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Unpopular Opinion: Being Selfish Isn’t Always A Bad Thing

By: Ariella Youssefyeh

girl laying on green car

You know how airlines always show that video that no one really pays enough attention to, the one where they tell you that you need to put on your own oxygen mask before putting on somebody else’s? So it turns out, the concept of "putting on your own oxygen mask" goes beyond airplane safety and it actually applies to your general life too. So how can we approach “selfishness” in a positive way?

Obviously, being a selfish person isn’t a good thing–you should always maintain care for others and consideration for your actions and their consequences in relation to other people. But, there is a HEALTHY level of selfishness that can make both your life and the lives of the people around you, so much better.

This level of healthy selfishness I’m talking about is where self-respect and boundaries come into play. I used to be a major people pleaser: I would say yes to plans that I knew would make me feel emotionally drained just because I didn’t want to make people upset, I had no idea how to practice self-care and felt responsible for every negative emotion the people around me felt (even when I had literally nothing to do with it).

The past few years of my life have been the true example of living and learning. I’ve dropped everything for people that weren’t worth it and felt true burnout from overextending myself, burnout I’m still dealing with now.

If I’m being honest, it sucked so much. I hate that I disvalued myself enough to be that way.

But I’m also really grateful. Grateful that I was able to learn this now, grateful for the people who have come in and out of my life because of it, and grateful for the maturity and grace it taught me.

Here are my most important reminders when learning how to put yourself first and level up:

1. Accept The Uncomfortable-ness

Realize that the beginning will feel weird. Setting boundaries at first is really scary and can make you feel like you’re doing something wrong for saying “no” to plans or choosing to do something for yourself instead of going out with your friends for example.

2. Take Care Of Yourself So You Can Take Care Of Others

Remember that you won’t have the capacity to be a good friend to other people if you aren’t taking care of yourself first. You have no reason to feel guilty and will ultimately end up being a better friend if you’ve given yourself some love first.

3. Become Your Own Best Friend

Learn to be your own best friend. You are the only person that will be in your life forever. Get to know yourself and figure out what you love. This is the perfect time to read a new book (the one I linked is my fav), or finally make that recipe you’ve had saved for months (linked one of my favorite recipes for websites, vegan and gluten-free options too!!)

4. Value Communication

Know that you will make mistakes while navigating this process (which is totally normal) and that you can communicate your being on this journey with the people you love most.

5. Prioritize The Problems

Learn not to immediately take on the problems of those around you. It can become very stressful to constantly solve everyone else’s issues before your own. Support your friends and family, communicate with them that you will always be there for them and truly be there when they need it, but it’s okay to not be the one person that everyone in your life relies on.

6. Surround Yourself With Positivity

Make sure the media you pay attention to is positive. !We scroll so much on apps and take in negative messages that we don’t even consciously notice–make a point of unfollowing the accounts that don’t serve you and gravitate towards content that makes you feel happy.

7. Romanticize Your Life

There is so much beauty in the things we do every day, from skincare routines to going on a little hot girl walk...make sure to appreciate those moments and genuinely enjoy them.

Putting yourself first can be amazing for both you and the people around you in the long run. Your life deserves to be lived, so make sure you’re taking care of yourself and treating yourself the way you’d want a best friend to treat you.

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3 commentaires

13 mars

Love this so much😍😍 number 7 is so true I need to start doing that!!!


13 mars

Love this. #3 be your own best friend. Ah ha moment 💚 good read.


13 mars

Love this. #3 be your own best friend. Ah ha moment 💚

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