I have the personality type of someone who always puts others first. I’m not just saying that to try and look good, it’s just how I’m designed.
This in itself has its pros and cons. It’s not always a good thing putting others before yourself, you need to know when you need to come first.
There are a number of different reasons people are like I am. Sometimes it’s just the hard wiring, or it’s a way to live out happiness through others, or it’s a self-gratifying reason.
There are many, many reasons. I am not going to look into those reasons in great detail. I am going to focus more on why being a little selfish is not always a bad thing.
Selfish is seen as such a negative word. Yet, there is nothing wrong with looking out for number one sometimes. I mean, we don’t all have others looking out for us, so we need to do it ourselves too.
Obviously there is a line. Crossing the line and becoming selfish will push those close to you away. While being far on the other side means you never make time for yourself.
So let’s take a look at some reasons why putting yourself first, and being dare we say ‘selfish’, is not always a bad thing.
Why Being a Little Selfish Is Not Always a Bad Thing
Using ‘Me’ Time Helps Us Understand Ourselves Better
We are all complex beings, and to find out more about yourselves we need to spend some time alone.
This is often seen as a selfish act by many. If you or your friends live a pretty busy life, putting some ‘me’ time aside can be difficult. Your friends won’t appreciate it if they want to go out.
When you put the brakes on take some time out. You can really understand what makes you happy. Why you are, or are not currently happy, and what you need to do to make some positive changes.
When you’re around others all day this will come as a welcome opportunity. Trying making a little time each day to meditate, or visualize what you want from your future.
Saying ‘No’ Opens More Opportunities
If you need to be a little more selfish you probably are a ‘yes’ person. I used to be the yes person that everyone came to, always 100% dependable.
I didn’t start letting people down, but I did start to learn how to say ‘no’ when appropriate. So when exactly is it appropriate to say no?
For us yes people, this may come as a surprise – but most of the time it’s ok to say no. The biggest hurdle you need to overcome here is feeling like you have let someone down.
More often than not, you are not letting anyone down. You will find a newfound respect for saying no when it doesn’t make sense. Not just for yourself, but from others.
So next time you are being leaned on, and you know it’s more so because you’re dependable and not because you’re needed. Say ‘no’.
Remove the Things That Aren’t Making You Happy
We all have negative influences and things that are holding us back from being happier. There is nothing wrong with being selfish and finding out what these things are, then removing them.
Happiness is the key to experiencing life to its fullest, achieving all the things you dream about, and finding that perfect relationship. We cannot afford to waste time being unhappy.
So if being a little selfish is what’s needed to sort that out, so be it. A big part of this is tied in to the previous two points.
For example, it could mean telling your parents you’re going to take a year out before University. Or cancelling a holiday you felt pressured into booking. Or, maybe even ending a relationship that’s not fulfilling you.
If you go through life putting up with what’s around you, or expected from you. You will never find true happiness. Remember, you come first.
Find Your True Happiness and Pursue It!
This encompasses the other points very well. Find what makes you happy, and pursue it. Sometimes at all costs, because life is too short to think back at the maybe’s, or should have.
Trust me, I talk with a lot of people who have regrets. They nearly always revolve around not making the move they should have, being too scared to take the plunge on something, or something along those lines.
So, whatever it is that makes you happy, go after it! Capture that feeling of happiness and hold on to it. Don’t let anything get in your way.
Believe in yourself.
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.