It's Time To Stop Calling People Who Are Focusing On Themselves 'Self-Absorbed'

It's Time To Stop Calling People Who Are Focusing On Themselves 'Self-Absorbed'

There's a MAJOR difference between self-absorbed and focusing on oneself.

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There's a lot of talk, particularly on social media, about self-care and taking care of yourself, putting yourself first. It's great and amazing, especially when we live in a world that can be hella stress-inducing and judgmental.

But the second someone starts putting themselves first, they're labeled as "self-absorbed."

Isn't that ironic? People will think it's great to take care of yourself...until it means that you're putting yourself before their needs and what they want from you. Basically, self-care is all great and good to another person until it gets in the way of what they want from you.

There's a major difference between "self-absorbed" and "self-focus:" the intention.

That is about as simple as I can put it. One's intentions behind putting their needs and wants before those of others make up the line between "self-absorbed" and "self-focus."

Self-absorbed means you only care about yourself and what you want, even if it's at the expense of others and/or regardless of whether you actually need it.

Self-focus means you're taking time to focus on yourself and your needs, rather than constantly caring more about everyone else and what they need. It's putting time into yourself because YOU need it, and because it's best for you.

We often forget that part of self-care is emphasizing the importance of your own needs and wants in scenarios where others would otherwise ignore them. It's saying "no" when others want us to say "yes," because saying "yes" all the time is exhausting, both emotionally, physically, and mentally. It's making others understand why what we want is just as important as what they want out of a situation.

You are allowed to put yourself first.

Here's a common scenario: If someone is suggesting plans to go out when you really just want to stay in, say no and "sorry not sorry" that the lack of your presence will "ruin the mood!" Especially for college kids, we're insanely busy. A quiet night in can sometimes sound sooo much better than a night out, even if it's with your friends. Take a second to think about whether you're actually up to go out, mentally and physically, rather than immediately replying "yes" just because it's your friend and they expect you to automatically join in the plans.

Self-focus is especially important when it comes to relationships.

NEVER. EVER. Let a friend or romantic partner make you feel unsatisfied in the relationship. Communication is so important, and you need to tell the other person if a certain repetitive behavior or action is making it hard for you to stay in the relationship.

I can personally attest to this one, as I had a former best friend who had various behaviors that made it hard to stay friends with her towards the end of the relationship. I wish I had taken the time back then to speak with her about it rather than letting tension build up within our relationship. I don't think it would have changed why we stopped being friends, but it would have made several months a lot easier.

Putting yourself first is always what's best for you.

You know, as long as you're not acting oblivious to the rest of the world (or reality) and not giving a damn about the impact of your actions on others. In which case, yes, you are self-absorbed and desperately in need of a reality check.

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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I Don't Have To Wear Makeup To Be Beautiful

You don't have to, either.

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For about as long as modern makeup/cosmetics/skincare brands have been around, the notion that women have to use any of these cosmetic products to be considered "beautiful" has also been around.

(If you've read my earlier article about red lipstick giving me my confidence back, you would know that I absolutely adore certain skincare/makeup products.)

However, I personally don't believe that I need to wear any kind of makeup to be considered "beautiful." And you don't, either.

I think that we, as a society, have seriously overvalued aesthetic beauty and undervalued the beauty that comes from being a decent, honest, genuine, and kind person. I believe that while makeup has an incredible and transformation-giving effect on women, (and men too, just for the record), that none of us honestly should depend on x, y, and z products to make us feel that we are beautiful, or that our self worth and sense of self should be tied up in how many likes a selfie of us in a full face of makeup get.

And quite frankly, there is so much to love about our makeup free, naturally glowing skin that so many of us hide, simply because society would love to tell us that we're not beautiful, or pretty, or worth very much at all if we don't use [insert new trendy skincare product here].

Well, excuse my French, but I'm calling bull.

It's not okay for any of us to think of ourselves as less than, simply because we're not following those crazy and crappy societal trends. In a culture where "Instagram perfect" pictures are the ideal that every woman, or man, is expected to look up to, I'd say it's pretty revolutionary to dare to bare a fresh-faced look.

No one has to ever feel the need to compulsively put on makeup to be considered "beautiful."

Because, in all reality, makeup can't measure the kind of person you are.

Makeup/skincare products can't measure your kindness, your generosity, your bravery in the face of adversity, or any other kickass quality that you might have. Makeup can't do that; only what's inside of you, if brought out for the world to see, can do that. And yes, I'm well aware of how cliché and "junior high preachy" that sounds.

So, I hope this article will possibly spark some introspective thoughts on what beauty means to you. I hope you start to think about the fact that who you are as a person is not defined by how "attractive" or "beautiful" someone else might tell you you are.

You define who you are as a person, nobody else has that power.

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