Thought Catalog

13 Times It’s Okay To Be Selfish

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We live in a very “put others first” society. You can hardly watch television or walk down the street without running into something or someone asking you for something. Help, time, money, advice. And it’s good practice to give. Giving is better than receiving. Being selfless is admirable, most of the time. But when is enough enough? And why do we feel guilty when we need to take a step back and put ourselves first? Some of us are better at being selfish than others. Some of us know that “selfish” doesn’t have to have a negative connotation. Because how are you supposed to take care of others if you’re not taking care of yourself? Start slow, and by next year you’ll be thanking yourself for prioritizing your needs now. Sometimes, you need to be selfish. It’s okay to be selfish…
Alagich Katya
Alagich Katya

1. When you need help. No man is an island, y’all. Everyone needs help from time to time. Whether it’s in the workplace, between friends, or in lurve. Ask for help when you need it. Learn to delegate tasks when you can’t accomplish things on your own. It takes a village to raise a child, and sometimes it takes a crowd to get the job done. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.

2. When you need sleep. Sleep > most things in life.If you’re not getting enough sleep, you need to make that a priority. Consistently tired people do not achieve their best work. Go to bed early. Take a morning off and sleep in. Put your phone on silent, and don’t check it until you’re actually awake, and ready to start your day.

3. When you need a vacation. Plan a vacation and take it.Do not feel guilty for taking the time you deserve. There are other people at your company. You have worked hard enough. Your boss takes vacations, right? So why shouldn’t you?

4. After business hours. They’re called business hours for a reason. And if a client is calling you outside of them – you don’t actually have to answer. (Unless you want to.) If we all worked 24/7, we would go insane. You need a break, even if you have been known to send work related emails at midnight.

5. When you need some alone time. Sometimes you just need to unplug, and spend some time with yourself. Do not feel obligated to have someone over, attend a party, or fill your calendar when you’re not up for it. We all need time to recharge.

6. In bed. You need to get yours too. Don’t forget it.

7. When you have a friend with zero concept of the give-take philosophy. You know the type. Some friends are completely oblivious to the fact that they are mooches. (Most of them, however, are completely aware of it – and will continue to live that succubus life until someone cuts them off.) There’s no need to cut them out of your life permanently – but you needn’t keep footing the bill, emotionally or otherwise. Talk to your friend and explain the concept of giving back, sharing their things, splitting the bill, and treating other people every once in a while. It will make you feel better.

8. Your roommate sucks. Everyone has a roommate horror story, right? The roommate who eats all your food. The roommate who has loud sex with her boyfriend at all hours. The roommate who never cleans. The roommate who slacks on paying rent. It’s okay to be selfish when you have a roommate who sucks. Label your food, ask her to do the dishes, to be a little bit quieter, to have sex at her boyfriend’s a few times a week, to learn to dust. These are not outlandish requests. Don’t be afraid to ask for some good old fashioned teamwork from your roommate.

9. When you’re sick. Hell hath no fury when a friend asks me for favors while I’m in bed with the flu. If someone sends you a text message that starts out with, “I know you’re sick, but…” – just throw your phone across the room until you feel better. You are alotted sick days for a reason. Take them. Use them. Do not sacrifice them to help others. You need time to recover, and rebuild your immune system. Don’t let guilt get in the way of your health.

10. If it’s time to end a relationship. If a friendship or romantic relationship is no longer serving you – it’s okay to end it. So many of us stay in friendships or relationships because we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings – and we wind up hurting ourselves because of it. Sometimes you need to end a chapter and start a new one, and there’s no reason to feel guilty for it.

11. While changing careers. Do not stay in a career because you feel obligated. You need to pursue things that will further your career, not stay in the same position because you feel bad leaving your boss. Staying at a job you don’t really like breeds resentment. (This does not mean you should quit your job and leave your boss and dry. Find a happy medium. Give at least two weeks notice. Offer to help as much as you can in the transition without sacrificing your own sanity/new position.)

12. Even if you’re a people pleaser to a fault. People are genuinely shocked when a people pleaser says no to something. If you’ve been a people pleaser your entire life, it can be hard to break out of this mold – but it’s well worth it to see the expression on someone’s face when you tell them that no, you cannot host a party for them, bake five dozen cookies for their child’s bake sale, or be their doormat any longer. Stand up for yourself, say no, and people will respect you more for it when the day ends.

13. When you don’t feel like being available. Just because I have my phone on me doesn’t mean I’m required to answer it. Remember this next time your phone is ringing and someone draining is on the other end. Wait until you’re mentally and emotionally prepared to talk to them. You’re under no obligation to answer your phone every time it rings, return every text message as soon as you see it, or reply to every email within five minutes. Go off the grid when you need to recharge. Answering people when you’re fed up with them is always a poor choice. Sometimes, you just need a break. TC mark

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    • http://www.jimmydurham.com Jimmy

      Love this list. It’s ironic how so much negativity in the world stems from people stretching themselves too far trying to be selfless all the time and end up resenting themselves and others for it.

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