Be more selfish.

That’s my new motto. And it’s not a bad thing.

We’ve all been taught to view selfishness as a bad thing. “Don’t be so selfish, share your toys” “You need to think about others sometimes, not just yourself” “Don’t do that, that’s selfish”.

But sometimes I think we should be more selfish.

I have a bad habit of analyzing and looking too deep into situations. I feel bad when I tell a friend I can’t do something and the reason is simply that I’m tired and feel like staying in. I re-read text messages for hours worried that I offended someone. The days for that are over.

Through friendships, family, work and relationships, I’m learning that it’s detrimental to second guess yourself. If I want to stay in because I feel like reading a book or watching Real Housewives, so be it. There’s nothing wrong with me wanting to do that. I don’t need to rethink it just because a friend says he/she’d rather go out for dinner.

The truth is, the time we spend feeling bad about doing something for ourselves rather than with a friend or family member is most certainly way longer than the time it takes for that other person to get over it.

We learn this lesson in middle school and high school. We pretend we don’t like something, or someone, just because our friends don’t. We don’t buy clothes from a certain store because it’s not “cool”. Eventually, we learn to embrace our own beliefs and opinions and we start choosing who we spend time with and buying clothes at even the most “uncool” places. We need to hold onto that selfishness – that idea that our own beliefs are good enough – the truth that there is nothing wrong with doing what makes us happy.

When I think about all the energy I spend worrying about whether other people are upset with me or if I should’ve done something else, it makes me sick. I know the things that make me happy. Those are the things I need to do, regardless of whether someone else thinks I should.

We’re taught that to be selfish is to be bad. I disagree. Do you?

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3 responses to “Be more selfish.

  1. I agree with you Allie. We all need a little time to ourselves and I don’t think we take that. 🙂

  2. “Selfish” is often a jealous replacement for “driven” and “focused.” The truth is the more we allow ourselves to operate freely and to do so with an empathy towards others, the more we all get. Great post. Thanks to @MeghanButler for pointing the way here.

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