I’m sure I’ve written about this topic before (maybe even under the same name), but I think it bears repeating.
It’s not okay to be selfish. But it’s very okay to be self-ish. Let me explain.
Selfish means that you’re not in touch with the needs of others and that you put yourself before everyone else all of the time.
Self-ish means you’re in touch with the needs of others and that you put yourself before others some of the time. And that’s really it — some of the time, you need to take care of yourself. So be self-ish. Just ish. Just a little.
Take yours truly, for example. I’m what you call a workaholic. (I call it overachieving). But whatever you call it, it doesn’t change the fact that I feel guilty and ashamed when I take a lunch break. A break that is provided to everyone equally, but for some reason, is difficult for me to accept.
Now, I’m not selfish. I certainly don’t take a longer lunch break than anyone else. But I’m self-ish when I take a lunch break. I’m putting myself and my needs first some of the time when it’s needed.
So be self-ish sometimes, and you’ll find no reason to be selfish.