This is Why Learning To Be Selfish is Important

In general, being selfish is viewed as a negative quality.

It's a term reserved for people who only seem to care about their own problems and feelings. 

Girl Floating in Pool

(via Unsplash)

However, despite the negative connotation of selfishness, there are times when being selfish is essential. I'm not talking about purposefully hurting people or ignoring the emotions of those around you, but learning when to put yourself to lead a happy and full life. 

If you're not sure how to balance selfishness and selflessness, scroll below for a few instances when it's absolutely okay to be selfish.

In A Toxic Relationship 

Despite good intentions, there are moments where you may find yourself in a less-than-healthy relationship. Toxic relationships can take many forms. It may be that you feel taken advantage of, that you constantly feel put down, or that the other person is not matching the effort you are putting into the relationship. Even though it may be painful to your friend or significant other, putting an end to these toxic relationships is an important part of maintaining your mental and social health. Whether it's confronting the person who has wronged you or deciding that their place in your life is at an end, being selfish in a damaging relationship is an important part of taking care of yourself. 

When Your Health is at Risk 

With so many things on your plate and so little time in the day, it's easy to sacrifice taking care of yourself in order to get everything done. But not taking care of your body will only lead to more struggles and difficulties in the future. Making sure you get enough water, enough sleep and enough food should come before everything else. If that means skipping a day of practice because you feel a cold coming on or bailing on a club meeting because you're absolutely exhausted, then so be it. Not everyone will agree with these decisions, but taking care of your health and well-being should always be your top priority. 


When You Need to De-Stress

Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. If the stress of school is getting to you, it's okay to ditch a movie day with friends in favor of a long bubble bath and a Netflix binge session. Taking time for yourself is an important part of ensuring that your daily stress won't overwhelm you.


When it Affects Your Future 

The phrase "it's not going to matter in five years" is a classic way of framing problems that seem insurmountable now, but probably won't matter in the future. I would argue that it is also a good way to determine where exactly you should make selfish decisions. If you ask yourself "is it going to matter in five years?" and the answer is yes, it is important to make a decision that will be best for you in the long run. Choosing a college just because your boyfriend is going there or giving up your dream sport because your friends complain that they don't see you enough will have huge effects on your future goals. With big decisions like those, being selfish is an important way to preserve the future you are dreaming of. 

Still not convinced that selfishness can be important? Check out THESE problems with being a people-pleaser, as told by a pro-people pleaser.