Why It's Okay To Be Selfish Sometimes
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Politics and Activism

Why It's Okay To Be Selfish Sometimes

Don't forget about the things that you need.

Why It's Okay To Be Selfish Sometimes
Olivia Nemitz

Anyone who really knows me knows that overall I tend to be a selfless person. I like to help people and will sometimes give a lot to try to make sure that I successfully help someone.

Recently, I had someone tell me that I should take something called the Enneagram test. This is a personality test, comparable to Meyers-Briggs, with 9 different personality type results. I took the test and it told me that I am a type 2 - "The Helper". People who are 2's are "helpers who need to be needed". I got this result and thought, "that totally makes sense," because I know that that's a character trait quite inherent in me.

You might look at that and say, "wow, that's cool that you operate that way". Not to try to toot my own horn or anything but yes, it can be cool--most of the time.

The problem with being someone who focuses so much attention on others is that it becomes really easy to neglect what you should be doing for yourself. You get so caught up in the needs of the people around you that you may miss the fact that you need your own attention.

Sometimes you just need to take a step back and figure out how you can help yourself. If you don't do that, you will end up giving so much of your time and energy that you will burn yourself out, and it will take all of that for you to realize how much you're hurting yourself by not taking the time to assess what's going to help you.

The thing is, as much as you give, people will most likely take because overall people are inherently selfish and are trying to look out for themselves, not you. They may give nothing back to you in return.

Now, that's not always a bad thing. I think that it's good to do nice things for people even when you know that they can't do anything to repay your kindness. Having the heart to serve other people is an outstanding quality for a person to have and I think it's one that we need more of in our world today.

But in close and personal relationships in life, it's not a healthy dynamic to be constantly giving of yourself and not getting anything in return. If you surround yourself with the kind of people who do that, you will end up drained.

The bottom line is that you should be your own top priority. You are the only person that you are constantly with. You deserve your own time and attention just as much as anyone else does, if not more so.

It's not wrong to say no to people sometimes because what you need may be a more pressing issue. You shouldn't feel obligated to do every little thing that people want just because they ask you.

I'm not saying that you should be arrogant or rude. You can let people know in a loving way that you need a little bit of space and time without just pushing them away.

As cheesy as it may sound, it's important to be your own friend. Don't forget to take care of #1 -- you.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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