Selfish People Live Longer?

Sometimes I wish I could unlearn a lot of what I learned growing up. Okay if I am being completely honest, there may be some falsity in that statement, but I do wish I could change my environment, and the only way I know to do that is to ignore some of the teachings of my parents.

Growing up, my parents taught me to always help others and keep my ego in check. These teachings were reiterated to me while I completed my degree with a minor in religion studies. I spent many of my adolescent and adult years trying to implement these teachings, but the truth is, it’s exhausting! I often find myself being time poor and struggling to keep my own life balanced. I wish I could say “no” to people and take some time for myself, but I feel that would contradict what my parents and religion have taught me, selfless service.

I recently watched a movie, and in it, one of the secondary characters said that “Selfish People Live Longer” and I couldn’t help but think that she might be on to something. Sometimes, I wish I possessed the ability to express how I felt and thought without offending those around me. I find that I try to help people so much that I end up neglecting myself, and that it is my downfall. People have come to expect that I will help them, and if I don’t, I am perceived in a negative light.

Perhaps I have taken the teachings of my parents too literally and need to learn to be a bit more selfish. But, I don’t know how to do that without offending those that are close to me. I guess this is something that I will learn overtime, I’m not too sure.


2 thoughts on “Selfish People Live Longer?

  1. Very inciteful, especially for a “people pleaser” like me. I think that one really needs to appreciate that being “selfish” has got a bad rap of late. It’s not a zero sum game – how can you take care of and give to others without first taking care of and nourishing the Self? To quote the terrific RuPaul – “How the hell you gonna love someone else if you don’t’ LOVE YOURSELF?”. Loving yourself means being selfish and that means saying no. You have to put yourself first so you can be the best person you can – the person that is capable of giving and serving others. That’s the positive of being selfish and there is nothing wrong with it. 🙂

    • I couldn’t have said it better Wes. I think we’re all a product of social conditioning that makes us feel awful for wanting to be a bit selfish. When in reality we all need to be a bit selfish in order to help more people in the long term.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s