Why It Is Your Right To Be Selfish
Do you ever ask yourself “Is it ok to be selfish?” Do you feel you have a right to make choices that are just for you? Is there ever a time in your life when being selfish is exactly what you need to do? Or do you feel allergic to the word…break out in hives just thinking about it?
The word “selfish” creates conflicting emotions for women. On one side, it feels good to just think of yourself and not have to always be “on” for other people. Then there is the other side, the one that society has laid down regarding a women’s role – the side that says being selfish is not what we would ever want others to think about us. It’s just not feminine.
Why are we so fearful of being thought of as selfish? Mainly because we have a distorted interpretation of what selfish looks like. It’s an all-or-nothing syndrome. We are either selfish or caring. It’s time we stop being fearful of the word and instead see the possibilities where being selfish is the right solution to a problem.
Being honest about our needs and wants is important. It’s in honesty that we add the most value to the people around us. Resisting being selfish is dishonest and hinders having a true intimate relationship with yourself and others.
Of course, if you haven’t been honest and start to be now, others will react and won’t want the change. Does that make it wrong to be selfish? Or are we just afraid of not being loved if we choose to take care of ourselves?
When you turn off the option of being selfish, you turn off your ability to nurture yourself. In life, balance is crucial – balance between nurturing others and nurturing ourselves. Both of these options enhance who we are as people.
What if women were to see selfish as “devoted to or caring for oneself?” What if we were to acknowledge that we are the only ones who can care for ourselves as we know what we want? What if selfish was good for you and for others as well? If you took care of yourself and were true to your needs, would others really suffer or would they learn to care for themselves instead of looking to you for nurturance?
Lots of women subscribe to the belief that they are to be the nurturers and selfishness is considered an undesirable trait. Yet, what if they are wrong and in fact the undesirable trait is focusing all of your attention on others…being co-dependent?
A person who doesn’t perform selfish acts becomes burned out and has to find different ways to take care of her needs. These same women may get angry, frustrated, overeat, feel alone, zone out in front of TV or overwork so they don’t have to look at their own ability to care for themselves.
Remember, extreme beliefs promote extreme behaviors in order to maintain and manage a belief that doesn’t serve you.
Even if you have young children who need caring, there is always time to care for yourself in a day, to carve out time just for you. That’s what selfish is really about – caring for yourself. We don’t have to go from caring exclusively for others to selfish and swing in this huge zone. Rather, small selfish acts done for ourselves enhance our lives and the lives around us. Stand up and be selfish today.
Words are powerful and sometimes we can’t change how we react to a certain word. If your mind shuts down on the word “selfish,” and you just won’t even think of playing with that word, how about choosing another word that supports your well-being? Is replacing the word selfish with self-care, wellness, time for one’s self, self-love, authentic self a better solution for you? Find the word that best fits your vision of self-care and incorporate actions into your life that support it.
Karen & Pat
maximize the value of the women in your life
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