Being selfish or it is an act of self-love?
This is what I have been confused about for a very very very long time in my life.
Let me talk about this through my own perspective.
This post is very close to me and I have written it with all my heart.
I come from a family where sacrificing your happiness for the sake of others is taught and is considered as a sign of a good person.
And who doesn’t want to be a good person?
So, it became a natural behavior of mine to ignore my will, to let go of what I want or desire, and just accept what others won’t so that I feel like a good person.
And this turned out bad for me, I mean, really really bad for me.
I don’t say this behavior is wrong, but not knowing where to and where not to behave like this is wrong.
My family, especially my mother and father, have done a whole lot of sacrifices for the sake of others like society, relatives, and what not and they have taught the same to me, but they never taught where to stop.
So this behavior slowly started burying me.
Yes, burying me. I chose my words very cautiously and when I use the word “bury”, I mean it.
I was getting buried in my own anger, thoughts, and emotions of inferiority.
I use to accept everything even at the cost of my self-respect and self-esteem.
Because thinking about myself and only myself, was taught to me as a sign of being selfish.
And so from the options of being selfish and being taken for granted, I always choose the latter one.
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But as I started observing the situations I land up in and the reasons for them, I understood that it is because of my own choices of not choosing myself.
So, this is when I understood the difference between being selfish and the act of self-love.
What is being selfish?
Being selfish is imposing your own desires, will, decisions or thoughts on others without even considering them or thinking about them.
Being selfish is knowingly hurting someone even when you can choose not to.
Being selfish is taking advantage of the situation in an evil way.
Being selfish is unhealthy and unethical.
What is self-love?
There is a thin line between being selfish and self-love.
Self-love is when you respect what others want to say or think and choose to do what is most optimum for you and others.
Self-love is not letting others hurt you or ignore you or take you for granted just because you want to be with them or part of their social life.
Self-love is not hurting anyone, including you.
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Self-love is when you know who you are and what you want and the opinion of others about you, unless constructive, doesn’t matter.
Difference between being selfish and self-love is as simple as:
Selfish says: “Only I matter.”
Self-love says: “Everyone matters including me.”
It is a natural question that may arise in your mind that why self-love is needed?
The answer to this is because no one else will care about you more than yourself.
Because no one else is you.
You should practice self-love and self-care because it will help you in better mental health and emotional stability.
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How to practice self-love?
First of all, let me warn you, many people will consider you selfish when you practice self-love.
Because no one knows the difference because they have never given it a thought.
To practice self-love, all you have to do is become your own best friend.
I have already written a separate post about what does it mean to be your own best friend and how to become your own best friend.
Read here: Who is your best friend?
I recommend it as a must-read before you move forward in this post.
Being your own best friend will help you understand what and what not is acceptable to you.
Being your own best friend will make you realize what is good for you.
Becoming your own best friend will help you accept yourself as you are and love yourself as you are.
Along with that, doing a self-check that whether you are choosing something to please other or by your own free will, will also help you understand if the choice is out of self-love or people-pleasing.
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This understanding of self-love and self-care will help you become more self-aware, sound, and mentally healthy.