In general, selfishness is perceived as one of the worst human qualities. If you want to have a healthy and successful relationship with anyone—and I am not talking about romantic relationships only—you need to put your selfishness aside. Meeting halfway and being ready for compromise is a basis of every human relationship, including friendships, family relations, or love affairs. Nobody enjoys being in the company of someone who is narcissistic and who has to make everything about himself. Nobody likes to be in the presence of a self-centered and egoistic person who never takes other people’s needs into consideration.
So, you’ve let this notion guide you through life. And you’ve always put your needs last. With time, you saw you are actually putting yourself as a human being last. And people loved you for this. As long as they needed you, of course. They enjoyed having a shoulder to cry on and having someone who is never tired or too busy for their concerns. You were the first person that everyone would come to if they are experiencing any kind of hardship. They did this because they were positive that you would never turn your back on them. They knew you’d disregard yourself, if needed, just to be there for them. And you were proud of that quality of yours.
But, with time, you came to the conclusion that you’ve disregarded and mistreated yourself because of others. You’ve stopped putting yourself first long ago. And it seemed that everyone started looking at that as something normal and expected from you—like it’s your duty to be there for everyone else. This has brought you a lot of pressure and has affected you emotionally, even if you refuse to admit it. You’ve started feeling overwhelmed and completely consumed with other people’s problems. You are exhausted and drained. Therefore, you don’t have any energy left when it comes to your own issues. And there is nobody there for you when you need someone. Yes, many people will hear you out, but everyone is so obsessed with their own lives they just seem to be out of energy to be concerned with yours.
It has been a while since you knew you needed to make some changes in your life. You keep promising yourself you’ll finally cut off toxic people from your life and start putting yourself first, but every time you try to do it, you think of yourself as being too selfish.
But there is a fine line between being selfish and dedicating to self-care.
You must learn to take care of yourself first, because no one else will. And this doesn’t mean you are selfish or self-centered—it means you are only trying to survive in this harsh world. Everyone comes and goes, but you are the one who lives with yourself. So, it’s about time you start thinking about how to help yourself.
Let me tell you that it’s more than okay to be selfish, even when you are not going through some hard times, in order to avoid future hardships.
You should always try and take the time for yourself only. I know we all live in a busy world, but you simply must find the time and the energy to make yourself happy and to do the things that excite and thrill you.
First of all, find time to get to know yourself better. Find time to learn what it is that you want from life. What are your wishes and passions? What are your hopes and dreams? Once you manage to do that, focus on accomplishing those goals.
Get out of your comfort zone. Do everything you always wanted to do, but were too afraid to actually do it.
Spend time with people who have a positive effect on you, not just with the people that need you. Surround yourself with positivity. Don’t be afraid to cut off some persons from your life, if they don’t make you feel good, just because you’ve known them for a long time. It’s not a selfish act—it’s an act of self-care.
Learn how to say no. Don’t do the things you don’t want to do and don’t waste your time on people you don’t want to be around, just so you don’t appear impolite and selfish.
Take the time to relax. Read a favorite book, make yourself a bubble bath, or just go for a walk on your own. Do anything that will relieve you of all the stress you’ve been feeling lately. Don’t think about everyone else while you do this. Think about yourself only. You’ll see how beneficial this will be for your mental health and self-confidence.
Become your own best friend. Learn to love yourself and learn to take care of yourself. Putting yourself first is not selfish. It doesn’t mean you are becoming egocentric and insensitive. It’s an act of self-love and self-respect. You need to appreciate yourself, because no one else will if you don’t. Once you start prioritizing yourself, toxic people will see it as well and will run away from you, without you having to chase them away. You’ll send a more positive energy to the world and you’ll attract the people who are not insecure and are not looking for victims of their emotional manipulation. Therefore, by loving and respecting yourself, you’ll form a better relationship with yourself and you’ll also be forming more quality relationships with people around you in the future.
Putting yourself first will change you emotionally, mentally, and physically, and it will improve your health in multiple ways. Once you get rid of the negativity in your life, you’ll be a happier and more positive person, with different worldviews. When you finally slow down and get rid of all the unnecessary stress in your life, your body and mind will start the process of detoxification. It will take time, but you will see the progress eventually. You’ll start to feel better about yourself, which will improve your self-image, which will boost your self-esteem in the ways you can’t even imagine.
You can expect to be overwhelmed with guilt in the beginning. You’ll maybe think badly of yourself because you’ll see this as abandoning the people that need you the most. This doesn’t mean you should isolate yourself from the world—it just means it’s time to take a break from being there for everyone in every moment.
You’ll also lose some people around you. It’s in human nature—we tend to be offended when someone who was always there in our hardest of times has the nerve to dedicate time to themselves. People are quick in forgetting the good we did for them. Instead, they will be quick to judge you and to get mad at you once they see they are not your priority anymore. But, that shouldn’t discourage you. Instead, it should serve as a motivation for you. This way, you’ll see who your true friends are and who the people that deserve the place in your life are. Those people will be more than happy that you’ve started thinking of yourself.
Remember, you have just one life and you should live it to the fullest. Self-care and self-love are the best things you could give to yourself, and nobody with their right mind should think of you as selfish for putting yourself first.