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Saturday, February 9, 2013

So Selfishly Selfish

We have all been selfish at one point or another. Sometimes it seems that the mantra of the modern world is "I want what I want, when I want it!" Me, me, me...now, now, now. Walking over friends, and family just to get what we think we deserve because we think the world owes it to us. Allow me to put it plainly: You only deserve that which you have earned from hard work and sacrifice. Anything given to you for free is a gift, not an entitlement.

Time and time again I have watched people use, and abuse others with their own self seeking behavior. These people are often so self absorbed that they don't even know they are being selfish. In fact, they often think they are being quite generous. Often times you will see people make excuses for their selfishness by trying to garner sympathy for their troubles. "I'm sorry I screwed you over, but don't you see (insert dramatic reason) is more important!" or "I really am in a bit of trouble (due to dramatic reason), and I really need you to loan me, cover me, let me borrow with no intent of return...because (said dramatic reason) really isn't my fault!" Yet this type of behavior is never ending. It's not just ONE dramatic event that is never their fault, it is event, after event, after event.
While the rest of society has to grow up and maintain responsibility for their actions, commitments, and relationships, selfish people want the mature people to do these things for them. Never owning up to personal responsibility, they continue to devour every generous person in their path leaving a wake of broken friendships, family relationships, and chaos...that is never their fault. Greed and Pride are two of the deadliest Cardinal sins, and also the hardest to overcome because they both require huge amounts of humility. And we all know the hardest thing to eat is a slice of humble pie.

My advice to those who encounter selfish people is to never, ever, fall into their trap of continual manipulation to begin with. Occasionally it may be the right thing to be generous regardless of what the other person does with your generosity, but it's when your generosity makes you the victim that it's time to change your response. Don't offer any help that would put you in a bad situation. Offer to help them get on track by helping themselves. Listen to them with compassion, offer to help them help themselves, and encourage them to be more independent. Sometimes tough love is the most charitable and best love you can give a person. Use your best judgement, but don't become someone else's doormat. Helping someone during a time of great need is a lot different than enabling that person's dependent behaviors.

My advice to those who may be contemplating if they are this type of selfish person is, always do the right thing. Do the right thing even if you don't want to. Do the right thing even if it means going out of your way to do it. Do the right thing for other people even if you feel justified in your own actions. Doing the right thing will always make you feel good in the end. Follow through on commitments, keep promises, become more self sufficient and less of a victim, borrow less and give more. Be Selfless!

As human beings we all fall into traps of selfish behavior. The key is to not make it a habit or a lifestyle.

Have you ever had to deal with a selfish person? Or have you had selfish tendencies you had to overcome? What advice would you give people in this situation?

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I am sure at some point or another I may have been the selfish one, as we all have that ability within us, but I am usually on the other end. My husband and I are both very generous with the people we care about, but we have come to realize that those people do not seem to care for us the same way (which is hurtful), and that some (gasp!) have gotten used to & now expect that kind of generosity from us. This year we have made a conscious effort to scale back our generosity, and preserve it for the people who really deserve it.