Learning to Be Selfish

· May 21, 2016
We've all been taught not to be selfish, but there are times when we need to be in order to be happy and to avoid being taken advantage of.

Being selfish is full of negative connotations. To be selfish is not good; it makes other people look down on you with contempt.

Being selfish means that you don’t know how to share, that you only think of yourself, that you always put yourself first.

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We all know we’re not supposed to be selfish. But that’s referring to an extreme, and extremes are never good. There needs to be a balance between generosity and selfishness because you are important and need to take care of yourself too.

Me First

Maybe you’ve been in a situation that once led to you telling yourself something like this, “That’s it, from now on I’m going to be selfish and only think of myself.” This happens when we spend too much time thinking of others, living our lives for other people, and neglecting ourselves.


If you feel bad saying no or if you can’t be there when someone needs you… you probably feel guilty when in reality you shouldn’t feel the least bit responsible.

You need to change this, you need to learn to be a little bit more selfish.

Have you noticed that other people don’t feel guilty, yet you do? Or perhaps you’ve found out that someone was taking advantage of your kindness? Being generous and putting others ahead of yourself can lead to other manipulating and attaching themselves to you to keep you around whenever they need something.

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You need to learn to think of yourself first because you’re important too. You don’t have to always sacrifice yourself for others. Selfishness isn’t always a bad thing, and in this case, it’s even justified. Does giving away all you time and energy make you happy or is it harmful?

I accept and respect myself

If you don’t respect and accept yourself, what makes you think others will? There are so many more important things to worry about than putting others ahead of yourself.

While being generous with others may make you feel good, there comes a point where your life becomes totally wrapped up in other people.


You no longer know who you are and you try to please everyone because you can’t stand the thought of someone else thinking negatively of you.

You may end up in a codependent relationship where the happiness isn’t real, just artificial.

Respect and accept yourself because happiness comes from within.

When you know how to respect and accept yourself, you’ll see that you don’t need to worry yourself with others. You have your own life and it’s normal to want to help others.

But, everyone has problems, and although it sounds harsh, everyone has to deal with them.

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Facing problems makes us stronger and gives us valuable experience. Think about the people in your life, do they do the same for you that you do for them? Maybe you’re giving too much to others.

It’s important to remember to think of yourself a little.

If you give, you deserve to receive

In our minds, we have this concept of giving and giving, but never receiving. While it’s true in the sense that if we offer our help or want to do a good deed, we shouldn’t do it in the hopes of gaining something in return.


Receiving, however, is something different. That is to say, you can go on giving yourself to others, but sooner or later you have to give yourself permission to think about yourself.

We need to remember to put ourselves first, to be a little selfish and think of ourselves before others.

For many people this is unacceptable, but you can be so giving towards others it leaves you open to manipulation, as we mentioned before. Remember that if people know you are always there for them, they may abuse this privilege.

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If you find yourself in a situation where you need to be selfish, you’re not actually being selfish. You’re giving yourself permission to think of yourself first because you’ve already given enough.

You’re important, too. You need to respect and accept yourself. No one else is going to take care of you, unless you do it yourself.

Now if anyone has the nerve to call you selfish, you can say, “Yes, but I am being selfish because I respect and value myself and today I’m going to put myself first because I deserve it too.”