Advice wanted: Being Selfish

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    Mar 12, 2011 10:52 PM GMT
    I'm going to open this up to the forums because my mind's left the domain of "surface thought" and I'm stuck in a never-ending cycle of analysis. I'm sure my situation is NOT unique and that others have some input in this issue.

    To summarize: I can neither let other people take care of me nor can I have a selfish and indulgent time around the presence of others.

    Perhaps some background information might be helpful. I don't believe I've any self-confidence issues as I am quite able to carry a conversation with others and wouldn't shy of taking charge. I believe I possess quite a large capacity for cognitive thought and because of such, I tend to analyze anything and everything when I've the time. That being said, I'm quite in touch with my emotions and the word "empathetic' has been used quite often to describe me.

    Going back to the topic at hand. I can never seem to let myself be selfish and self-indulgent when it comes to dealing with other people. I get an incredible amount of satisfaction by the mere act of helping people out and making THEM happy but when the reverse is applied, I feel quite awkward. I'm quite comfortable making sure other people are happy but can never feel completely at ease when others tend to my needs. I go a certain distance and feel a mental brake being applied in my head. I believe this habit stems from my upbringing. I have always grown up having independence being a part of the foundation of my morality and core values. This may be possibly linked to my having unconventional views of life and my habit of being a contrarian.

    Why I guess I'm asking from the RJ community are suggestions for opening up this self-created abode I've created for myself and learning to be selfish around other people. Don't get me wrong; when I'm by myself, I do my own things and create my own happiness. The thing is...this sort of behaviour can't be healthy in the long run and this is certainly not a desirable trait when forming relationships in dating or in general. A one-sided give-and-take can only go on for so long. It's true that I'm just a 20-year-old guy and some people may just categorize this under my lacking experience or being naive of how the world is but I truly believe that this sort of set-up is atypical and I've love your opinion on it. For those who will say "just don't give a shit about what anyone will say/how anyone will react", I counter with the fact that I really don't enjoy whatever I'm doing when being self-indulgent around others. It seriously ruins the mood, at least for me that is.

    Thanks.
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    Mar 13, 2011 12:47 AM GMT
    Here are two things I've learned which may or may not be applicable to you:
    - Sometimes people-pleasing gets muddled into generosity towards others. The generosity part is great, but the part where you are desperate for acceptance by others is not.
    - Sometimes it takes humility to accept what others want to give you, to realize that you aren't self-sufficient.

    In general, I don't think people need to learn how to be selfish because it comes quite naturally. I think if you are prone to generosity, then it's a character trait you want to keep.
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    Mar 13, 2011 1:02 AM GMT
    You are not the only one to have this problem…even for me when I date a guy I used to feel awkward when I let him buy me dinner. Over time I just came to say…well I drove down to see the guy and that cost gas money so he buys me dinner and we call it equal. In other words I would justify letting him buy me dinner by finding something that I did of equal value. Bad way to think about it.

    So I got older and met more guys and talked more and learned it was more about give and take and that we all have things to give that the other guy may not. Take the last relationship I was in, the guy was very successful and he loved to take me out to dinner and buy me a gift every now and then. Yes it made me feel very awkward getting all of this and not being able to do the same in return for him and one night we were cuddling in bed and I brought the subject up. The reason he did it was b/c he was not good at expressing his feeling verbally like I was and so this was how he could say he cared about me and wanted to make me happy.

    As for other guys it took time and had to get used to knowing that I was ok to let someone buy me dinner, or be somewhat selfish at times and long as I understood that it is ok for others to be selfish at times as well and that we can not always be taken care of to take care of other people. Let someone take you out every now and then and you be somewhat selfish from time to time…if your friends what to go out and you really want to say in, then stay in. The world will not end and you need to take care of yourself from time to time so that when the time comes you can take care of others.
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    Mar 13, 2011 1:08 AM GMT
    No need to change your attitude--it's all good. In fact, I need me some cash--please send me some? It will make you feel good.


    Money Pictures, Images and Photos





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    Mar 13, 2011 1:09 AM GMT
    There's nothing wrong with the traits you've described, but keep a few things in mind:

    1) Not letting other people care for you, indulge you, pamper you, or otherwise show their appreciation for you deprives others of the opportunity to experience the same satisfaction you get from helping others.

    2) Perhaps not now, or even in the very near future, but eventually you're going to start feeling the strain of being pulled in every direction and feeling obligated to a help a lot of people....who would likely not help you.

    Surround yourself with good people, continue to be supportive of people, but be cautious not to give too much of yourself away, and let the people close to you do things for you.......it makes for stronger relationships in the longrun.
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    Mar 13, 2011 1:16 AM GMT
    I confess I'm the exact opposite. I don't have any problems with indulging. To some extent, it was my upbringing too since I'm the youngest and my parents (and even my brother and sisters) pampered me growing up.

    Having said that, I don't think there's anything wrong with you getting satisfaction from making other people happy. It's quite admirable actually. From the sounds of it, I feel like you take pleasure out of that too so I don't see the point of trying to change that. Plus, the fact that you're aware of this trait makes you at least able to recognize when other people are taking advantage of you by taking your generosity too far.

    Just think this: When other people are tending to your needs, they might be doing it because it satsifies them as well- and you don't want to be the one to deprive them of that satisfaction- no matter if you benefit in the process. As long as you don't abuse them yourself.

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    Mar 13, 2011 2:01 AM GMT

    "Going back to the topic at hand. I can never seem to let myself be selfish and self-indulgent when it comes to dealing with other people. I get an incredible amount of satisfaction by the mere act of helping people out and making THEM happy but when the reverse is applied, I feel quite awkward."


    This is the crux of the matter, I think. When you do for others what makes you happy? Their reactions, likely. Return the favour. For some reason you're interpreting this as 'selfish and self-indulgent'. Wherever did you come to this conclusion, young Jedi?

    -Doug
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    Mar 13, 2011 2:30 AM GMT
    Another good question to ask yourself is this: When they accept your giving and it makes you feel good, do you think THEY are being selfish and self-indulgent?
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    Mar 13, 2011 3:14 AM GMT
    I don't think it's a question of being selfish...I think it's a question of learning to accept and appreciate what others have to bring to the table as well.