Are you Selfish or Selfless?

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Find out how Selfishness can be a Good Quality.

Being healthy often requires personal Selfishness. Socially we are taught not to be selfish because selfishness does not lead us to be good “citizens”, or functional members of any group—family or social culture. For the purpose of a functional society it is good to have selfless members of society.

Many women suffer health problems such as depression and anxiety, obesity, and even denial and guilt because they have learned that “selfishness” is a bad thing. Women are acculturated in our society to be “selfless” to give of themselves in service of those they care for to the point of not really taking care of themselves. This week we are discussing this phenomenon and identifying some of the reasons it happens and giving women seven tools to help them learn to be “healthy” selfish rather than “selfless”. It many ways it is like the airline spiel you get when you fly. You know, when they say if you are travelling with small children or elderly people and the oxygen masks drop, put your own on first or you will not be able to help the others.

Brett and I both believe that it is more healthy to have boundaries, to learn to say “no”, and to say “I want” in order to take care of yourself. If you learn the balance point of “healthy selfish” you will learn to discriminate between losing yourself in the service of others and being narcissistically self focused. Balance is the key ingredient. Most women are not going to be happy unless they can give to and do for others, but they are also not going to be happy without being able to “own” their personal needs and wishes as things that are legitimate for them to do. In our society we use guilt as a lever to manipulate people into doing what we want them to do. If we can use guilt feelings for not giving us what we want we are more likely to have them surrender their own choice and self care in service of meetings our needs and desires.

We will be talking about this reality and about how to fight beyond it to a balanced or nuanced place where women can chose the healthy tipping point between healthy self care and loss of self, which is destructive and even deadly. Some of the tools we share are very difficult for grown up co-dependent women to learn. An example is the ability to say “no” when someone asks or expects you to do so and then be quiet. We always feel like we have to justify why we say no so that the other will still like us or “love” us. We want you to learn to say no and be quiet. If someone should push you even more, the next thing to learn to say is “ that won’t work for me.” And then be quiet again.

Listen to our podcast to learn why this matters and how to do it. We want you to be “healthy” selfish and not “selfless”. If you are conditioned to be selfless you are more likely to be angry and depressed and not happy. You can freely care for others and do things they want you to do and be happy about it rather than angry and depressed and guilt stricken by learning to be “healthy selfish.” Listen and find out how.

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