Is Focusing on Your Own Needs and Wants Selfish?

miriam slozberg

Putting the needs and wants of others before your’s is what is acceptable to society. If you end up putting your own needs and wants before anyone else’s, then you are considered to be selfish. I am sorry, however that belief is what is unacceptable. Am I saying to ignore everyone else’s needs and wants? Not at all. However, think about this. If you give, give and give to everyone else and keep putting your needs and wants last- the reservoir, being you will run out. When that happens, you will start feeling resentful and will end up shutting down. How can you possibly be good for anyone else?

Women particularly fall victim to that, especially if they are married and/or have children. Many give of themselves and don’t get much in return. It is one thing to put the needs of the kids’ before the mother’s. However, the mother becomes so used to giving that she will end up putting everyone else’s needs before her’s. That always leads to anger, resentment, depression, burnout and just not giving a flick about anything. If her needs and wants were met, then she would not have that kind of negative result. She will keep giving in a healthy way.

Even though society expects you to always put your needs last, and to put everyone else’s needs before yours- I am telling you if you do that, you will have nothing left to give. Giving AND receiving is what keeps everyone healthy. It’s all about balance.

For instance, in order to keep the balance healthy- set boundaries on what you are willing to do for others and what you won’t. Never say “yes” to someone asking you for a favor if you really don’t want to do that favor. That will lead to resentment. Always make sure there is time for ME time. Even if you are mom of a young child or child with special needs- it is crucial to have that ME time. Even if that means having a bath, reading a book or watching a movie and not allowing for any interruptions during that time. Find someone else to help you out if you don’t have a partner. Find time to go out and have a coffee. Do something for you. Otherwise if you always neglect your own needs- your reservoir will run out and how will that be helpful? Especially to your kids? Remember- you can’t put someone else’s oxygen mask before you put your own on. Society has it wrong because your own needs and wants are just as important as the needs and wants of others.

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