[OPINION] Sometimes being a little selfish isn't a bad thing...
By Lincoln Anthony Blades
In modern Western society, we’ve been conditioned to view the word “selfish” as a pejorative. It’s a word so often used to indict, shame, and disrespect, that it seems almost ridiculous for anyone to try and embrace it.
But the truth is there’s a lot of single folks on the dating scene who are searching for love who could truly stand to be a lot more selfish. Let’s take a look at the definition.
Selfish: concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself : seeking or concentrating on one’s own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others.
While I will always preach the necessity of interdependence in a relationship, I firmly believe that focusing exclusively on yourself is the best way to find the person who best compliments you, and whom you truly want to be with. A relationship isn’t supposed to drag you away from who you intrinsically are, the beliefs you hold the deepest, and the things that make you the happiest.
But if you aren’t overtly aware of those things, it becomes hard to protect them. And if you don’t ever take the time to find out what you truly want and don’t want, those special things become almost impossible to even identify.
So in 2017, here are five things you should feel completely fine with being selfish about.
1) Be selfish with your time.
The older we get, the more valuable we realize time truly is, and the less tolerant we should become with wasting it. Spending your time trying to convince someone to find value in you is a waste of time. Attempting to rekindle past flames solely because you’re intimidated by the prospect of meeting someone new is a waste of time. Believing that you must slavishly devote yourself to finding a significant other is a waste of time as a single person, because you have every right and opportunity to put your own well-being ahead of anyone else’s.
2) Be selfish with your self-care.
If you don’t learn the critical truth behind the phrase, “You can’t be everything, to everyone, everyday,” then you will find yourself locked into a draining relationship. One of the biggest issues regarding self-care and mental/emotional health (besides overcoming the stigma) is recognizing what it should look like to you. That’s not something a significant other can tell you, because that’s your own journey. Learn how to put yourself first before requesting that anyone do it for you.
3) Be selfish with your career goals.
If you don’t know what you want out of this life, you need to take your time to figure that out. And if you do know what you want, you should be self-interestedly marching towards your goals. This doesn’t mean that you can’t work and find love, but it means that if your work sustains you (more than just financially) then you should be pursuing the perfection of it everyday.
4) Be selfish with your love.
Everyone doesn’t deserve your affection. Sometimes, all you will have for people is friendship, and if they can’t accept that, it’s too damn bad. Hell, sometimes you may not even have time for friends, because you need to prioritize handling your own stuff. It’s great to find a loving, caring person to couple up with, but it’s far more important to find a path towards loving yourself first.
5) Be selfish with your standards.
Stop letting people tell you that you want too much. They don’t have to live with your bad, unfulfilled choices; you do. The day you start dropping your standards just to accommodate someone else, will be the day you find yourself courting disastrous relationships.
At the end of the day, there’s nothing better than dating someone who is firm in knowing what they want in life. Because the people who don’t know yet, are the ones that will drag their individual problems into their relationship and poison it. The more we all learn how to love ourselves, the better job we can do in learning how to love someone else.
Lincoln Anthony Blades blogs daily on his site, ThisIsYourConscious.com. He’s author of the book, “You’re Not A Victim, You’re A Volunteer.” He can be reached on Twitter @lincolnablades and on Facebook at Lincoln Anthony Blades.