When we are taught throughout our lives to empathize, think about others, and respond to social problems, it is hard for us to find an emotional space just for ourselves. In a culture of rush, loyalty to the employer and increasingly harder to maintain friendly or partner contacts, we often devote all our time and energy to others. As a result, we become stressed, depressed, and our perception of the world is flattened. That’s why we’re going to show you how to become selfish in a positive sense.
Remember that caring for yourself is the best gift you can give yourself and others. This is a situation similar to the one on an aeroplane – in case of problems, you put the oxygen mask on yourself first, and then on the children, so that you can react consciously and make rational decisions. So if you want to maintain healthy relationships, you must first learn to take care of yourself.
Look at yourself from the side – exercise 1
During this assignment, you need to think about someone important to you, whom you respect, or who makes you feel sympathetic and positive. Imagine this person behaving exactly like you during their daily activities. He eats irregularly, sleeps too little, quickly becomes frustrated, cannot refuse, takes on too many responsibilities.
Now think about how you would like to help someone with this lifestyle. What would you like to say to this person? What advice would you give him? In the end, you will face the most challenging task – following your directions.
Make a balance sheet – exercise 2
Recall the positive character from the previous exercise again, i.e., someone you like. If this person faced a serious problem, such as divorce or the death of a loved one, what could you do for them? How much would you be able to sacrifice for them? Now ask yourself the most crucial question: would you do the same for yourself?
Taking care of yourself is a symptom of maturity, not selfish thinking. Take a look at yourself, your behaviour, and the habits you have developed in the context of your commitment to others. Take a piece of paper, make a table of what you have done recently for others, and next to it, write down the things that you have managed to do only for yourself. The greater the disproportion between the number of items in the tables, the more work for you to do.
Organize the calendar – exercise 3
Now it’s time to look at your calendar. If you haven’t started keeping one, then now is the time to do so. Good organization is the basis, and without it, we will not be able to manage our responsibilities to find time for “selfish” pleasures.
When keeping a calendar, write down everything meticulously. Try not to arrange meetings at the last minute, and also make a new “window” in which you will write down at least one thing a day that you did only for yourself and your own satisfaction. Try to include at least one item each day, and over time you will automatically start thinking about everyday pleasure just for yourself. Our advice: don’t let go, be systematic about it!
Think about yourself – exercise 4
When was the last time you thought about yourself, your experiences and the things that give you joy? Now it’s time for you to keep a record of all thoughts about yourself – like a monitoring machine. Notice when you see yourself negatively in your head and why, when and in what situations you give up on your own needs, how you feel at the end of each day – happy and fulfilled or exhausted?
Remember, you need to become your best friend, take care of yourself, and focus on the signals coming from your body and mind. Watch yourself, read the signs, and start living primarily for yourself.