Preety_India

I want to become more Selfish

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Posted (edited)

I'm trying really hard to become more Selfish. This is my weak area. 

Selflessness looks good on paper, even in practice, however I want to be able to play this game right. I want to modulate my selflessness and a add some selfishness to the mix so I'm not too unhinged. 

Give me some tips and suggestions on how to become more Selfish. 

I lack self preservation instinct or at least there's something fundamentally screwed with my self preservation compass. I always throw away my own good and become the sacrificial lamb in every situation. I lack being selfish. This is not a boundary issue. It's like I have to force myself to be Selfish in every situation and my mind usually goes mute on this. I start acting like a mule and become too sacrificial. I have realised it's getting detrimental to my well being. I need to act selfish or die trying.  It's good to be empathetic but I want to be selfish like other people around me.

I struggle thinking selfishly because the strategy or technique/value system is missing. 

I want to hone my opportunistic side for better survival. 

I know that this sounds a bit contradictory especially after I began my spiritual path. However midway on this spiritual path, I realised that if I don't act selfishly there is a foreseeable danger to my life. That won't go according to plan.  So the damage control mode was to focus back on survival. 

I have now understood that my spiritual job involves to not only grow a building but also a fortress at the same time or else the building is gone and I'm finished. So selfishness has to be an important part of this equation in the sense of self preservation. This is tough Because I never properly learned or integrated skills of survival and selfishness. I always operated from a paradigm of giving giving and giving more, but never understood how to grab instead of "give." Now I'm struggling to grab for myself. 

If you have always been selfless the majority of your life, becoming selfish will feel like learning Greek and vice versa, that is if you mostly been selfish, then suddenly becoming selfless becomes an arduous task.

I know this sounds like a foolish question but whatever, at this stage I need to save myself. That's my priority.

 

Any practical tips and exercises please. I don't need your lecture/spiritual platitude. 

 

Edited by Preety_India

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This is something I'm working on as well.

The thing that I'm finding out as far as being more selfish is that you must own your perspective. This means knowing what you perceive, what interests you, what you value, and what you want in the moment. Then, being able to share this with others.

Counterintuitively, this may make you less selfish. When you continually sacrifice yourself and put other people's needs first, what you are really doing is trying to have others see you a certain way. You want people to think you are a good person. But, this is selfishness on a deep level. You are putting on a mask, hiding your true self.

On the other hand, sharing more about yourself and what you want in the moment builds deeper connections. People get to know the authentic you.

To put this into practice, ask yourself what you want periodically throughout the day. Remind yourself of your purpose, values, and interests each day. Perhaps write down your purpose, values, and interests in a journal and read them over until you are crystal clear about them. Then, finally, share all of this with others.

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13 minutes ago, TDW1995 said:

Counterintuitively, this may make you less selfish. When you continually sacrifice yourself and put other people's needs first, what you are really doing is trying to have others see you a certain way. You want people to think you are a good person. But, this is selfishness on a deep level. You are putting on a mask, hiding your true self.

This is a huge bias. I'm not doing it for people to see me as good. I see value in helping others. It gives me inner satisfaction to see that I was of  value to others. It's simply me being generous.

And no. I don't need any praises or compliments or pats. In fact most people tend to hate me because I'm like a straight shooter kind of a person. Yet i don't really care about whether people see me as a good person. Charity is one of my core values so I don't have any major problems with helping people. I don't do it out of selfish or egoic/Narcissistic mentality.

Even if I become super selfish, I won't stop helping people, because I always believe that everyone must offer something of value to each other especially when they can.

Yet my main problem lies in grabbing for myself. I don't feel selfish. I don't get that feeling where I want something for myself. I don't grab something to myself. So if there is a situation where some material stuff is being freely distributed, most people run for it. Whereas I'm like, " meh, I don't care."

I admire the raw selfishness in other people because I lack it fundamentally. So by the virtue of polarity I attract such selfish people to me. No problem, I admire that they can be selfish. It helps them to survive better.

However when it comes to me, I give into reckless self abandon and I never get the feeling like I should gather something for myself or go into self preservation mode.

During rare occasions when I finally feel a bit of selfishness or self preservation it's usually only in circumstances when it's super urgent to defend myself or in situations where im forcing myself way too hard.  Or else I go back into the lackadaisical self abandon mode. 

The thing is being selfish seems to come very effortlessly to people whereas with me, I have to force myself to extreme levels to act selfish 

I want to be naturally and effortlessly selfish. It's really important to survival.

I'll need some mental exercises to train my brain to think selfishly since I naturally lack it.

 


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Posted (edited)

@Preety_India  

1 hour ago, Preety_India said:

I struggle thinking selfishly because the strategy or technique/value system is missing. 

A stage orange value system will help you to think more selfishly. Make sure you master stage orange on the Spiral Dynamics model.

 

Basically, you become more selfish by mastering your basic survival needs. That means mastering every need that is below the self-transcendence part on the Maslow hierarchy of needs.

 

Edited by sda

" You will face many defeats in life, but never let yourself be defeated." Maya Angelou

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People often misinterpret self love as selfishness. Nurture and take care of yourself first. When you do, you will be a better mother, daughter, sister, partner and friend. 

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You don't need to become more selfish. You need to build your self-esteem. 

How to build self-esteem...

1. Disregard others. Only you can give yourself self-esteem. 

2. Find something you enjoy doing or something you want to be better at.

3. Work daily at that thing.

4. Notice the progress you are making. Notice how you are getting better. Do not quit. 

5. After perfecting that thing, gain esteem from the new better version of yourself. Only you can give yourself self-esteem. 

That "something" can be a hobby, skill, work, job, relationship, or whatever else you want. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Be selfish to a certain degree and love your selfishness, but do it in a conscious way.

It's quite a nuanced area in personal development, but here's a whole book that tackles this very issue:

Not Nice

I learned a ton from it and I can highly recommend it.

Edited by nistake

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Survival itself is selfish even when you're being altruistic. The fact that you are surviving at all means that you are regularly being selfish, although you may not realise how. One way, is that you're using resources somebody else could have.

11 hours ago, Preety_India said:

I want to hone my opportunistic side for better survival. 

What does better survival mean to you here?


Consiousness is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is.

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1 minute ago, LastThursday said:

Survival itself is selfish even when you're being altruistic. The fact that you are surviving at all means that you are regularly being selfish, although you may not realise how. One way, is that you're using resources somebody else could have.

What does better survival mean to you here?

More concerned with my own needs. Being opportunistic. Not abandoning myself. Being self centred and using every resource to my advantage.

For example if someone asked me to play tennis with them, I want to be ruthless with my time and use that time for something that would benefit me like reading something important or health care.

I want to be like Leo. He uses all his time skilfully and selfishly for himself.

I somehow become too complacent.

I am not too self oriented.

In every situation I want to ruthlessly become opportunistic and selfish so that I can derive maximum benefit to self. 

I want to be able to master survival and lower needs on Maslow's hierarchy. 

Somehow it's not happening.

I easily turn into a self abandoning hippie.

I wish I was a bit more self centred so I wouldn't be acting so stupid all the time.

I mean selfish self centred smart folks are doing great in their lives around me.

I always tend to never pay much attention to self interests.

It's like I knowingly throw away from my own interests.

I don't get greedy

I want to feel greedy but it just never happens..

 


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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, JosephKnecht said:

You don't need to become more selfish. You need to build your self-esteem. 

ofc she does - she has a lot of self esteem expressing herself. what she talks about is working towards stuff or situations she might feel is not appropriate to claim for herself. claiming a right to do that stuff feels selfish.

might be because of upbringing or because of culture or because of self blaming - random example: because everyone else can’t afford it, buying/doing this or that is selfish. but feeling it is, not thinking it is.

it‘s an internalized model which is connected to many social factors.

this can also manifest itself in a path always giving in to requirements of others. even though there would be other things to do she needs or wants to do for herself, just because the „i“ (as in self) does not show up the moment when her presence is asked for the self is not allowed to take that room/space.

Edited by mememe
clarity of i

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@Preety_India it's all me me me with you (joking).

Notice how many 'I's you used in your reply though. It seems like you already know how to be self-centred at least - it's not like there are no thoughts about yourself, there are plenty. The next step is to be self-centred to your advantage, i.e. put those thoughts and dreams into action. Taking that action is the hard part of the puzzle. Maybe you find it easier to defer to other people's dreams and wants, than your own?


Consiousness is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is.

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@LastThursday actually the whole me me me is just a whole lot of need to excessively self express because of some represssion.

But it gets mistaken for self centredness

Self centredness is however too low. Don't know how to get greedy

 


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Posted (edited)

it’s not a bout using the word i or me it‘s about skipping oneself - probably (into non existence if not cared for at some point)

and the last me is also not a me but only we know that. :D

sorry, back to practical stuff: i‘m happily jumping on the let’s be more selfish train (reality wise).

Edited by mememe

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2 hours ago, Preety_India said:

@LastThursday actually the whole me me me is just a whole lot of need to excessively self express because of some represssion.

But it gets mistaken for self centredness

Self centredness is however too low. Don't know how to get greedy

Ah I see.

It's only an observation but maybe you'll get more mileage out of self-expression than self-centredness? Perhaps one will come more naturally than the other to you, I don't know. Generally the way with less resistance is the right way in the moment. Although you are right to try new things out.

I guess you're asking for an instruction manual on selfishness. I suspect you'll find people are reluctant to admit to being selfish and so won't be able to tell you how to do it more effectively. But once you do know, put the theory into practice, lots of practice.


Consiousness is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is.

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Posted (edited)

Phew, this is a vast and deceitful topic - I think some distinctions are called for.

Selfishness, to me, implies being or doing with own gains in mind, usually on behalf/cost of others.

True selflessness, to me, implies doing good deeds without any motif, without agenda, without underlying selfish needs.

For true selflessness to exist, you would probably have to have gone through complete dis-identification with ego, to such a degree that you don't even care if you live.

That leaves the uncomfortable realization that when we think we do selfless acts, they are actually selfish and there is something in us that we are gaining by doing that "selfless" act. Meeting that need in us, if only for a temporary moment, is what gives the deep pleasure, and that's what makes us come back for more.

Yes, ouch, this is a painful realization, but it's not a bad or harmful realization, on the contrary, it's seeing a bit more clearly.

14 hours ago, Preety_India said:

I'm trying really hard to become more Selfish. This is my weak area. 

My interpretation of this is that you don't want to be more selfish, and instead you want to become more responsible, responsible towards self.

By becoming responsible, you will need to face that which has broken down, or prevented self-esteem and self-worth to emerge, and rebuild these traits as they are the foundational building block of our experience of being.

In this process you will have to face some shadows of the past, and also aspects of the current that you are avoiding or not able to see.

Pursuing a spiritual journey without facing one's shadows is spiritual bypassing, using spirituality as a solution to avoid having to deal with the psychological issues that we've accumulated throughout our lives.

We need to own back these disowned aspects. This means that we need to stop and see what it is that is weighing us down. We need to become aware of our dogma and our self-created defense and control mechanisms which sole purpose has been to build a tough shell, or wall, around those sensitivities in our lives, so that we don't have to, or have to fully experience the related pain and suffering.

One of the most common problems, or distractions with personal development is that we turn outwards and try to solve external problems. We identify problems with our work, with our families, with our partners and with all and everything that is around us that rub us the wrong way. What we need to do is to shift focus from that external world and shift focus towards ourselves and start figuring out where we have gotten ourselves stuck and how we need to get ourselves unstuck. This could be interpreted as what you say "becoming selfish", but I want to call call this "becoming responsible" for self and the world that we create for ourselves.

This is where we are have the power and freedom to create whatever changes, within ourselves, that contributes towards creating the kind of world that we want.

This doesn't mean that we can change what is, since that which is, just is. But it allows us to make more complex sense of what is happening around us, and shift our own perspective in such ways that we relieve the excessive suffering that we call upon ourselves, by not being able to flow with what is.

For example, bad parents become nothing more than themselves products of circumstances, cultures, their own parents. What they do, or have done, isn't coming from being evil, or wanting to do evil. They simple wasn't capable of doing otherwise, based on their own shadows and suffering. 

Becoming able to shift towards a more complex, more holistic perspective is inevitably followed with emotional detachment, as a long-going process. Gaining more complex and impersonal perspectives also makes it easy to forgive others and ourselves, building a strong foundation for cultivating self-compassion.

Sometimes you have to slow down, really slow down, to be able to speed up. That slowing down is the inward turning phase needed to accelerate growth.

This is somewhat like driving your car with the handbreak halfway engaged, it slows you down, it causes friction, it gets heated, and it will break you down from time to time. Slow down, figure our how to disengage your build-in breaks, and someday probably sooner than later, you will be able to go fast without that friction.

@Preety_India

I guess this boils down to one question - are you willing and able to slow down, let go of outwards distraction, and turn inwards to relieve yourself from your inner demons/shadows? 

This is the single most difficult obstacle to overcome on the developmental journey.

 

Edited by Eph75

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Posted (edited)

7 minutes ago, dflores321 said:

You're already selfish asf. 

What you really want (the mysterious intelligence) is to run as efficiently and smoothly as possible, as effortless efficiency is the nature of reality. 

What causes the internal struggle is creating the shadow of selfishness (selflessness). 

Even now you're asking this question in order to obtain info from us to improve your survival.

you are confusing your models with real self value problems. 

ofc is survival selfish - and therefore you are selfish as well telling someone who‘s going about root chakra healing a distorted way of selfishness. ofc you can’t heal ego problems if you can’t heal your own distortion - the aggression towards someone else who dares to want to achieve sth for themselves. which might be connected to just finding a work aligned with their life purpose or a partner or other immaterial selfishness.

Edited by mememe

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Just now, mememe said:

you are confusing your models with real self value problems. 

ofc is survival selfish - and therefore you are selfish as well telling someone who‘s going about root chakra healing a distorted way of selfishness. ofc you can’t heal ego problems if you can’t heal your own distortion - the aggression towards someone else who dares to want to achieve sth for themselves. which might be connected to just finding a work aligned with their life purpose.

This. Really this. This is what I'm looking for.

Further demonizing of selfishness will do me no favor because I have already demonized selfishness within me.

8 minutes ago, dflores321 said:

Even now you're asking this question in order to obtain info from us to improve your survival.

@dflores321

Yea I understand that asking any question at the end of the day will be considered selfish.

But can you please look at this from another helpful perspective rather than a dogmatic one ?

Maybe I'm not asking out of selfishness. Maybe I feel trapped. Maybe I'm asking out of the need for liberation.

It is just survival. Yes. Survival is selfish 

But making it look like something wrong is further creating more shadows within me where shadows against selfishness already exist 

Because of these shadows I'm giving into self abandonment to the point of suicide. Do you realize how dangerous this can be ?

So finger pointing at me is no favor.

I want to be liberated from my chains of a trapped root chakra like the above user said.

Yes there is a huge blockage in the root chakra. I'm largely focused heavily on Spirituality and the crown chakra. This has pushed me away from lower chakras and thrown me off balance.

Now I'm looking back at creating this balance so I don't turn into some kind of a suicide poet.

Your answer is totally useless. Sorry if that offends you but you do me no favor. Just telling you straight.

 


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15 minutes ago, Eph75 said:

Phew, this is a vast and deceitful topic - I think some distinctions are called for.

Selfishness, to me, implies being or doing with own gains in mind, usually on behalf/cost of others.

True selflessness, to me, implies doing good deeds without any motif, without agenda, without underlying selfish needs.

For true selflessness to exist, you would probably have to have gone through complete dis-identification with ego, to such a degree that you don't even care if you live.

That leaves the uncomfortable realization that when we think we do selfless acts, they are actually selfish and there is something in us that we are gaining by doing that "selfless" act. Meeting that need need in us, if only for a temporary moment, is what gives the deep pleasure.

This is a painful realization, but it's not a bad or harmful realization, on the contrary, it's seeing a bit more clearly.

My interpretation of this is that you want to be more selfish, but you want to become more responsible, responsible towards self.

By becoming responsible, you will need to face that which has broken down, or prevented self-esteem and self-worth to emerge, and rebuild these traits as they are the foundational building block of our existence.

In this process you will have to face some shadows of the past, and also aspects of the current that you are avoiding or not able to see.

Pursuing a spiritual journey without facing one's shadows is spiritual bypassing, using spirituality as a solution to avoid having to deal with the psychological issues that we've created for ourselves throughout our lives.

We need to own back these disowned aspects. This means that we need to stop and see what it is that is weighing us down. We need to become aware of our dogma and our self-created defense and control mechanisms which sole purpose has been to build a touch shell around those sensitivities in our lives, so that we don't have to, or have to fully experience the pain and suffering.

One of the most common problems, or distractions with personal development is that we turn outwards and try to solve external problems. We identify problems with our work, with our families, with our partners and with all and everything that is around us that rub us the wrong way. What we need to do is to shift focus from that external world and shift focus towards ourselves and start figuring out where we have gotten ourselves stuck and how we need to get ourselves unstuck. This could be interpreted as what you say "becoming selfish", but I want to call call this "becoming responsible" for self and the world that we create for ourselves.

This is where we are have the power and freedom to create whatever changes, within ourselves, that contributes towards creating the kind of world that we want.

This doesn't mean that we can change what is, since that which is, just is. But it allows us to make more complex sense of what is happening around us, and shift our own perspective in such ways that we relieve the excessive suffering that we call upon ourselves, by not being able to flow with what is.

For example, bad parents become nothing more than themselves products of circumstances, cultures, their own parents. What they do, or have done, isn't coming from being evil, or wanting to do evil. They simple wasn't capable of doing otherwise, based on their own shadows and suffering. 

Becoming able to shift towards a more complex, more holistic perspective is inevitably followed with emotional detachment, as a long-going process.

Sometimes you have to slow down, really slow down, to be able to speed up. That slowing down is the inward turning phase needed to accelerate growth.

This is somewhat like driving your car with the handbreak halfway engaged, it slows you down, it causes friction, and it will break you down from time to time. Slow down, figure our how to disengage your build-in breaks, and someday probably sooner than later, you will be able to go fast without that friction.

@Preety_India

I guess this boils down to one question - are you willing and able to slow down, let go of outwards distraction, and turn inwards to relieve yourself from your inner demons/shadows? 

This is the single most difficult obstacle to overcome on the developmental journey.

 

It will take me time to explore and slowly comb through your answer and then come up with additional questions to you.

By the way it's very kind of you to take so much time in answering my question in detail. I appreciate


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