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Unhealthy And Healthy Selfishness. How To Tell? - Society
Unhealthy And Healthy Selfishness. How To Tell? - Society

Video: Unhealthy And Healthy Selfishness. How To Tell? - Society

Video: Unhealthy And Healthy Selfishness. How To Tell? - Society
Video: IS BEING SELFISH A BAD THING? | How To Recognize Healthy Selfishness From Yourself And Others 2023, December

Who is an egoist - a self-centered, insensitive, bad character or a mature person with clear psychological boundaries, well aware of their needs and able to defend them? Is it worth fighting your own egoism, in what cases? Is there such a thing as "healthy egoism"?

From Aristotle to the present day

Since Aristotle, the best minds of mankind have talked about egoism. As there was no unambiguous view on this issue then, so there is no now. In Russia, even 30-40 years ago, there was an opinion that being an egoist was bad, and thinking only about yourself and your needs was shameful and very ugly. General prosperity was supposed to be achieved by putting collective interests above personal ones. At school, children were told that "I" is the last letter of the alphabet, and parents were encouraged to share toys and treats, even if they really don't want to. To endure for the sake of the common good, to yield so as not to spoil the relationship, to sacrifice, bend over, be higher than that …

Years passed, yesterday's children grew up, faced with the fact that everything is far from so simple. Political and economic changes in the country have led to the emergence of a completely different philosophy - think exclusively about yourself and fight for your well-being with the whole world, no matter what. Caring for others, compassion for others is now a sign of weakness and unviability. The ideal to which one was supposed to strive was a selfish and even self-centered view of the world: "Love yourself, spit on everyone, and success awaits you in life."

Perhaps such a philosophy in life led a number of people to prosperity, however, the coexistence of egocentrics invariably turns into a fighting ring. They constantly find out among themselves "who is who" and whose interests are more important. It is difficult to deny that it is difficult and very unpleasant for others to live next to a terry egoist. Altruistic people in such a society suffer because their interests are not taken into account, and their needs are regularly compromised.

I remember a vivid example of a terry, unhealthy selfishness - a friend once told me about the outrageous behavior of her ex-husband. With a wife and a young son, he regularly emptied the refrigerator completely, completely oblivious to whether there was anything left for others. During such raids, he could even eat the last baby curd obtained in the dairy kitchen. To the reproaches of his wife he answered: "Well, I wanted to", "What do you feel sorry for?" or "What are you yelling, you can go and buy." Needless to say, he believed that his wife should run for groceries, because he was "very tired after work" and "has the right to relax in his own home." The last straw was the case when, on New Year's Eve, the husband secretly ate all the chocolates from the child's gift and left a holiday package full of candy wrappers for the child under the tree.

It is impossible to live in such an atmosphere, coexistence becomes destructive, at least for one of the participants, society as a whole turns into toxic and unhealthy. And it is precisely with such extreme manifestations of egoism that one really needs to fight. First of all in oneself, developing empathy and compassion through self-reflection and conscious study of the emotional structure of other people. And then for those around you, consciously building healthy boundaries in communication, when interacting with them, stopping attempts to manipulate you, openly declaring their interests and defending their rights.

Signs of unhealthy selfishness

  1. You put your needs first, and you don't care about the needs of others.
  2. You are convinced that other people should act exclusively in your interests, you do not tolerate rejection.
  3. No compromises, you are not willing to negotiate and take circumstances into account.
  4. If your actions cause inconvenience and harm to others, you do not feel compassion and remorse. The main thing is that you feel good.
  5. In the team you are the cat Matroskin, your motto is: "Joint work (for my benefit) - it unites."
  6. In a relationship, you are incredibly demanding of your partner, shamelessly use his resources and strive for total control. It is difficult for you to understand another point of view, you never doubt that you are right.

Nowadays, people are increasingly throwing aside limiting attitudes, more and more care about their interests, listen to their desires and look less back at public opinion. People strive for greater openness and truthfulness, refusing to follow formal rules and play roles established by someone. It becomes obvious that both extreme egoism and absolute altruism cannot serve as a universal formula for a happy life for both the individual and society. Mutual assistance and cooperation seem to be a much more promising form of interaction, and the idea that "there can be only one winner" is being replaced by a "win-win" strategy. The concept of "healthy egoism" or rational egoism, which describes the behavior of a person who is in contact with his needs, is increasingly encountered.who understands himself well and is attentive to others. He proactively creates around himself a harmonious, happy environment for himself and those around him. He does not agree to something that is not suitable for him, does not allow himself to be used, does not compromise his needs and principles, while not forgetting to take into account the needs and principles of others.

Pasha is an avid tourist; he considers scarves, fishing rods and campfire gatherings the best way to spend a long-awaited vacation. His fiancée Marina, on the other hand, loves a comfortable beach holiday. When Pavel's friends invited the couple on a week-long kayaking trip, the girl gently refused. She explained that she cannot relax in the field conditions and it is very important for her to have the opportunity to take a hot shower on vacation. The couple calmly discussed the situation and decided to spend one week of vacation separately, and the second together. Pasha went on a hike, and Marina flew to the resort.

This is healthy selfishness if …

  1. You put your interests first, but you understand that others also have the right to do so.
  2. You make a choice in your favor, but not at someone else's expense. You try to take into account the needs of others, you are able to compromise and know how to negotiate.
  3. You are not afraid to defend your point of view and interests, as you are careful to ensure that they are not infringed upon.
  4. You know how to say "no" to something that does not suit you, and you calmly react to refusal from others.
  5. You don't feel guilty about making a choice in your favor.
  6. You are difficult to manipulate because you are able to soberly assess the motives of other people.
  7. You are less likely to be abused because you value your contributions to the relationship.

This is healthy egoism, there is no need to fight its manifestations, on the contrary, this kind of behavior must be supported and developed in oneself and in others. Literature on the development of emotional intelligence, the study of your psychological boundaries together with a psychologist or in a psychological group, courses on non-conflict communication can help you in mastering this skill.