional or physical issues that may take you off your game. There is no guilt in taking the time you need to heal, recover and get back on your feet. Your friends and loved ones will understand, if not support and help you.
14. When you need to love yourself.
Many things going on in your life can cause stress, bring you down or create obstacles or road blocks on the path to your goals, dreams and happiness. Sometimes things cause us to become depressed and not like who we are. When this happens its ok to take time for yourself and really work on yourself.
Bonus: In bed.
If they’re getting theirs, it’s ok to have your fun and get yours too. It’s only fair and lends to a healthy and happy sex life!