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AIBU about being selfish?

(16 Posts)
giantpurplepeopleeater Mon 10-Mar-14 16:26:23

Just want to take a quick straw pole here, no one particular situation to relate this too. I've also been reading a few of the threads on here and it has me wondering.

Is being selfish, looking out for what is best for you, really that bad?

I have had a few instances of late where things have happened where I have just thought 'fuck it', I'm going to do what I want, what I think is best for my and my DS, what causes the least hassle/ least detriment to me. Because honestly, I'm tired of putting myself out for people who just wouldn't think to do the same when I needed it!

Is that really so bad?

I mean yes, there are times and places where you can be helpful to others and do things for family and friends because you love them. But is it really so bad to put your and your families needs before those of others?

If you don't then who will?

Do you always do things if it benefits others? Is being selfish really that bad as long as you're not intentionally hurting anyone be doing so?

LaurieFairyCake Mon 10-Mar-14 16:27:09

No, you're supposed to do that all the time.

Nomama Mon 10-Mar-14 16:29:00

I'm saying nothing. I'm newish here and have been found wanting/selfish when I least expected it smile

But yes, charity begins at home, look after number one etc. Sometimes you just have to. Especially when you have recognised the weasels who never reciprocate.

ISeeYouShiverWithAntici Mon 10-Mar-14 16:31:33

I think it depends.

someone who only ever thinks of themselves is not a nice person.

However, what you describe and call selfish doesn't seem so to me. Putting your family's needs ahead of people who are happy to take from you but who have shown themselves to not be people willing to give - that's not selfish. It's sensible!

giantpurplepeopleeater Mon 10-Mar-14 16:33:27

Nomama - I think we are very quick to judge in general.

And yet we don't know anyones circumstances or what else is going on in their lives that might lead them to believe it is the best decision.

I just get the feeling sometimes that I am expected to be all compassionate, supportive, ever giving, and yet if I do that I have nothing left for me and DS.

And I see it on posts all the time. People being criticised because they didn't put the other person first.

Yes, someone may be going through a tough time and need support,but if you're going through a tough time yourself are you really in a position to be the person to do that?

Stinklebell Mon 10-Mar-14 16:36:05

Nope, I don't think so.

I'm happy to help out, but I will always put my family's needs before anyone else.

I get fed up with giving things up and putting myself out for other people all the time, if that's selfish, then fine. I need to look after myself ahead of others sometimes.

Dinosaursareextinct Mon 10-Mar-14 16:38:37

I think life is so much nicer for everyone if people do actually think about others. Even if only in little everyday ways. Like letting other cars out in front of you, or offering a seat in the train to a pregnant woman, or moving out of the way of people in the street, rather than hogging the pavement, or offering to help out an elderly/housebound neighbour, or to look after a child if their parent really needs help. Just being aware of others and caring a bit about their needs. Why don't we seem to want to live in a society like that?
In bigger things, maybe give way to others if it means much more to them?
There are plenty of people around who will do nothing whatever to benefit anyone other than themselves or their family. Eg all those people who don't even bother to phone up to cancel their GP or hospital appointment.
Who said that we are supposed to put ourselves first, Laurie? Is that a new law or something?

giantpurplepeopleeater Mon 10-Mar-14 16:40:03

ISeeYouShiver - I am currently being described by a member of my family as selfish. As I have not chosen to put myself out for them.

I think this is what I mean... there is an ever present use of the word selfish if you are not prepared to give of yourself to others.

I don't want mention other threads, but there is one on the boar din particular that was calling someone selfish and I really think that in general we are too quick to use that word, and in a negative way.

HermioneWeasley Mon 10-Mar-14 16:40:46

You have a responsibility to take care of your family, that's not selfish. Doing things only benefit you with no thought and massive inconvenience to others is selfish (eg: reserving sun loungers when there's limited space. IME of looking round loads of "reserved" sun loungers, if people only used them when they actually needed them, there would be enough for everyone)

Petty example, but a lot of selfish acts are.

giantpurplepeopleeater Mon 10-Mar-14 16:42:29

Dinosaur, I wasn't really talking about the little things I suppose.

But then I don't see any of them as really putting myself out. Although I realise some people do.

I meant giving of yourself - your time, your energy, your support, sometimes even your money. If you decide not to do one of these things, for whatever reason, is it really that bad, or deemed selfish in a negative way, if you feel you have good reason?

HermioneWeasley Mon 10-Mar-14 16:42:51

OP, I don't think it's selfish not to choose to put yourself out. I am always astonished at stories of cheekiness and high sense of entitlement that are on here - never experienced them in my friends and family in RL

Nomama Mon 10-Mar-14 16:44:00

No, there are always times when you and yours just have to come first.

It is, ime, natural to want to help others. But sometimes life gets in the way, or you get tired of forever giving to people for whom 'thank you' seems to be utterly alien.

I remember the first time I ever had the thought that I was just empty of compassion. It was the year after Live Aid, 1986, and I just couldn't give anything to anyone. The TV adverts just annoyed me... I felt so ashamed of that feeling for a very long time.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 10-Mar-14 16:44:01

'You put your own oxygen mask on first' is the right metaphor

Of course love others but love yourself first

Dinosaursareextinct Mon 10-Mar-14 16:46:38

I think that it is selfish not to put yourself out at all for others who need your support, but fair enough to draw a line at the stage when you are exhausted, etc. Where you draw the line would depend on the other person's need. Also your moral obligation will be higher for some people than others, eg very high for your mum, much lower for an acquaintance.
If you see someone dying in the street - I think you should put yourself out quite a lot.
If your mum needs a bit of help - likewise.

FrenchJunebug Mon 10-Mar-14 17:15:50

hard to answer without any examples but how would you feel if somebody else did the same 'selfish' things and you had to suffer the consequences?!

Dinosaursareextinct Mon 10-Mar-14 17:41:33

I think that in our society it has become too acceptable to be selfish. Some even see it as morally right to be selfish.
I went on a first aid training course and was really shocked on being constantly told that the most important thing for a first aider is never to put themselves in danger, even if it means the other person dying.

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