When Is It Ok To Be Selfish?

A girlfriend of mine stopped by my humble abode yesterday evening admitting her cameo was due to purely selfish reasons. She was in need of an outfit for a hot date, and knew my closet could be the costume wardrobe to the scene she was about to play out. I appreciated her candidness and was more than happy to play dress up with her.

I also thought that it was the least I could do since I was at home last night due to purely selfish reasons as well, which I find ok admitting to, yet can’t help but give myself a hard time about. The idea of being selfish makes me wonder, when (if ever) is it ok to be selfish? The word has such a negative connotation yet (at times) is necessary.

Selfish as an interchanging word:

- In Relationships: if you are selfish you are looked at as a bitch. And not just by your man, but likely by all his friends too, because let’s face it honey, if you’re not there for him, someone else is. Relationships are healthy when there is mutual sharing, and when you always take your partners feelings into consideration (whether you agree with them or not.) It is important to not always do things your way but to have a balance of making sacrifices as well as sticking true to your guns.

- When Beckoned Upon: if you are asked to stay late at the office, asked to attend a dinner at your ‘rents place, or asked to drive a friend somewhere (or fill the responsibility often called upon you here: _______,) it is not always the easiest to say no, without feeling like nothing short of an ass hole. We may just want to do our own thing, and take care of ourselves (dare we,) but the little voice in our head (a.k.a. guilt) kicks in. This guilt often nudges us to say yes when all we want to do is say no, so we can be selfish and cater to our own needs. Well ladies, I must admit, you look better as a strong, confident woman then a doormat. Yes I’m sure your parents will be disappointed that they aren’t seeing you this week for your ritualistic Friday night dinner, but – so long as you don’t make it habit – it’s ok to say no sometimes. Being assertive is a great feeling. It’s about being honest, and standing up for yourself. Saying no doesn’t have to feel bad if you don’t let it. Briefly explain why you can’t do x, and then go on with focusing on y. So long as you don’t make a habit out of the ‘Me, me, me MEntality,’ than it’s totally understandable, and dare I say appreciated, to be selfish (for the time being.)

Sure there are extremists, people who focus on themselves and put themselves first all the time, trust me, I’ve dated them. There are also people who can be so selfish that they know they aren’t being fair and then lie about what they are doing (a sign that they are giving themselves enough guilt over it, that they don’t need yours in addition to said guilt.) Just note that these are unhealthy ways of dealing with things. So long as you take your friends, family and self into consideration and practice a balance, you can shed yourself of guilt and in turn can change the negative connotation of ‘being selfish’ to a positive one.

- Jenny Jen


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