Being healthy selfish is a very important topic for all you naturally submissive/givers of the world. The word selfish is often associated with being self-centered, out for yourself, arrogant etc. Healthy selfish however, is more about setting boundaries with yourself and others, so don’t worry you will still be a nice person!
It is about making sure that your “cup” is being filled, and when it starts to run low, you have the ability to recognize it and refill it up.
Making time for yourself
I always pride myself in responding to any emails received as fast as I can, with a personal touch and keen interest. This winter however, I have been touring more than usual, meaning more emails and room for potential time wasters… As a result of a busier schedule, I have had less time for myself, training and inevitably have become run down & unwell with the cold. (Boohoo!)
This has caused me to reassess things. Tours will be planned in advance, with sufficient recovery breaks in between and not be so harsh on myself with correspondence. My aim will be to reply to all emails within 24hours, or by the end of the following day. Rather than replying at various points throughout the day.
I also have to make a “no favors” rule for anyone, as I have learnt, it seems, the more you give the more you get let down and it is only fair everyone is treated equally, right?
If you are the type of person that can easily say “no” to others with a healthy motivation behind it, congrats! However you’re thinking if only it was that easy and often find yourself more often than not wanting to make others happy and as a result feel emotionally overwhelmed and/or drained, you might just need a quick lesson in healthy selfish.
As I mentioned earlier we often hear the word “selfish” and automatically equate it with unpleasant behavior. The word itself has a per-existing negative connotation because the definition of selfish is as follows: chiefly concerned with one’s own interest.
You may be asking, why am I promoting this displeasing behavior?
How to be Healthy Selfish
There are some distinguishing qualities that separate someone from being “selfish” vs “healthy selfish”
Let’s revisit the cup analogy. Imagine a nice full cup, I personally like to imagine that mine is full of a warm cup of breakfast tea, but pick whatever fluid best fits you.
Now because you’re such a kind soul, you enjoy sharing your tea…or what have you. You offer it up to your friends when they need comforting, your lover when they have needs, your children because someone has to take care of them, your boss when they don’t want to do their own job. Basically everyone is taking turns sipping at your cup, and when you have all of that to give, it’s super!!
Sometimes you have to say, enough is enough!
Now let’s say your significant other, boss or friends aren’t sipping from the cup, but rather taking shots from it as if they are on a bender at a nightclub. You find yourself in an uncomfortable position. Not wanting to rock the boat, or hurt anyone’s feelings so you allow them to keep taking. You find your cup is now very low. You’re exhausted, maybe you feel like a failure, maybe your angry and slightly resentful.
Don’t these people realize you are doing everything you can to quench their never-ending thirst?! No, not necessarily and sadly most people don’t realize this. Some people just downright don’t give a shit and will happily take advantage of your cup, and they’ll blame you when it’s empty. They are, dare we say *gasp* selfish?! Some of them, yes, but the worst reality is that they are right.
Why? Because, it’s your responsibility to tell people when you’re running low and don’t have much to give.
Time to be my kind of Selfish
The exciting part is you don’t have to be an asshole about it. You can simply say “no,” “not right now,” “unfortunately I can’t,” “I need some time for myself,” as well as a long list of other options. I was and still have the tendency to be a people pleaser, but I found the more people took, the less happy I was.
It is vital to be aware of the toxic people in your life. I’m not saying everyone is bad. Some are unaware, some have no idea that they are taking. People unfortunately, will prey on your kindness, like it’s a sport. This is a very disheartening experience.
Many clients who meet me as submissive and it often makes me wander if they find themselves hurt because they expect others to be nice, a little appreciative… etc. Having the expectation that someone will be nice to you in return, or be there for you is a set up. Not only to them, but also to yourself.
What I give, I expect to receive
I’m not saying don’t expect anything from anyone, but understand that kindness is a good deed, but reciprocation of a good deed makes it a job. Expect nothing from anyone. For when you receive something in return you will then be pleasantly surprised.
So what can we take away from healthy selfish?! It’s OK to say NO. The more you take time to fill up your own cup the more time you can give to others. When that cup is low, the quality of what you have to give will not be at it’s finest or coming from the best place. Don’t give all of yourself and then become disappointed or upset when it’s not returned. Learn how to set boundaries with people, and avoid being a doormat.
It’s incredibly empowering and this awareness and ability can change your relationships. Good and bad, will also make you feel more confident and help bring more positive people into your life.