Whenever someone has told me that I’m selfish, I have usually taken it pretty hard. I mean, in essence, they’re telling me that I don’t care about anyone but myself. But I know that that’s not true, because I care a great deal about other people. I’ve always been very interested in listening to what people are going through, and have loved giving advice whenever I can. But does the fact that I love doing it make me selfish?
I can think of other situations where it is unclear whether someone is simply doing something for the good of another person, or for the good of themselves. For instance, a man holding a door open for a woman. Is he doing so to be nice? To appear more attractive/ desirable? To assert his “male dominance?” Or what about a high school basketball coach? Is he putting in countless hours of his time so that he can produce a winning team and look better amongst his peers? Or is he doing it to receive personal satisfaction from the fact that he helped a generation of kids learn teamwork and develop self confidence? What do you think?
This topic is something that I have pondered quite a bit, and I believe I’ve found a happy-medium. Someone is truly selfish when their actions benefit one person only, themselves. But if that selfishness motivates them to do something that benefits the lives of others, then I’d say they’re alright. I mean, we’re all in this together right?
THE TAKEAWAY: The next time someone calls you selfish, ask yourself if what you did benefitted anyone other than yourself. If so, then you’re probably doing something right. As long as you align your own, selfish wants with the wants of others, your selfishness will stand to motivate you to create better personal relationships, higher self confidence, and ultimately, a better world for you to live in.
- Are you selfish or selfless? (angel14.com)
- Selfish vs. Self-ish: What’s the Really BIG Difference? (psychologytoday.com)
- Selfish? (thelovelyaddict.com)