Looking Out For Yourself Vs. Being Selfish

I was in a relationship once where I was always looking out for him. Looking for ways to help him succeed, to make his life easier. And in the same breath, I was always changing myself for him. Forcing myself to like that he moved away for his job when I wasn’t allowed to move away for college. Forcing myself to hang out with his friends or like his friends when I had to limit my friend group because of his jealousy.

Obviously, it was not a healthy relationship. Even on my end. And after we broke up I decided I just needed to do what’s best for me and stop caring about other people, at least for a little while.

I took it to a bit of an extreme, not really caring about other people’s feelings, constantly hurting people even if that wasn’t my intent. But I felt like I did what I had to do to feel like I owned myself. I was being selfish and I don’t regret it.

I think everyone should be a little selfish sometimes. But I have a hard time drawing the line between doing what’s best for me and being selfish. Especially in a relationship. Because a healthy relationship requires a lot of give and take. I feel like I often take too much, I still have that little voice in the back of my mind that is pushing me to succeed, pushing me to do the things I need to do to be happy.

You can’t always do those things though when there’s someone else to consider. I struggle with it because I don’t want to put my life, career, or happiness on hold for anyone. But I also don’t want to hurt anyone anymore either. Where’s the middle ground?

19 thoughts on “Looking Out For Yourself Vs. Being Selfish

  1. I’m a dog sitter and I had a client who – to make a long story short – expected me to be at their beck and call. For a long time I was totally blind to it until a loved one helped me by opening up my eyes to the truth.

    I tried to make the client understand that I couldn’t work that way anymore but they never changed so I ended up quitting.

    The money was very good but my health is much more important.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I tend to follow the idea they if you aren’t happy you can’t make others happy. So ultimately one should be selfish about their own happiness while still maintaining empathy towards others. It can be tough to balance that, but again, I’ve found that if I am not happy I don’t do a good job of making anyone else happy. So in some ways, my selfishness is for their benefit. Yeah, that’s it! Lol. Seriously though, one must be happy in order to spread happiness.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for commenting! I agree and had kind of forgotten that was the path I was taking when I first began to put myself first. I needed to do it to be a happier person and really couldn’t be happy in a relationship until I did that for myself

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I agree!! I make it known in my relationships now that I’m putting myself first. I’ve learned the hard way that pushing my emotions aside for someone else ALL THE TIME will only hurt me in the long run. I know now what to choose and when to better my relationship with myself and then with others in the process


  3. Nothing wrong with being a little selfish at times. You can’t devote yourself completely to someone else if you are neglecting yourself. Its all about compromise and balancing your efforts between you and them.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I don’t see anything wrong with focusing on yourself and pushing yourself towards your goals, but it’s probably not the ideal setup for a relationship. If one party focuses on themselves and the other on the relationship, then one person eventually begins to feel taken advantage of. If both parties focus on themselves, then they might inevitably go their separate ways when they come to an impasse where someone has to put self on hold for the other person to succeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is such a debate with everyone. The brain says we are being “selfish” whereas the heart clearly signals that we are just “looking out for ourselves”.
    There is a thin line between them and in the end this so called “selfishness” is what saves ourselves.
    Well said by you! Also I’m sorry for your loss but I’m glad you chose your own self before anyone else. It’s never easy.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think that in a healthy relationship, it should be a two way thing, and when it comes to a point where one is trying to look out and help the other to the point that it badly hurts, then I think then it is time to break apart, especially if it has not lasted for a considerable amount of time. In very long term relationships, it is harder to tell.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. As long as that’s your top priority, it’s not selfish. It’s more selfish to stay in a relationship where you’re not happy because the other person knows they aren’t making you happy and they probably can’t because it’s not working.


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