I’m Confused: What’s Wrong With Being “Selfish”?
Selfish: concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others. (Courtesy of Dictionary.Com)
um… is there a catch?
I have become more and more confused about why being described as “selfish” is something that is regularly lambasted, or considered to be of poor character. In most instances, the word is being lobbed around as an insult, or a conclusive clause of a relationship, because “he/she was just too selfish”.
…I’m still missing the point.
Here are the facts: For the last 9,490 days and nights– really, since the very moment I was born into this world, I have been myself. Some days, I wake up, and I run excitedly to the mirror hoping to discover that I’m Pamela Anderson from Baywatch, or Lisa, from “Saved by the Bell” in all of her curly-haired fabulousness– but a las, I find just Candace. Same as the day before, same as the day after.
And it’s not just that– it turns out that I’m actually Candace for every fucking second of every fucking minute of the day. I don’t Freaky-Friday-occasionally swap bodies with somebody else, nor do I shape-shift into a werewolf during a full moon cycle. Do you?
It would make sense then, since it would seem I am stuck as myself (yawn), that I maybe should just do it up–like, completely to the max setting.
Here are a couple of things we all might strive to remember about the word “selfish:
The opposite of Selfish is selfless: Call me crazy–but why the fuck would I ever aspire to give less about my self? I know your thinking, “because people who are selfless do things like donate money, and rescue kittens, and save the world” –and people that are selfish can’t? I actually donate money monthly, and I also rescued my kitten on a whim. Neither feat was accomplished because I gave less about myself, but because when I got into myself– truly CANDACE to the umpteenth degree, I realized that I care deeply about animals and children. I genuinely want to always help anyone or anything that is helpless. I derive sincere pleasure from mentoring individuals, inspiring others, and I, did not have to give any fucking less about myself to do any of the above.
Selflessness and Unhappiness are close cousins: Seriously, they basically grew up in the same house. Sometimes I sit back and wonder what my day would be like if I wasn’t selfish. If I was maybe Kim-Kardashian-ish or YOU-ish. Would I wake up and be like “I’m sort of hungry for eggs, but Kim K is pregnant and doesn’t like the smell” or “I sort of want to write, but one of my readers doesn’t feel like reading today”.
A lifetime spent filling the needs of everyone but yourself sounds like a recipe for depression. In fact, I have 3 friends who swear they are depressed, but when they detail their reasons why, I am certain that if they started giving more about what they wanted, and less about what other people did they might find themselves magically cured. Selfless people are a liability to themselves. They continually do things they do not want to do and overtime, it builds up until it amasses into a volcanic eruption of suppressed “didn’t wannas”. They explode, and then they usually just look crazy because well,–no one told them they had to lay on a sidewalk and let people walk all over them, they just strangely volunteered.
Selfish people tend to have healthier relationships: I know there a lot of people–okay, a WHOLE LOT of people who will hashtag “relationshipgoals”, if they can find someone who will spend every single second of every single day thinking of them, hanging out with them, or thinking about hanging out with them but here’s the thing: co-dependency is not a good look. This is because people die, relationships end, and the only thing that is guaranteed FOREVER, is that you will always be yourself. This entire trend of finding someone that you can create an “us” with needs to die, and it needs to die now. You should always maintain your individualism within a relationship, and it is people’s inability to do so that results in that “locking myself away, never eating, and resorting into a shriveled version of my former self” mentality after a break-up. Relationships are meant to bloom you, not shrivel you. You should never be less of you in an effort to stay with someone else. Your perfect match is someone that breathes life into your personality and goals, not someone who wants to sit and create a list of “ours”. How about “you stay you, and I’ll stay me, and that’s the perfect we”. I just made that up. Quote me dammit.
Selfishness does not deplete compromise: Lastly, and closely tied to number 3 is the ridiculously wrong notion that being selfish somehow means that you don’t compromise. Take me for example (<—how selfish?). I am allergic to shellfish. This means that if someone wanted to take me to an all-you-can-eat lobster buffet, I would likely decline the offer because I am not going to sit back and selflessly watch them inhale they’re meal while I drink water. With that said, if the reverse were true and I’ve got a lobster craving that will literally kill my homie– that doesn’t mean I go all “lobster or the friendship is over, bitch”. It means I pick a place where they serve lobster and plenty of other alternatives. (Unless of course I’m menstrual, in which case, whatever I want to eat, goes.)
My point of course if that over time, society has conditioned us to think that there is something intrinsically wrong with caring for ourselves, as if we could ever do too much of that.
I call bullshit– and until I decide to have a child– (which is really a decision to bring another self, into this world), I am going to continue to do the highest version of me imaginable, every single day.