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Self Esteem vs Being Selfish


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Old 4th September 2017, 2:12 PM   #1
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Self Esteem vs Being Selfish

Hi All!

Over the past couples months/years I have made some big changes in my personal life. After decades of being a people pleaser, and putting everyone else's needs ahead of my own, I have started prioritizing myself.

I have made some much needed doctor/dentist/counseling appointments. I make time for myself, (meditating, enjoying activities, healthy lifestyle). Ensure I maintain my personal relationships with family and friends.

For the most part, I have never felt better. Yet, I have received some comments that I am being selfish. My response is, "how is prioritizing my needs selfish?"

But this has me wondering. What is the difference between self love/care/compassion and being selfish?

Has anyone else ever experienced this? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Thank you!
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Old 4th September 2017, 5:04 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by divegrl View Post
For the most part, I have never felt better. Yet, I have received some comments that I am being selfish. My response is, "how is prioritizing my needs selfish?"
That is often simply manipulation on their part.

"Not doing what I want? You're selfish!"


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Originally Posted by divegrl View Post
But this has me wondering. What is the difference between self love/care/compassion and being selfish?
I think it's important to understand self-interest. Both our own, and other people's. I think that gives us a better perception and respect for ourselves and others.

For example, when I want my brother to come around to my place and help me move something, I don't just expect him to do it based on that he's my brother. I try and make it palatable by suggesting that we'll grab a pizza, have some beers, and it's on me.

Same as in dating. I expect an equal sort of exchange in value. A lot of the resentment that I used to have towards women was based on not having what I thought was an equal exchange of value, and on thinking that I was getting the short end of the stick. Since changing that, my relationships have improved dramatically.

At the same time, I have often had to answer the label of "being selfish" (especially from female family members for some reason). I've yet to have anyone provide any sort of logical reason as to why I should change...

...The reason for that is because they are not appealing to my self-interest, in the way that I appeal to my brothers self-interest in having him help me (for example). Which means people aren't really respecting me as a person (in that sense), and their opinions are bunk.
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Old 4th September 2017, 5:11 PM   #3
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I'm curious about context here.

For a long time, I've been good with boundaries. I'm really good at saying No to people's sewing requests and I can avoid events which I'm not interested in. And I don't twist myself in knots to do a last minute babysit when I've already got other plans. But I've never been called selfish.

So I'm wondering what's going on for you. Have you got friends and family who are extremely rude or demanding? I'm really curious about the situations where you're called selfish and those who do it to you.
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Old 6th September 2017, 9:15 PM   #4
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Thank you for your responses!

After thinking about this for a bit.... I realize that the people who said I was being selfish, were the same ones who "used" me before I gained self confidence. (I think used is a harsh word, but I definitely made sacrifices and compromises that were not healthy!)

Many of my friends have encouraged me in this process. So, I guess, I should not point out the negative comments... but be thankful for the supportive ones!

Having compassion for myself has been a practice, one that I do the best I can at everyday!

Thank you!
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Old 9th September 2017, 11:48 AM   #5
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You do not seem selfish to me but we don't have all the facts.
On a deep level, everyone cares mostly for themselves and seeks their own self interests, with some exceptions. In philosophy this is called egoism best defended by controversial Ayn Rand. In moderation it is all right.
Selfishness occurs when you have a moral obligation to help someone else like your mother or wife and you refuse it. You go out drinking, say, instead of taking care of someone who needs you badly.
Keeping yourself healthy and happy is normal.
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Old 9th September 2017, 11:54 AM   #6
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Who told you that they think you're being selfish, and why?

Personally, I tend to judge comments partly by who they come from. If the comment came from someone who was just trying to, say, guilt trip me into doing something for them, I'd dismiss it entirely. On the other hand, if the comment came from a person whom I respect and who has demonstrated themselves to be caring, ethical, considerate, etc... then I would actually give it some consideration.
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Old 9th September 2017, 11:56 AM   #7
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I think they're really just projecting
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