I read an article in Red yesterday about how to be a good mum, you need to be selfish sometimes and when my flatmate got home yesterday evening she told me she’d ended things with her boyfriend.
It was a fairly new relationship, but she’s not had many relationships before and I think it was quite a big deal for her (whatever she might say), but anyway, he’s been a little ill recently but over the last few weeks he’s been completely MIA. No texts, not answering phone calls – zilch. She got the train up to see him at home last week and it seemed to improve things; she discussed the lack of communication and he seemed to understand, but for the last week and a half, she’s not heard a peep and has done her best to get hold of him, short of turning up on his doorstep again.
Anyway, she ended it and it made me think back to the article in Red. I think we all need to be a bit selfish in our lives to be the best we can be, to ourselves and to others around us.
I’ve always tried to be true to myself and have worked on the mantra; “If you feel something, it’s the truth.” By this I mean, if you feel like doing something, then it’s probably what you should do…if you feel like NOT doing something, then don’t do it etc. Obviously this is within reason…we can’t just go about our lives doing whatever we want whenever we want to, but for the most part I try to do what feels right…in whatever context.
Remember the ‘Yes Man’? I’m fully in support of the ‘say yes to everything’ thesis, but I take it a slightly different way. I say: “Say yes to yourself!” – If someone asks you to go somewhere or do something and your gut reaction is ‘yes’, then say ‘yes’ – not to them, but to yourself. Likewise if someone invites you out or to an event and your instinct is to say ‘no’ then say ‘yes’ – to yourself!
“Saying yes to saying no” may sound like a bizarre, complex way of looking at things, but I’m all for saying yes to whatever fancy strikes you or whatever instinct takes hold, even if that means you have to say no. Have you ever been on a night out with friends and reached the point where you just want to go home? – I’m sure everyone has – but you’ve carried on through peer pressure, guilt, a feeling of duty etc. and therefore had a miserable night after? Well I take these instances and say; If your body and mind say you want to go home…just say yes to them! Go home and you’ll have had a better experience in the end.
The article recalled Airline emergency procedures; Always secure your own oxygen mask before helping others. This is because if you don’t do whats best for you, how can you be of any use to anyone else?
If you spend your life living for others and doing things you don’t want to do, you’re not going to have a very fulfilled life. If you’re not a little selfish now and then, and do what’s right for you, you’re not going to be the best person you can be, and really, is that good for anyone?
So go on, sometimes it’s ok to be selfish!