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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 August 4, 2020

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here’s how to master the Gentle Art of Saying No:

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1. Value Your Time

Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”

2. Know Your Priorities

Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?

For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.

3. Practice Saying No

Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.

4. Don’t Apologize

A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.

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5. Stop Being Nice

Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets.

Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.

6. Say No to Your Boss

Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no,” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning.

But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.

7. Pre-Empting

It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting,

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“Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”

8. Get Back to You

Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them:

“After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.”

At least you gave it some consideration.

9. Maybe Later

If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say,

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“This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].”

Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.

10. It’s Not You, It’s Me

This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often, the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time.

Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

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Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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