For most people, selfishness is inherently negative; the acts that set us back as a society and seriously affect others come from individuals who do not pay attention to the effect their actions may cause on others.
In addition, the RAE defines selfishness as: The immoderate and excessive love of oneself, which causes one’s own interest to be disproportionately taken into account, without regard for the interest of others. Everything makes us think that there are no positive qualities for this phenomenon; however, it is in my interest, and for a long time, to see it from another angle, on the side of self-regulation and balance.
The importance of balanced self-regulation
When I say self-regulation and balance, I mean the natural ability of our body (body and mind) to meet its own needs.
If I feel a dry mouth and throat, I identify the feeling of thirst and the need to drink water, I take energy to get in touch with the world (go get the glass of water), and cover my need, in order to return to balance (return to rest). This also happens with our psychological needs, and our emotions are the guide that shows us the way to satisfying them.
Let’s give an example
Let’s say a person cares a lot about others, does everything possible not to make them feel uncomfortable, makes sure we don’t miss anything at every opportunity, and is constantly concerned to help them meet their needs. ; Undoubtedly, this person is considered the opposite of an egoist, he could be called altruistic, kind, nice, etc. All is well so far; however, the problem is that this person, being constantly attentive to the needs of others, you risk losing sight of the satisfaction of your loved onesand this can lead to multiple negative consequences.
By being dependent on the outside world, he loses contact with his inner world, ceases to be connected to his emotions, and often he does not even know what he feels; if he doesn’t know how he feels, let alone know what he needs to get back into balance, you have to remember at this point how many times you were asked what you wanted and you didn’t know how to answer… you find yourself in the awkward moment of “I don’t know what I want”. This causes our choices to debate between what is practical + what is best + what to do + what is expected of us… And almost never what would make us happy, unfortunately because we don’t don’t know.
Being a very generous person, he will eventually realize that what he gives is not reciprocated, she will feel disappointed, since she has spent her personal and emotional resources for others, and she no longer had the conscience, the strength or the time to take care of what she lacks; and as “we must cover the needs of others”, so “others must cover our needs”.
This request leads to many problems related to trust in others, the perception of injustice, despair and resentment. In other words, this philosophy of life has a lot of potential to embitter the life of whoever upholds it.
Understanding Positive Selfishness
Therefore, I don’t see selfishness with evil eyes if it invites us to look insideconnect with our emotions, see where they lead us, what do we need to be better, draw energy from our body and get in touch with the world, with reality, to give us what we lack and regain our state of balance (homeostasis).
People who take care of themselves first, whose priorities are covered, are more open to looking at others, taking care of them and being more generous. By having their needs covered, it is easier for them to recognize the needs of others, they have time, awareness and energy to help and give of themselves.
There’s nothing wrong with trying to take care of yourself first, trying to be selfish once in a while, covering up, and when you already have your own, see what your surroundings need with a whole lot more of patience and harmony. To achieve this, you can start with very simple questions: How do I feel today?, What do I want now?, What do I need to be better? It will bring you closer to being more connected with your inner world and with the present reality, to support you.
If you feel that you are putting others before yourself/want to change this, or if you feel a real desire to be more in touch with your emotions and needs, I invite you to write to me; Now is a good time to start your research process.