For as long as any of us can remember, we were told to share with others. Consideration for others was a common theme throughout childhood. Does that mean that being selfish is always wrong? Being selfish on occasion can be the best thing for you and your loved ones. There are several reasons that support the idea that selfishness can be positive.
Getting what you want provides benefits to everyone around you.
Consider the advantages of being selfish:
- You’ll experience more happiness. Studies have shown that being a little selfish ensures you’ll spend more time on activities you enjoy and acquire the things you desire the most. If you’re happier, you’re more productive, altruistic, and resilient.
- Your friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors all benefit when you’re happy! Just ask them.
- You’ll enjoy better health. Taking time to exercise, get enough sleep, and eat properly will result in better health. When you’re healthier, you’re better able to care for those around you. You’re also likely to live longer.
- It’s easier to set boundaries and enjoy healthier relationships. Ensuring that your relationships satisfy your emotional needs might be a little selfish, but it’s also healthy. Others will have a much more difficult time being manipulative or taking advantage of you. The ability to say “no” is important to any relationship.
- Being a little selfish provides the opportunity for self-development. Taking time away from other obligations to spend on your personal growth enables you to become the best possible version of yourself. Development requires time and attention. If you’re never selfish, you won’t find the time to grow.
- Your life will be more meaningful. Selfishness ensures that your life is filled with the people and things that mean the most to you. Creating this type of life requires a consistent focus on oneself. How can you accomplish a big goal in the total absence of selfishness? It’s necessary to withdraw your attention from other things to accomplish something great.
- You’ll be more attractive to others. Think about the least selfish person you know. Do other people respect them? Are they full of energy and have control over their lives? Being too altruistic often results in exhausting your resources and running yourself ragged.
- People are attracted to others that dictate the circumstances in their lives. Confidence and success are attractive. Who doesn’t admire those that look, feel, and perform their best each day? These qualities can’t be created and maintained if your focus is always on the needs of everyone else.
- You’ll be less needy. If you’re not taking care of your own needs, you’re putting yourself in the position of needing more from others. Being dependent on others results in being dependent on the whims of others.
None of this is a complete endorsement of selfishness. Taken too far, selfishness will alienate others and create more challenges than it solves. You probably don’t want to spend time with the most selfish person you know.
Use a little selfishness to increase your enjoyment and improve your ability to be there for the people in your life. By helping yourself, you can help others.
Seek to find the ideal balance between focusing on yourself and focusing on others. Set aside time each day to spend on yourself. The benefits you receive will also benefit the people in your life. Everyone will ultimately be grateful for your selfishness.