Have you ever wondered if you are, were, or are selfish? Do you have difficulty saying no? To put yourself in front of others? Well.
From the collective unconscious they guided and educated us to take care of others and see them. Of course, we are social beings and none of us would survive adaptively if we didn’t take that into account.
Our emotions, behaviors and attitudes, most of the time, are in a dance between the inside, the personal, and the outside, the social. That’s why I would like to review today what it really is to be selfish and help this concept not to limit your life but to lead a more balanced life.
The relationship between selfishness and self-care
Selfishness is defined as the immoderate and excessive love of self, which causes self-interest to be ignored, without concern for others. Then How come someone who doesn’t take care of themselves and only looks at others feels selfish?
The answer is simple, the concept has been downgraded to a very basic idea of it: if I seek myself I do badly, if I seek others I do well. Connotations of “immoderate”, “excessive” or “careless of others” have been removed and only the most basic idea of the message remains.
Therein lies the problem, the idea behind this message of looking at me is wrong the others are more important than me. If I know it’s more important than me and I don’t care, I disproportionately put myself down and then I think I’m being selfish. It’s the vicious circle.
How to stop this loop?
Here are some ideas that can be interesting to begin to understand how this limiting belief works and to be able to resolve it.
1. If I’m not well, I can’t be well with others.
The idea is that the relationship I have with the outside world mirrors the relationship I have with myself. If I don’t pay attention, review and analyze myself, I won’t be able to connect to what may actually be happening to me, and I won’t be able to change what isn’t working in my outer relationships.
2. If I’m always looking for the other, I won’t be able to know what I need
People who focus on others are not just good people, good neighbors, family, or friends. Intrapsychically it is understood that this person who puts all his attention on the outside does so because he does not want / cannot / does not want to look inside. The damage inside is strong, so if I put all my attention on the outside it will allow me not to look inside me at what hurts me.
3. If I don’t check what I have or don’t have, I don’t know how I can help
Helping is not always synonymous with giving, Sometimes it’s also doing nothing and other times helping is tied to retirement.
Often people who are constantly looking for others create false beliefs about what other people need. I say fake because they do it from what they think the other person needs but don’t ask to know what they really need or would help the other person. To know how to help, I must first know what I have or what I lack and know what the other needs and not what I think he needs.
4. The evil is in the other, not in you
Occasionally We don’t dare look at each other because we think it might hurt the other. For example, if I tell him that I don’t want to go to his birthday party, I will hurt him. I’m not saying it’s not the case, we should see the case but most of the time we understand what hurts the other so it would hurt us. That is to say, we project our fears, fears, joys or anger onto the other.
But the reality is that we know for sure, because we have experienced it on other occasions, that what hurts one person may not hurt another and vice versa. It’s that the damage, the pain, doesn’t come so much from the one who infringes it, but from the life story of the other, from his backpack.
A false dilemma
So… is self-care the perfect complement to not being selfish? Yes. If you take the time to pamper yourself, to look at yourself, to know what you need to rest and how you need it, you will be able to offer the best of yourself to others.
If I consider myself, I will not take on responsibilities that are not mine, I will be more rested, I will be able to enjoy my time and the time I need with others, I will be more comfortable with myself -even more importantly, i will be able to adapt to situations as they require it not as i believe it should be done.
Revisiting the core concepts in which we have shaped our lives helps us to adjust those beliefs that limit us, and it will help us to be happier with ourselves and with others. So remember, if you don’t want to be selfish, start by taking care of yourself.