11 Brilliant Reasons Why Self-Care is Not Selfish

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Self-Care Lifestyle46 Comments on 11 Brilliant Reasons Why Self-Care is Not Selfish

11 Brilliant Reasons Why Self-Care is Not Selfish

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Self-care and selfish in the same sentence? Is that even legal? 

When you think of self-care, you might think of taking the time to care for all different parts of your inner and outer well-being. Or, you may even think of building and improving upon your own self-esteem, self-worth, and self-confidence. 

I’ve probably mentioned this self-care definition so many times before, but here it goes again:

Self-care is the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health or the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress. 

This type of self-care helps you get back the energy you once lost. When dealing with “interesting” people, self-care can make you more of a secure and productive person. It also helps you gain a new perspective about yourself around other people.

Related Post: 33 Best Self-Care Practices for Your Mind, Body & Soul

As you can see, self-care is very necessary to the human self. It helps us to reflect, think, and react quickly to situations as needed. 

But what happens when self-care becomes selfish?

Let’s explore, shall we!

Selfish is the act of lacking consideration for others and being concerned only with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.

From my perspective, being selfish has never been a positive trait to have. It completely isolates you from building strong connections with people and your surroundings. When you become selfish, you only care about what’s in it for you. And only you

You may even act negatively to get exactly what you want, when you want it. Honestly if anything, I think this might be the crappiest way of taking care of yourself. 

In some ways, practicing self-care has the tendency of being selfish. it all depends on how you go about it or what the definition of self-care means to you. 

Here are 11 reasons why I think it’s not selfish at all to take care of you:

1. The Difference

Hopefully by now, you can see the differences between the definitions of self-care and selfish. One (self-care) deals with protecting and sustaining your health from within and the other (selfish) deals with personal profit and lack of consideration.

Being selfish in this way defeats the purpose of what self-care is meant for.  I don’t even think the lack of consideration is advocated in self-care. The practice of self-care is used as a tool to help you with your overall-being. 

For instance, when you burn out at work, at home or wherever you’re at, you become useless to function in society. And therefore, you need to take proper care of yourself to get that energy back so you can work properly again.

Remember the news story that broke out of Japanese employees overworking themselves to the point of death? They even termed it Karoshi meaning death by overwork.

In 2013, a Japanese journalist worked 159 hours of overtime in one month before dying of heart failure that same year.

And according to USA Today, a 24-year old Japanese employee committed suicide after working more than 100 hours in the month that led to her suicide.

As tragic as it is, these news stories provide cautionary tales to everyone of what can happen if we do not take the time to self-care. It is not selfish, but rather a necessity if workers or people in general, had time to relax, spend time with loved ones, or take a break for a while.

woman wearing a hat in pool;Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

2. The Care

Taking care of yourself before you take care of others is so important. If you don’t take care of yourself, you will have nothing left to give to others. Self-care influences your mentality, your physicality, and your emotional state. 

When you self-care properly, you have the ability to care for others. Your mind is in a better place. You are thinking positively. You are bettering yourself to help others later on. You care about others in a way that you don’t forget about yourself in the process. 

Take me as an example. I used to care so much about other people’s wants and needs that I forgot that my own needs and wants existed too. I suppressed my own needs to benefit others and was only hurting myself inside. I felt so alone, sad, and empty most days. 

When I started taking back control over my wants and needs, my self-confidence started to build and I was fearless in telling people no and cutting out negative energy that was toxic for my well being.

So take it from me, it’s definitely not selfish to care for yourself because if you don’t, you may stress yourself out, harbor feelings inside and lose yourself completely. 

Related Post: How to Happily Say No Without Feeling Guilty

3. The Loss

When you lose yourself, it’s really hard to find your purpose in life. You often feel so low and maybe depressed that your life is not going in the right direction. 

Self-care empowers you to connect with your inner-self so that you can build up the confidence and self-worth needed to find exactly who you want to be in the future. It’s not selfish at all for you to find your purpose, follow it, fulfill it, and then leave a legacy behind that could eventually help the world one day or even right now! 

4. The Right

There is a right and wrong way to practice self-care. The right way is by looking within yourself and figuring out which areas of your mind, heart, body, and soul need to be cared for and then find different self-care activities or practices to care for these areas. 

The wrong way to practice self-care is when it’s done with negative intent and produces a negative result. No one truly benefits from the wrong way, not even you. All of the issues that you have been harboring inside will either be suppressed the more and covered with an illusion of self-care or it may explode in erratic behaviors.

5. The Illusion

When you self-care with negative or selfish intent, you may think that you’re helping yourself. In reality, you’re actually hurting yourself more than you realize.

Self-care with this type of selfishness gives off the illusion that you’re caring for yourself when you act out, throw temper tantrums, or get your way by force. But really, you’re acting out of a devious and self-centered part of your human self. Not cool dude! This is not proper self-care. 

One thing about self-care is that you give yourself permission to fully understand and take care of the things within you that might be neglected. You are aware that your needs and wants from the inside actually exist and you’re willing to nurture and take care of them in the right way so it does not hurt other people or yourself. 

Self-care should not be practiced as an illusion but in authentic realness, genuineness, and sincerity in all forms. Focus your self-care vibes on spreading good vibrations and positive affirmations. 

6. The Intention 

Among other things, self-care is a positive term that seeks to improve upon your physical, mental, and emotional state. When you self-care with intention, you are choosing to fully love yourself, renew your way of thinking and learn more about your self-worth. 

Selfish self-care is a negative term that doesn’t think about the end goal or how to better yourself to help others. It’s all about me. me. me. What can I do to benefit me and only me? The intention is fake, toxic, and always self-pleasing. Disgusting. 

Most narcissists follow this intention. I had a few interactions where people followed this intention and it reflected so poorly on their behalf and affected others negatively in the process. More of that in another post lol.

Self-care with intention does not seek to hurt others. Real self-care might make people see you in a different light but when you do it, you are only trying to better yourself so that you can help others in the process. 

7. The Thought

What you think, you become.

This all starts with a simple thought and then correlating that action to that thought. If you act selfishly and don’t stop to think about how that affects your overall welling from within and on the out, then that’s your prerogative. 

woman wearing brown sweater; Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

But if you take the time to analyze how your self-care helps or hurts you, others and your being, then you are working on building a better self for you. Moreover, it really matters how you decide to think about the act of self-caring because your set of actions are always dependent on those thoughts.

8. The Ego

Self-care and selfish self-care are like alter egos. The Yin and Yang, if you will. 

With selfishness, there is a huge ego involved. You become very defensive, over-excessive, self-absorbed, and only care about what’s in it for you. You don’t care about stepping on others toes to get what you want. To those that have a huge ego and don’t care about anyone but themselves, they always say that pride comes before destruction. So always stay clear from this type of ego. 

With self-care, there is no ego involved, just confidence. Confidence in knowing who you are choosing to become. You are aware of where you were in the past and the better self you see in the future. You also aren’t afraid to acknowledge when something is not right from within. You immediately work on fixing and taking care of that right away. 

9. The Vulnerability 

If you selfishly ignore emotions, you may lack a sense of empathy for yourself and others. Lack of empathy leads to troubled relationships, disconnection from your authentic self, narcissism, lack of self-love, anti-social personality disorders, and psychopathy. 

Being vulnerable during self-care allows you to be raw and real with your emotions so that you can work through exactly what is going on with you. Using self-care to feel out emotions like sadness and anger helps you reflect, adjust and be your own superhero. 

Related Post: How to Control Your Anger Before it Controls You!

10. The Motivation

Implementing proper self-care in your life gives you the motivation to do other things that you might have overlooked before. Things like doing activities that allow you to live in the moment, travel, take a vacation, or even catch up with loved ones through meaningful conversations. 

Motivation in self-care is huge because you get the drive to conquer situations like a king or queen. It helps you to keep moving in life, even through hard times like a divorce or a bad breakup. When you feel really low in the dumps, you can use self-care as motivation to pick yourself back up and keep going. 

As they say, success is the best revenge. That in itself should be motivating enough to push you to find your purpose and fully succeed in it. Make sure to find your purpose just for you and not for someone else. 

11. The Growth

Self-care is not supposed to stumble your growth as a person but rather it’s supposed to aid you in personal growth. When you grow in self-care, you are choosing to elevate yourself from just existing to actually living. You become more present in the now and are aware of what affects you in a positive and negative way. 

Growth is also very necessary to becoming the best version of yourself that you can be. What you were yesterday is no longer who you are today. What you did yesterday is no longer your course now. Change can be a good thing especially if you properly assess and put aside all negative things that stop you from achieving your greater self. 

Pin for Later!

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Well, that’s my little two cents on self-care and why it’s not selfish. I hope you enjoyed it and that it gave you some tidbits on better practicing self-care, unselfishly. 

In what ways can self-care be selfish? What do you think?

Let me know down in the comments below.

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Josie D. is a content writer and editor. She's passionate about encouraging millennials to practice genuine self-care. She also wants to help millennials dress the part, travel to cool places, and feel good about themselves! 💕✨

46 thoughts on “11 Brilliant Reasons Why Self-Care is Not Selfish

  1. self care is never a selfish thing. When you care for yourself, you can better take care of others.
    thanks for sharing this post.
    many people need this!

  2. Such an insightful post. I never thought of self-care as selfish act. There are just times where you need to focus on yourself but it doesnt mean you stop considering other people. Good read!

    1. Exactly well put! We all have to care for ourselves to keep going in this world, that doesn’t mean we don’t care about others! Thanks for sharing! xxx

    1. Right and it is a very scary feeling when we lose ourselves, so we got to take care! Thank you for sharing! xxx

    1. Exactly right!! No one is going to look after us better than ourselves. Thank you for sharing! xxx

  3. I never came across the thought of self-love and selfishness being related but this just opened up my eyes. The journey of self-love can go so wrong in a moment. Acknowledging these reasons will be useful in the long run of trying to love myself and accept myself and I am very very grateful that you worked and published a post about this topic!! Huge thank you!! xx

    1. Aw shucks, I’m about to cry, thank you so much!! Yesss, I can see how self-love and selfishness are both driven by the power of choice. One can choose to practice self-love and one can also choose to be selfish with it if they want. Thank you for sharing! xxx

  4. This is such an amazing and informative post! I don’t know why we all tend to feel selfish when practicing self-care. We definitely shouldn’t and all these reasons you just listed strongly prove why. Thanks so much for sharing this!

    1. No problem!! Exactlyyy!! Thinking of feeling selfish with self-care is also not productive or helpful in actual self-care because then it appears as something that is bad or a taboo even. Thank you for stopping by! xxx

  5. Since I used to feel that self-care was selfish, I love this post! I know now that looking out for myself and going to sit and read a book sometimes is what I need to do to tackle tasks and be my best self around other people.
    I think self-care can become selfish, though, if we start practicing it at the expense of others, so I do my best to be considerate of family and myself at the same time. 🙂

    1. Definitely true!! Moderating self-care in the right way is so important so that it doesn’t become selfish. Thank you so much for sharing!! xxx

    1. Yess, understanding the differences sets the tone and makes the connection more clear for both terms. Thank you for commenting!! xxx

    1. Yessss, taking time to look after ourselves is so needed for us to get back to being the boss ladies that we are! Thanks for commenting !! xxx

  6. Thanks for this post. I know I should exercise self care but really find it so hard to do it – usually until my body starts shutting down! This is encouraging me to stop and take care of myself before that happens!

    1. Omg good point! I notice that in my life too. When my body is in low-mode, that’s when I’m more attentive to it than I should be all the time. Thank you for commenting!! xxx

  7. Self-care is so important to find balance. Sometimes we all need a reminder to slow down and do something special to treat yourself. – Alex

    1. Definitely!! In this go-go mentality and everything has to be quick and fast, we definitely have to slow down to recharge. Thank you for commenting!! xxx

  8. Self care is so important and I think it actually allows us to love others more fully, making it the opposite of selfish!

    1. ayyee I really like that one! along with practicing self-love, it opens the door to loving others. Thank you for commenting!! xxx

  9. This needs to be told so loud and clear. Selfcare isn’t selfish and we need to stop feeling guilty for putting ourselves first. Thankyou for this beautiful piece.

    1. That’s the keyword, guilt! We shouldn’t have to feel guilty at all for taking care of us!! Thank you for commenting!! xxx

  10. Yes!!! Sometimes we just need to give ourselves permission! I went on a silent retreat last fall for self-care, and it was amazing!

    1. Oh wow! yes I read about it!! I might have to do the same thing. It sounded like a wonderful idea for self-improvement and self-meditation. Thank you for commenting!! xxx

  11. Josie,
    I completely agree that self-care is not selfish and that it’s important to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. Thank you for sharing, I really needed to see this today! 🙂
    💛 Erin | Vitality Vixens

    1. Yes, it is so important to take care of ourselves before others. Thank you for stopping by!! xxx

  12. You are so right. There were often times where I would not be good with self-care or looking after myself and this was often in times of stress, feeling unwell or struggling with my mental health. But it is so true, if you don’t look after yourself you really have nothing left to give to others and all your energy is gone. I have been trying to get a better self-care routine but some weeks are better than others. In the past few months I have changed my diet and lifestyle and am making active steps to be more proactive about my self care!

    1. That part is huge!! The part about not looking after yourself and then you have nothing left to give to other people. I have been there and done that! Yes, self-care seems hard because we sometimes neglect how important it is to take care of ourselves. I am so happy and I am here if you need support on sticking to a self-care routine xxx

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