Have you ever wondered – should I be more selfish? There are both good and bad ways to be selfish and this article will discuss them both. It will also help you to decide when it’s ok to put me first.
Should you be more selfish? Yes, you should! Being more selfish will help you in the following areas:
- You will have more time to rest. None of us are superhuman with an infinite amount of energy to spend on others. Accepting your limitations and learning when to say no will help you to have more time to do the things you love.
- You will be more generous. It may sound contradictory, but being more selfish will help you to be more generous as you will have more to give.
- Save face. Don’t take the blame for an error that was not your fault. Being selfish will give you the confidence to stand up for yourself. It will also save you from unnecessary embarrassment.
- Value yourself. Put yourself first and value equality in your relationship.
- Receive help. If you are always giving, you may neglect the fact that you are the one who needs help. Being more selfish will encourage others to do good back to you.
Why Being Selfish Can Be Good
Selfishness is often linked to negative qualities such as egotism, greediness, and pride. But it is time for us to reevaluate our view of selfishness and see the benefits that come with it.
Take a look at some of the reasons why being selfish can be good.
More Time To Rest
It’s true, we all love to be productive. There are days where you manage to clean the house, do the shopping, work, and cook a wicked dinner. Those days help to put a smile on your face. But not every day can nor should be like that.
We all need downtime. And by downtime, I don’t mean time sitting and listening to someone else’s problems. Real downtime is a time when you can relax, switch your mind off, and do whatever you want to do.
Being more selfish will help you to create time for you to do the things that are important to you. Once you have the time, don’t feel guilty about how you use it! Remember, not all your time has to be filled productively!
You could use your rest time to:
- Catch up on TV shows and watch movies.
- Read a book.
- Play video games.
- Browse social media.
- Chat to friends and family over the phone.
- Get some exercise.
It’s all well and good talking about everything you will do when you get some downtime. But how will you get your hands on this precious time? Being a bit more selfish will give you more opportunities to do the things you love. The following suggestions will show you how to do it.
- Learn to say no. Time flies, and although we may feel like we want to help everyone, it isn’t reasonable to think that we always can. Resist saying yes to helping absolutely everyone who comes your way. Concentrate your efforts on those who urgently need your help. Don’t feel bad when you have to say no!
- Program me time. Organizing your time is also important. Program your week into sections making time each week just for you. Treat that slot as important as any other compromise you make and don’t fill that slot.
- Switch off from the world. While having time for yourself, turn your phone to a setting that won’t disturb you. Shut out the outside world so that you can truly unwind.
Be More Generous
Being more selfish will also help you to be more generous. Although it sounds contradictory, it’s true.
For example, for a car to operate well, it needs to be filled up regularly with fuel. If you keep driving your car without ever checking how much gas is left in the tank, you will eventually find yourself at a standstill.
The same is true when it comes to day to day life. To have the energy to help others, you need to keep refueling yourself. Every time you do so, you will have the power and desire to keep helping others.
So, how can you do the refueling? Take a look at the following suggestions:
- Get enough rest. Most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best the following day.
- Enjoy a balanced diet. Don’t skip meals and make each meal count!
- Exercise regularly. Regular movement will keep your body strong and will boost your self-defense mechanisms.
- Take timeout. Enjoy some downtime in the evenings and at weekends. Engage in activities that interest you.
Regularly take the time out to “refuel” your body. If you do so then will you have the energy to do more for others, and the desire to do so too.
Have you ever taken part of the blame or perhaps even all the blame for something you didn’t do? Did that cause you to suffer some kind of embarrassment in front of your boss? Your work colleagues? Your family? How can it help you to be more selfish?
When we care about someone, we often cover up for the things they say or do that are out of line. But covering for someone could cause us to look bad or make people question our motives.
But, you do not have to take the blame for other people’s actions. You should be more selfish and allow the culprit to take the blame for their errors. You shouldn’t feel bad about doing so. Why? Because you are simply being honest. And you may find that your boss or your family members will value your honesty.
Striking the balance between selfishness and selflessness in relationships is also important. A relationship that is all give and no take is not healthy.
The following questions will help you determine if you are in a balanced relationship or not:
- Does your partner ever settle for your preference on trivial matters? For example, will they let you choose where you will go for dinner or what you will watch on TV?
- Does your partner watch the kids for you some evenings so that you can get some rest?
- Is your partner keen to spend time with your family and friends?
- Does your partner help you out with chores around the house?
- Does your partner pull their weight financially?
Did you have to answer negatively to two or more of the above mentioned questions? If so, then you may find that you are in an unbalanced relationship. Is your partner reluctant to do their share of chores around the house? Watch the kids for you? Help you out financially? Then they will place a heavy burden on your shoulders.
How can you be more selfish in a one-sided relationship?
- Make decisions 50-50. If you and your partner can’t seem to agree on trivial matters then take it in turns to make the decisions. If your partner chose the last movie you watched together, then make sure you choose the next one!
- Include your partner when hanging out with family and friends. Ensure that they are involved in the conversation and make them feel welcome.
- When organizing chores around the house, make a list of who will do what and stick to it. Involve the kids in doing some chores that are appropriate for their age. From very early on they can learn to put away their toys after playing and take their plates to the kitchen. These little things will lighten your load! You may be surprised at how keen they are to help out!
When you are a little more selfish, you take hold of the reigns in your relationship. This shows others just how much you value yourself and your preferences. Being more selfish in a relationship will allow for more equality and will help you to get better rest. It will also help you to enjoy life to the fullest surrounded by the people you love.
You no doubt do a lot for your family and the community. You:
- Cook meals for your family.
- Get the shopping for the old lady that lives down the road.
- Do charity work.
- Take the lead on the project at work.
- Help your friends move house.
- Lend a listening ear at the weekend.
And that’s not even the half of it. So stop! You can’t do everything!
Being more selfish is about receiving help as well as giving it. Think about it, when was the last time:
- Someone cooked dinner for you?
- Someone else ran an errand for the person you wanted to help?
- Someone else took the lead on a project at work?
- Someone listened to you when you needed to offload?
There is nothing wrong with giving help, but we all need to receive it back from time to time. You may find that you are simply doing too many things. You need to spend more time waiting for others to take the initiative.
Do you feel overwhelmed by the chores you have to do around the house? Then start delegating! If you have children in the house, they can also learn to do a few chores. Put cooking on a rota so that you can get a couple of evenings off a week.
We all want to help others, but we can’t help everyone. So, next time your partner pipes up and says he will definitely help someone to do something, make sure they do it. Don’t fall into the pattern of always doing things yourself. It is good for other people in the house to learn to take the initiative.
While we all want to do our best at work, you cannot put yourself forward for everything. If you do, you will wind up exhausted. Take a back seat every once in a while and allow someone else to take the lead.
Keeping your feelings bottled up is not healthy. If you need to open up about something, you should! Talk to your partner or a friend or family member that you trust about the things that weigh on your mind.
When you are a little selfish, you will allow yourself to receive help instead of always giving it. This will help you to build up the energy you need to start helping others again.
When Being Selfish Is Bad
Throughout this article so far, we have seen many ways that being selfish can be beneficial. Being selfish is the key to healthy work and home relationships. Selfishness could even help you improve your mental health. But it is not always a good thing.
So, when is selfishness bad?
- You take control of every decision. A relationship is 50-50 so you can’t control every decision that is made.
- You are reluctant to do things for others. Life is about give and take, so you have to be prepared to lend a helping hand.
- You aren’t a good listener. You don’t mind offloading on others but feel impatient when they want to do the same.
Being selfish is important, but you must strike the balance. For example, when making decisions, your partner must respect your preferences. Yet, it would be unreasonable to presume that they will side with you on every decision you make.
Good communication and yielding should be the foundation of a relationship. Do you find that you are often at loggerheads with your partner when it comes to making decisions? Then try the following suggestions:
- Take it in turns with your partner to make final decisions. Support one another once a decision has been made.
- Create a list of pros and cons that will help you to discuss the more difficult decisions.
- Don’t rush to make decisions. Take a few days to mull each other’s ideas over before finalizing your choices.
Doing Things For Others
Just as you like it when others do kind things for you, you should also do them back. Kind deeds circulate. This means that if you do something nice for someone, you will often find that the favor is returned. If it’s not returned by that same person, it will be returned by someone else.
Make a point of committing the good deeds that have been done to you to memory. You could even write them down in a gratitude journal. Make sure you get around to thanking the person or showing them your gratitude at a later date.
Be A Good Listener
Sometimes we can trick ourselves into thinking that we aren’t good listeners. But it doesn’t take much to sit and listen!
Choose a time when you are not busy and call a friend or a family member and ask them how they are doing. If they need to open up, let them. Listen without interrupting. Only interrupt if you have something constructive to say that you think the person needs to hear.
When you are a good listener, others will be more inclined to listen to you. They will also feel compelled to lend you a helping hand when you are going through a rough patch.