Is it selfish to love yourself?
"Don't be so selfish and do what I tell you!" -Does this sentence sound familiar to you? We are often told not to be selfish and instead sacrifice ourselves for others. Many of us are taught as children that everyone else is always more important than ourselves. We should first give to others, only then are we allowed to take something ourselves. First we have to make others happy, only then can we be happy. But isn't it just as selfish of others to ask this of us?
When we feel obliged to sacrifice ourselves for others, we often do things that we don't even want to and sometimes we don't even have the capacity to do so. But we do it anyway, because we want to be lovable, we want to be liked and appreciated by others. We think that it is the right thing to do because, after all, society sets an example for us. We don't want to appear selfish under any circumstances, because such behavior is rejected by others.
In doing so, we often fail to see that this selfless attitude only drains us, makes us tired and can ultimately even destroy us. Because the opposite of egoism is not selflessness, but self-love! Only when we love ourselves can we give to others from the heart.
What is selfishness?
Basically everyone is selfish, because we only see life from our own (ego) perspective. We can only see through our own eyes and filters. Still, we don't call everyone an egoist. For us, selfish people are people who never have enough, don't care about others, put others down in order to feel better about themselves and always only take, but never give.
Egoists believe that there is not enough for everyone. So they have to take from others in order to survive. They are afraid, which is why they want to grab everything and hold onto it, no matter the price. Even if it doesn't seem like it at first glance, egoists have very poor self-esteem and a low self-esteem. However, they skilfully hide these uncertainties because they want to hide their fear of vulnerability. That is why many egoists appear very arrogant, which is nothing more than a mask.
Deep down they have the conviction that they are not lovable and therefore have to fight for their love with tricks. They don't really care about themselves, just their outer shell. They want to look good in front of others, but they are very tough on themselves. They hurt others because they are afraid of being hurt themselves. They don't care about other people's feelings because they don't really care about their own feelings either. They judge others because they judge themselves the most. So egoists do not love themselves, but hate themselves much more!
Is Self-Love Selfish?
People who love themselves are aware of their own needs and desires and also fulfill them. Does that sound selfish? No! Because these people know that there is enough for everyone. And they know that the only way to do good to others is to charge their own batteries first. If we prioritize others and totally neglect ourselves in the process, then at some point we will no longer have anything we can give. We become empty shells who have forgotten what their real purpose is: namely to be themselves!
Through selfless behavior, we hurt ourselves and, at some point, others as well. Because it makes us tired and sick and in a bad mood and this mood gets to be felt by our surroundings at some point. So we have to build ourselves first to build others. We have to take care of ourselves first in order to be able to give something to others. Because then we no longer do it out of duty, but because we really want it! Then we can give because we have enough ourselves and without having to sacrifice anything!
Self-love vs selfishness
As soon as we start to love ourselves we look for goals, focus on things we like to do, look for our purpose, find out who we are and what we want and live with purpose. We care about our health and needs and make this our top priority. And we are starting to see what works rather than what goes wrong.
Egoists, on the other hand, are mostly aimless and do not care about their own real needs or their health. Success and the outer shell are more important to them. They want attention, attention, and approval. They are usually completely unaware of what is really going on inside them. They are tough on themselves and mostly only see what is not going well at the moment.
People who love themselves grant others their successes and are happy for them because they know that they too can be successful.
Selfish people, on the other hand, see themselves threatened by the success of other people. Because of their “scarcity thinking”, they have the feeling that something has been taken away from them and that there is no longer enough left for them. In addition, they can no longer prove themselves in front of these people. You feel inferior and inferior.
People who are at peace with themselves surround themselves with people who only want the best for them and inspire them. They are nice to others because they are nice to themselves too. They set boundaries and distance themselves from people who are not good for them, but still care about other people's feelings. They are not afraid of being vulnerable, they show their insecurities and admit that they are not perfect. Because they have fully accepted their “imperfections” and do not expect any “perfectness” from others.
Selfish people, on the other hand, take advantage of people, do not care about their feelings, but are just out to get something from them. They hurt and judge because they do the same to themselves. They hide their insecurities because they feel like they need to be perfect.
Why self-love is so important
So egoists are by no means “bad people”. You just haven't learned to love yourself. They do not know and understand themselves and therefore act out of fear. That is why it is so important to find out who you really are, what needs and desires you have and how you can fulfill them yourself.
When we take care of ourselves, we can give so much more to others. We can only inspire and motivate others when we are ourselves and feel comfortable with it. Only when we love ourselves as we are can we do the same with others. And only then can we live our full potential and create the life we always wanted to have.
You can read here how you can learn to love yourself:
How to Learn to Love Yourself (5 Tips)
Do you like this article? This is an excerpt from my “Change Your Story” e-book. You can find the whole e-book here.
Self-love Learn to love yourself: More self-worth for quick happiness and energy in all situations
The little exercise book - self-love
Free yourself through self-love
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