The Good Kind Of Selfish

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

A couple of months ago, I entered an argument with my partner. We weren’t spending time together because we were both working hard and were extremely tired when we came home. During the argument, I told him I could not be the trophy partner while being the picture-perfect attorney, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend, all at the same time. I couldn’t be all those things, have a fit body and mind, read stimulating books and have extra time to kick back and relax. If I wanted to excel at something, I’d have to choose (that’s what I thougth at the time). That day I felt burnt-out, so I chose to come home sooner and not go to the gym. The next day, I chose to be a good sister and leave work early (6ish which is not early at all) to catch up with her over drinks. Another day, I made time to see friends.

Sometime around 2016, I was making time for everybody, except for me. Not for healthy me. Not for smart me. Just for me. That’s why I embraced my zodiac sign’s selfishness (I’m a proud Scorpio). I decided to make more time for me, and naturally less time for others. People around me don’t like the idea. I love it. So here are 5 tips to become a good selfish person.

1. Be honest. Don’t lie to people. It sucks when you lie. If you can’t go someplace, don’t go. Tell that person: “I won’t make it”. No explanations needed. Those that don’t appreciate your honesty, may as well not be worthy of your precious time.

2. Say no. Just say “No, thank you”. If you get invited to an event you don’t feel like going to, decline graciously and ask to be notified for a next time. Of course, if you say “No” every time, probably you will stop receiving invites from that person. Choose carefully.

3. Don’t book all day. If you absolutely must have meetings, meetups and lunches, don’t book all day, every day. Make sure you have plenty of time to be proactive and accomplish what you need to do each day.

4. Don’t check emails at night, and if you do, do not answer. If you absolutely must answer, consider replying first thing in the morning.

5. Travel. Coming from a small island in the Caribbean, I find myself desperate to travel all the time. When I travel, my phone is on Airplane Mode so I don’t go online unless I actively look for WiFi. I don’t check email or go on social media as much. I don’t text as often as I would when I am home.

There’s a saying around that we become like the 5 people we spend most of our time with. I truly believe in that. But I also believe that to spread our awesomeness to others, we must feel comfortable being surrounded only by our own imperfect being.

Let’s all be just a good amount of selfish, understand one another, and most importantly, respect each other’s time.