Selfishness is a word that we are all too familiar with. “Self–ish-ness…” it’s about our tendency to put ourselves, our needs, our desires, our plans, our reputations before other people.
Everybody is bound to be selfish at time to time. A selfish person also ends up losing friends or loved ones because no matter how charming or interesting a selfish person may be, a relationship with a selfish person is hard to maintain. A truly selfish person would never consider the possibility that they are selfish. Many think selfishness and pride are good things, and that putting the needs of others above your own.
Problem is we notice it when other people are being selfish to us, we notice when they put themselves and their own interests before ours but we rarely notice when it’s us who are being selfish. In fact, for most of my life, I never once thought of myself as being selfish when the reality was that sometimes I was interested in myself more than others.
How about you? How often do you think of yourself being selfish as opposed to other people being selfish towards you?
If you’re worried that you’re too selfish and want to be on the path to gratitude and humility, then see these steps and get started.
- Put yourself last
If you’re a selfish person, then chances are that you’re always looking for the no. 1 spot. You have to change that as soon as you can if you want to start living a life filled with joy and free of selfishness. The next time you’re doing something, whether you’re in line at a ticket counter or waiting for your seat on the bus or train, stop and let the other people have what they want first, whether it’s food, comfort, or ease. Don’t be the person who always thinks me, me, and me has to get everything first. Remember that other people are every bit as special as you are, and that other people deserve to get what they want, too.
- Put yourself in someone else’s shoes
Walking in another man’s shoes can change your life for eternity. Of course, you won’t be able to actually do this, but you can put in the effort into thinking about the other people around you and considering how they might be feeling in any given situation. Consider how your mother, your friend, your colleagues, or a random person on the street may be feeling before you take action, and you may find their feeling. The more you practice empathy and wondering what other people are going through, the sooner you’ll be able to give up your selfishness.
- Make a gratitude list
Make a habit of writing down all of the things you’re grateful for everyday or at least once a week. Take the time to think of each and every individual thing that makes your life really great, and don’t spend all your time focusing on the things you don’t have, or the things you wish you had that can ruin your day and your life. Think of things that are going well for you, from your health to your plethora of friends, and feel happy about what you’ve got. Selfish people are never satisfied and always want more, more, more. If you want to stop being selfish, you have to feel like you already have enough amazing things in your life. Any additional joys or gifts should come as a bonus.
- You’re not more important than anyone else
Selfish people are constantly thinking that they are the centre of the universe and that the world should revolve around them. Well, you need to drop that thought like a bad habit. Practice for being humble and modest. The world is a huge and absolutely amazing place, and you are just one tiny part of it. Don’t think that you somehow deserve more than other people because you are “you.”
- Do favors for others
Doing a favor for your friends just so they will do you a favor is selfish. Doing a favor for your friends just because they need the help, or because it’ll feel good to help someone else, is the right way to go about it. If you want to stop being selfish, then look for opportunities to help your friends, just because they need the help, not for any other motives. Take the time to listen to your friends and to observe them in action. They may be in need of a favor but may be too embarrassed to ask for help with it.
- Learn to compromise
If you want to stop being selfish, then you have to learn to compromise. This means seeing that it’s better to be happy than to get what you want, that other people have needs too, and that you can’t always get what you want. You don’t want to have a reputation for being so stubborn that people wouldn’t even think about you. Don’t focus blindly on getting your way. Focus on understanding the situation from both sides.
“If you think only of yourself, if you forget the rights and well-being of others, or, worse still, if you exploit others, ultimately you will lose. You will have no friends who will show concern for your well-being. Moreover, if a tragedy befalls you, instead of feeling concerned, others might even secretly rejoice. By contrast, if an individual is compassionate and altruistic, and has the interests of others in mind, then irrespective of whether that person knows a lot of people, wherever that person moves, he or she will immediately make friends. And when that person faces a tragedy, there will be plenty of people who will come to help.”
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