I saw a video on YouTube a few weeks ago about why we should be selfish. The premise of the video was that being selfish allows us the opportunity to “get ourselves together” in order for us to be whole enough to help other people. You can watch the video here.
Needless to say the video left me with a few things to think about.
I had been told I was selfish in a few of my previous relationships, and like most people that are accused of being something, I tried really hard not to be that something. I didn’t want to be selfish, I wanted to be liked. I wanted to be the person that everyone enjoyed being around.
So, I stopped being selfish. Whenever someone asked something of me, I never said No. I started going out of my way to help people, who didn’t need any help. I became the “Yes” girl. If you wanted something or needed anything, call me, I was guaranteed to say yes. Being a yes girl left me feeling drained and very unloved. I didn’t know who was my friend because of what I offered, and who was my friend simply because I was a good person. So I started doing what came natural to me, I became selfish again. This time my selfishness was more intentional. I became selfish to save me. I stopped doing all those things that I never enjoyed doing, and I refocused my time and energy into positive things. No, I don’t want to go to the club. No, I don’t have money to loan you. No, I don’t want to date you.
Reflecting back on those relationships, I realize that in the situations were I was “being selfish”, it was always to protect me. I was being selfish with my money, that I had earned and didn’t feel I should have to loan to someone that didn’t work. I was being selfish with my time, by saying No to events that I had been invited to that didn’t interest me. I was being selfish with my heart, by shielding it from hurtful situations. I wasn’t being mean when I was being selfish, I was protecting myself from situations that would only hurt me in the long run.
By saying No to those different situations, I grew. I grew into a person that understood that I did need to be selfish, sometimes, in order to guard my heart. I also had to be selfish in order to allow others to grow. If I was always helping or saving someone that always needed saving, (You know the person who was always short on a bill, or who needed to hold something until their check cleared), I could be blocking them from learning a lesson they needed to learn. So yes, I grew while being selfish. I learned that sometimes we need to be selfish, it is a requirement for survival. It can also be a requirement for happiness.
Through my selfishness, I am now blessed to be able to help people who really need help, when I go to events now its because I enjoy the people that are there, and my heart is always protected so I could let down some of those barriers that I once had up. I am also able to see clearly when I should be selfish and when I should be open to give.