Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How to be selfish

A few days ago someone very close to me told me to start being more selfish. The problem is, I don’t know where to start. How does one become selfish? How does one actually define a selfish person and how does one differentiate a selfish person from an unselfish person?

Oxford Dictionary: selfish: /ˈselfiSH/ (of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for others ; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.

There you go. So a selfish person is someone who acts based on his or her own agenda, without any real consideration for others. Don’t we all do that at some point in time? Do what WE want to do without really thinking about how it may affect others? I mean, I did that a few months ago. Walked out of the job that I had been doing for over 6 years without really considering how it could affect the people I worked with, the company as a whole, and then also the people who may depend on me to financially pay my share (roommate for example). Pure act of selfishness, no? One that I did because my own mental and physical health demanded it, something I did because I wanted to. To be brutally honest, it did me the world of good. I finally felt happy and free again, after years of feeling that I was doing what was right in the eyes of everyone else, but that felt completely wrong to me.

So maybe I am on the right path? I don’t know, when I was going through the above I felt terrible. Terribly guilty about the way I had done it and about not being able to explain myself properly. I was very conflicted, on one side I felt so happy to be away from what I felt had become a prison, on the other I felt awful. I DID actually think for a long time how it would affect everyone around me and decided that it was better off for everyone that I did it, in the long run. It wasn’t a rash decision, but something that I could no longer hide from. But I did choose myself over everyone else. Woohoo, an act of selfishness!

So what next? I think my main problem is that I tend to let everyone take too much of me, so much that I feel exhausted. I try so hard to remember everything, and do pretty well at it, until I forget the most important thing and then upset someone because I didn’t remember. I know I get upset when people forget important things in my life, but that’s mainly my own fault as I never talk about them. But I feel terrible when I forget important things in YOUR life. Like just today I didn’t contact one of my closest friends to wish her good luck on the purchase of her new home. I hadn’t forgotten it was today, and I was going to call her later, and have been a little wrapped up in some personal things I don’t feel like talking about. But my friend was upset because I hadn’t been in touch to just wish her good luck, and she was right to be. I now feel terrible, and will feel terrible about it for days. But at the same time, I ask myself, if I actually never gave a shit about anything, no one would be disappointed because they wouldn’t expect me to remember anyway. So where do you draw the line? When do you stop trying to make everyone happy and start just concentrating on your own happiness? What if your happiness depends on other people being happy around you? I suppose that’s the real definition of being unselfish. Or maybe just unselfish is a synonym for being appreciated but walked over whenever necessary? Or maybe, just maybe, I am analyzing this all a little too much and I should stop feeling bad about things and get on with my life.

I think we are all selfish in some form or another, some are just more than others. I have just come to my own conclusion that I am not really that willing to change anymore, so, so be it. And if you have had the patience, or whatever you want to call it, to read through these 700+ words you can now listen to this beautiful song by my darling love Tim Buckley, because he (his music) makes me happy.

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