Selfish (adjective): (of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.
Selfishness has always had a negative connotation. When someone is being selfish, they have no concern for anyone but themself. We are always told to think about everyone else’s feelings because we don’t want to hurt them, which is a good rule to live by. It’s not okay to intentionally hurt someone. However, I believe there is nothing wrong with being a little selfish sometimes, especially when becoming more independent or moving into adulthood.
I was watching The Bachelorette on Monday night and something stood out to me. There was a group date with three guys and one girl and by the end of it, she needed to send two men home (stick with me I’m going somewhere with this). She kept going on about how difficult it was going to be, but no matter what, she needed to be selfish. She said this was a moment for her to be selfish.
Listening to this got me thinking. She chose the word selfish. She didn’t say ‘no matter what I need to put myself first even if I may hurt them’. She needed to do what was best for her in the journey that she was on. I think this is so important for young people to understand. It’s OK, even necessary, to be selfish sometimes! No one else is going through what you are so no one else should judge you. If you don’t put yourself first, you may never really be happy.
We need to take risks that are going to benefit us in ways that other people may not understand. Just because you chose to do something selfish, does not mean that you have no regard for other people. This is where the stigma associated with selfishness needs to change. Being selfish isn’t about being rude or inconsiderate to others. It’s all about putting yourself first to make YOU happy—which many people consider as the ultimate life goal.
It’s important for every young adult to know that this is the most acceptable time in your life to be selfish. You’re graduating college, getting a ‘big-girl-job’, and moving out for the first time for real. It’s a time to enjoy your youth and do things that are going to benefit your life. You are responsible for yourself. You make decisions for yourself. You are the only one you truly need to please. It’s your time to take selfishness to a personal level.
However, we all know that being selfish can turn bad. You can’t forget about the people around you who made you you. You still need the positive people around you to lift you up when you’re down and experience your greatest heights with you. Be selfish and take risks, but don’t compromise the relationships around you. It’s okay to be selfish, it’s okay to be confident, it’s the best to be happy, and most importantly, you must be YOU.