“When you say ‘yes’ to others, make sure you’re not saying ‘no’ to yourself.”
-Paulo Cohelo

When is it good to be selfish?

Caring for others and helping them is no doubt, an admirable quality in everyone. Without that aspect of humanity, the world would never move forward.

But it’s crucial to keep one thing in mind when doing so: you’re no good to others if you aren’t good to yourself.

Before I go any further, let me give an example. Say a family member’s birthday is coming up and you can’t afford to get them something brand new so you decide to give them something you have that’s perhaps of little or no use to you.

Whatever it is, whether it’s an electronic device or a piece of clothing, you wouldn’t gift it to them straight out of your closet or drawer would you? You would make sure to polish it and present it to them in the best possible condition. Otherwise, not only does it look bad on your part but it’s also of little use to them.

If you use dirty water to clean yourself, you just become dirtier.

Similarly, when you want to help others as much as you possibly can, your help will be of little use if you’re not your best. If you’re dealing with issues of your own that are distracting your mindset at the time, you won’t be able to think clearly of other people’s issues.

Or worse yet, you might think of something that’ll bring more harm to them than rectification.

Especially if you’re helping someone grudgingly, the negativity surrounding the assistance has the potential to rub off. By the same token, if you’ve taken care of your own needs, you’re more content to help and in turn, that contentment will spread to the people you’re helping.

There’s a reason why flight instructions always advise you to put on an oxygen mask yourself before assisting others should there be any turbulence.

In order for any endeavors to progress, we need to help others any way we can. But that help should always start with ourselves.

How important is self-care to you? Do you agree with the points about it made in this article? Why or why not? Share your thoughts and experiences by commenting below on our secure servers.

Hi, I'm Neel! I'm a writer (fiction and poetry), a journalist and currently working in the advertising business. I'm also a mental health advocate, having been diagnosed with clinical depression a few years ago.
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