Being selfish is inherently bad, right? Well, let’s unpack that. While it is pretty unkind to horde all your toys and refuse to share them, or take way more than you give in your relationships, selfishness in and of itself simply does not deserve the bad rap that it gets.
In a society that encourages self-effacement and self-sacrifice in all kinds of ways (arguably the wrong ones), selfishness must get back to its roots: a true focus on the self. If you take time to work self-love into your life each and every day, you’re only bettering yourself and your interactions with others — not the other way around. So why the selfishness stigma, pray tell?
If you’re feeling out of touch with yourself, here are 5 healthy ways to be selfish:
1. Learn to say thank you when complimented — and mean it.
When someone compliments you genuinely, they have taken the time to see your greatness and express appreciation. If you cancel out such moments by putting yourself down — either due to a low self-esteem or wanting to seem modest — neither party feels uplifted.
Accept the praise, own your awesomeness, and validate someone else’s good judgment and positive gesture in the process.
2. Think long and hard before making a commitment.
We all face endless pressures to enter relationships and situations that feel like less than an emphatic “yes!” in our hearts. When you commit to something; be it a work project, a family event, or a voyage with friends, you should want to give it your all.
When you say yes merely to please or to do the “right thing,” it may in fact be the “wrong thing” for you in that moment.
Of course, real life necessitates certain roles and responsibilities, but having more flexibility in what we say yes to — along with shamelessly asking for help as needed — is key to doing yourself justice.
3. Don’t treat sleep, food, or relaxation as optional.
In this hectic modern world, many of us skip meals or eat badly out of convenience or exhaustion. We skimp on sleep due to crazy schedules and things we have somehow convinced ourselves are more important than rest.
We fill our waking hours to the max, yet never seem to reach our goals — possibly because of lack of food and sleep!
Fact: when you neglect your health and sanity, you break down, one way or another, and then who’s getting anything done?
4. Say no without apology.
Saying no because you’re afraid or insecure is one thing, but saying it because you don’t feel like doing what’s asked, or your desire to engage is simply forced, or you’re afraid of the person’s reaction, is another matter altogether.
Strange but true: often, someone who has asked you to do something will actually appreciate a no delivered with sincerity. And if they don’t, your answer isn’t any less valid.
5. Do more things you genuinely love to do.
It’s pretty simple. Remember when you had hobbies or things you liked to do simply because they made you feel good? These might include sports, reading, meditating, gardening, or dancing. How long since you did your favorite things?
Learn to make fun a priority. If you do what you love, the rest will follow. Just try it, and thank yourself later!