Written by Adrianna LoChirco
Selfishness can be defined as self-centered, egocentric, or simply doing things to only benefit oneself. It may also be defined as only caring about your own needs, wants, and desires. It is easy for people to think that focusing on yourself is a selfish act, but it is true that people can focus on themselves while still being caring and kind.
So why does focusing on yourself have this stigma of selfishness?
Maybe it is because of the fact that people feel obligated to “people-please” or like they owe someone else something, so when they step out of these boundaries, they are confused and a little unsure of themselves. Well I am going to be one of the many people to tell you that you are not obligated by any means to please the needs of others. And NO, it is not selfish at all.
You are responsible for you. You are responsible for your actual obligations such as your job, school, pets, internships, or whatever this list might look like for you. You are not obligated to make sure that someone is up to go to class on time or to make sure that they have their college picked out. That is honestly none of your business and not your issue.
This may sound harsh, but you cannot keep up with everyone’s desires or try to help them when you have exhausted all of your resources already.
Focusing on yourself is not only caring about yourself. It is the idea that your needs are actually important and you need to make sure that you are taken care of as well. When I see selfless people, I think about how much they give, give, and give, but they rarely get their own satisfaction in return. These are the people that need to understand that doing something for yourself does not lessen your love for people, lessen your selflessness, or lessen your value as a human being. In fact, in the long run, you are going to help these people more when you are focused on who you want to be and who you want to become.
What I want people to understand is that if you are not okay in your heart, then you are not going to be able to help others in a genuinely helpful way. Being okay and welcoming of your own desires, needs, and wants is not a selfish act because it will ultimately help you help others.
You are going to be more focused when you are listening to someone. You are going to be more genuinely content with yourself, which will allow you to assist others with an open mind. You are going to be able to separate your feelings from other people’s feelings, which will allow you to focus on one at a time instead of all at once. Listening to others’ problems or helping others while not focusing on yourself is only going to hurt the situation because your own mental state will not be as intact as you and that other person need it to be. If you are always willing to help, that’s fine, but just be sure that you are okay too.
Taking time out of your day to be good to yourself is not selfish. Taking a lot of time (whether is a week or a month) to yourself is also not selfish. You are making yourself a better person which in turn allows you to be more helpful to others. You are allowing yourself to make sure that your desires are being fulfilled so that you can better the society we live in today.
So my advice is to always make sure you are okay and make sure you are fulfilling your dreams. Those who believe that this is selfish may be selfish themselves.