I love breaking down the myths, assumptions and definitions of the ways that we take care of ourselves and show ourselves love. This blog post is no different!
When we typically think of a selfish person, we think of a person that prioritizes their needs, and their needs alone.
Selfishness means to only see yourself, your needs and your wants without recognizing that others also exist in spaces to have their needs and wants met. For someone to be considered selfish, they usually:
- Lack caring for others
- Fail to recognize the needs of others
- Use blame and shame to get what they want
- Get what they want by any means necessary
Sometimes when we discuss prioritizing yourself when practicing self-care, the concept of selfishness is also thrown into the mix. There are also social, generational, gender-based and cultural implications that tie selfishness and practicing self-care together. For instance, I am familiar with many people from my cultural community who view self-care as not caring for your family and choosing to focus on yourself. There is history behind this perspective that impacts many people of color and their ability to practice self-care.
That’s where the definition of self-worth comes in. Valuing yourself means to identify your own needs and creating time, space and energy to take care of those needs. Finding yourself worthy of care also means setting and maintaining boundaries with others that may have different values.
Self-worth is recognizing that you and others have needs and have value. Self-worth includes understanding that there is space for all of us to take care of ourselves.
The biggest difference between selfishness and self-worth is the understanding that just because you care for yourself, does not mean you do not care for others. In fact, because you care for yourself, you are better able to care for others.
What are your definitions of self-worth and selfishness?