The definition of selfishness…….”Concerned in caring only for oneself; primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc. regardless of others feelings”! Believe it or not there is good selfishness and bad. Let’s face it we work hard and we all deserve things but at what price does it come? Being Selfish in wanting to spend time with your spouse, spend your time volunteering, these are not bad things to want. The selfishness that becomes destructive is the “all about me” type.
One of the strong behaviors of alcoholism is selfishness and it usually comes with ego & self centeredness. They all mean that you make yourself most important in the sense where you disregard the feelings and needs of others in doing so. Taking care of yourself is one thing but done excessively is another. I know firsthand I have been on the receiving end of this behavior and it isn’t a pretty site. Even in sobriety it can still creep up in the most aggressive ways and sometimes when you think you are helping or being a part of the solution you may actually be part of the problem.
This weekend my husband and I were at an AA meeting and he was asked to chair, in his story he mentioned that as an alcoholic they are the best actors, the best liars, the most selfish people because everything is about them and the way they want things even if it isn’t logical. As I looked around I noticed everyone nodding their heads and whispering “Yep”. However you don’t have to be an alcoholic to be selfish. I believe this is why one of the suggested steps in the AA program is being of service. This can even be of benefit to your own spouse.
It makes me feel good when I help or take care of someone else. For example if I have some place to be but as I am driving down the street I see an animal running next to traffic at that point I am not concerned if I will be late I pull over call for help and try and get this animal out of a bad situation. If someone says to me “I need to talk” then I make the time. I have heard it said though that someone will be willing to do all they can to help a stranger but they won’t help the person that is closet to them that they love, how is that for irony?
I have always thought of myself as a very selfless person, “concerned with the needs of others than with my own”. This is a very good thing but can also be very bad. You can give too much of yourself to others and not take care of you. I am a giver, I am a caretaker always have been. Learning to do for yourself is not easy……..But you can see how there must be a balance. When we take care of ourselves we are helping others.
In every marriage/relationship there will be issues like children, work, finances, family, Etc. Supporting one another with great ideas is fantastic it shouldn’t matter where it comes from as long as it is in the best interest of the situation. We all have our strong traits, if one is more consistent and structured with the children it is beneficial, if one is better suited and has been taking care of the finances that is also beneficial. Ask yourself this question has he/she ever done something so terrible with the children? Has he/she always made sure everything was taken care of financially? Being a part of something is one thing but when you change the balance and try to take over there is going to be a negative shift. Compromise and communication are key.
This is where ones ego and selfishness can create big problems that are not necessary. Sometimes we need to hand it over to our higher power or just have the faith in yourself or your significant other that they are doing what is best in any given situation. We can’t control everything there has to be trust. If you catch yourself being selfish practice doing things to change that behavior. Do one nice thing for your spouse today that is just for them. Whether it be a book they would like, a flower just because, give them a massage, watch their favorite movie, help them with yard work, whatever he/she needs be the one to do it. If your not married do something nice to help someone else in need. When you stop and really take a look around there Is a lot of selfishness in the world but there are also giving people in the world. It is finding that balance in between not losing yourself nor being so consumed with oneself either. Sometimes self-sacrifice putting it all in someone else’s hand is what needs to be done whether it be in yourself or someone else just believe because it will all work out the way it is suppose to!
Wishing you Peace & Serenity…………..Harmony