In a society, in a family, there is little room for an individual. It goes against the basic sense of what a society is, a group of people deciding to come together. Focusing on yourself is not encouraged, rather looking out for others – if a mother, you must nurture the family. If you are a father, you must provide for others. If you are a daughter or son, you must be devoted to your elders. Everyone has a role of looking after the other person. That is how a society works, a pack so to say. We look out for other people, we take care of each other. In a world where we wouldn’t have that, we would feel isolated. I am not saying it is bad, although there are many aspects about it I could get into and argue why it is not healthy. Today I want to focus on the aspect – why is it so hard to make yourself as important as other people?
Next to it being frowned upon as mentioned above, it is often seen as selfish. Selfish is never meant in a positive sense. Yet putting yourself first, and focusing on your needs and being selfish, couldn’t be more further away from each other. Selfish is defined as: lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure. Putting yourself first and knowing your own importance doesn’t mean lacking consideration for others, it just means considering your needs as well as other people’s needs and putting as much importance on them. It doesn’t mean putting your own profit or pleasure above others, but just making sure you are not suffering while everyone else is taken care of.
There is a lot of balancing to get that right. After many years of neglecting yourself, some people tend to lean to the selfish side. They put their pleasure ahead of others. That is not something I am ok with. Take care of yourself, yet always be considerate to the people around you – how things might impact them. If for example you need time on your own, explain it to the people around you that it has nothing to do with them. Don’t just leave, don’t shove them away – taking care of yourself does not have to include hurting others. I guess finding that balance is so hard for many of us, that’s why people call it selfish. We are also not used to hearing it – people saying: This is what I need. It’s just not something we have established as a society – that fine mix of individualism and society is something that I think many, many people are trying to figure out.
There are so few people that do it well. There are very few examples of people that are able to balances their needs and others well without hurting anyone (I guess that’s why influencers on instagram are so popular). When there is a person who is good at balancing it, we tend to be jealous of them. There is a lot of hate for people who look out for themselves and are still able to balance expectations of others. Just getting used to the idea to putting your needs in the spotlight first is hard enough for us to grasp and learn and then to do it without hurting others – and not alienating yourself from society, now that is almost a rare talent like speaking 10 languages. Rather than being jealous of that, try to learn from watching this person, learn how they go about putting a great importance of themselves and others. Then give it a go for yourself. It might take you some time, but perhaps you will make it your rare talent.