I bet your thinking this title sounds completely backwards… It is really… But selfishness is a perfectly healthy quality to have (within reason). I don’t know about you, but I had the words ‘don’t be selfish’ and ‘sharing is caring’ drummed into me as a child and was told to share all the colours of Play Dough freely to all the other kids, I’m sure we where all scolded for doing otherwise!
With all due respect to the ones who raised us, we are now in adult life. I’m not saying we shouldn’t have any regard for those around us, but there’s a certain amount selfishness that plays into self-care.
On the other end of the spectrum, being purely selfless and having zero concern for yourself isn’t sustainable either if you ask me. Unless you’re Mother Theresa or my actual Mother… who cooks countless plant-based meals whenever I visit, despite no one else having the same dietary needs. She does it just because I’m her daughter; albeit a pain-in-the-arse!
But then utterly selfish people are just pigs! Let’s be honest, we’ve all met someone who is completely self-obsessed and has not a care in the world for other people whatsoever. Like that that one person on holiday that drapes their beach towel across 3 sun loungers and goes back to sleep in their hotel room. Not ok my friend…
The trick is getting a balance of both. If you where in a plane crash (God forbid) you couldn’t save anyone else without first putting on your own oxygen mask. Of course day-to-day life isn’t that extreme, but you get where I’m going… I hope!
By all means, selfishly rush home to watch the new episode of Suits on Netflix rather than attending the work meal out. Frankly, they will thank you for having an extra bottle of Pinot Blush that the company paid for instead of your meal. It’s a win-win really.
Yes, I am one of those people that will occasionally turn down a birthday night out if I’m exhausted after a long-ass week. I can relax with Lush bath bomb and a good book rather than nursing a hangover the following morning. Selfish, yes… self-care, also yes! Send a bottle of Prosecco as an RSVP and I’m sure your friend will forgive you.
Let’s take the stigma away from being ‘selfish’. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing what you want, need and deserve. Not enough of us make the time for self-care, and it’s about time we do just that. Allowing yourself time to sleep in an extra hour, finally spend some quality time with your other half or just doing absolutely nothing at all, will improve your attitude towards those around you for the better. Not to mention you’ll be a hell of a lot happier.