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12 Things You Do Which Make People Think You’re Selfish But You’re Actually Not

12 Things You Do Which Make People Think You’re Selfish But You’re Actually Not

Do you worry that you could seem selfish? Many people worry about how they come across to other people, but often people confuse being selfish with loving yourself and having self-respect. People who love themselves are often much happier, so it can be beneficial to embrace these so-called ‘selfish’ traits.

Here are 12 things that people may find selfish, but are actually not.

1. You Aren’t Selfish For Being Motivated

Do not feel ashamed or worried about being motivated. Whether you do overtime every week or run every morning, be proud of yourself for caring and pushing yourself. People may perceive this as selfish, but this may be for their own selfish reasons, like needing you to be around more often to help them with their needs.

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2. You Aren’t Selfish For Not Apologising If You’re Not Sorry

It is important to stand up for your beliefs and opinions – these shape who you are as a person, and you should be proud of them. Listen to other’s opinions with an open mind and share your own in the knowledge that you are not being selfish.

3. You Aren’t Selfish For Ending A Toxic Relationship

Being aware you are in an unhealthy relationship and taking action requires self-respect. Be proud to surround yourself with people who celebrate who you are and bring no toxic elements into your life.

4. You Aren’t Selfish For Having Different Life Priorities Than Others

If something is important to you, then it is important. If someone make you feel guilty for wanting to travel or work, they are being selfish themselves. Take care of your own priorities, and the people who truly care about you will understand and respect that.

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5. You Aren’t Selfish For Enjoying Time Alone

Taking ‘me’ time and looking after your own needs is a very important part of your general happiness. Anyone who begrudges your time alone may themselves struggle to be alone, so realize this is their problem and not a fault of your own.

6. You Aren’t Selfish Because You Like To Treat Yourself

As well as treating your friends and loved ones, it is essential to treat yourself, as you should love yourself just as much as you love the important people in your life. While it is selfish to only treat yourself, realize your happiness is your priority – so make yourself happy!

7. You Aren’t Selfish For Saying No

Saying no and having limitations is a sign of your self-respect. You don’t have to agree to do something if you don’t want to; most successful people have become so successful due to their ability to say no. Be polite and gracious about saying no, and realize it isn’t selfish to focus on your own goals – you simply know your priorities.

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8. You Aren’t Selfish For Making Different Decisions Than Others

If you want to live outside of other people’s conventions, that is fine. If you don’t want to get married, or have children, or even have a normal job – that is your choice and no-one else’s. Making that choice for someone else is selfish, but choosing it for yourself simply means you know what you want from life.

9. You Aren’t Selfish Because You’re Not Perfect

No-one is perfect, and worrying about being perfect can be emotionally damaging. Embrace your flaws and work on any that you would like to change – this shows progression and self-awareness, rather than selfishness.

10. You Aren’t Selfish For Following Your Dreams

If you need to move to the other side of the world to follow your dreams, that is fine. If you need to quit your job and go back to college, that is fine too. Don’t let yourself live a life of regret because you were worried about being selfish.

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11. You Aren’t Selfish For Standing Your Ground

Sticking up for your opinions shows you care about what you believe in. Whether it is your morals, ethics, political or religious beliefs, they are yours and you have a right to think them. If you are open to other people’s ideas and accept there are different ways of thinking, you are safe in the knowledge that you are not selfish.

12. You Aren’t Selfish For Not Replying To People Immediately

While it can be selfish to purposefully ignore people who are counting on you, it is not selfish to prioritize. If you have received a text and you are halfway through cooking, it is totally acceptable to finish up what you are doing before you reply. You will get back to them – you don’t need to put everything on hold to reply to someone.

Can you think of any other traits people often believe are selfish? Comment your ideas below!

Featured photo credit: Natalie Shuttleworth via flickr.com

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Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

More Resources About Job Interviews

Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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