One of the more surprising truths I have learned about life so far is that having a big ego will only cause you trouble in life. When I was about 15 years old I was the most selfish I have ever been in life so far. It makes sense, most teens are quite self-centered. I remember that my mother used you tell me “You are so selfish” at least once per day during this phase in my life. She was right. I was selfish and I always wanted things to go my own way. I was self-centered, mean, rude and low on empathy.
Looking back I’m still grateful that I had a really selfish phase back in high school because it thought me so much about life. I learned early on that living a selfish life just doesn’t work. Living life with a big ego won’t just hurt those around you, it will also hurt you. Many people think that they need to be selfish to protect themselves from getting hurt or being stepped on in life. Many people still believe that unless I am tough and loud I won’t be heard or taken seriously. I have noticed that it’s sometimes very surprising how much people will respect you and listen to your opinion if you are loving and kind.
You might think “but if I stop being tough people will take advantage of me.” I have noticed that we often mix up being selfish with self love. Self love means that you love and respect yourself, which means you will speak up for yourself when somebody hurt you or try to use you for example. You take care of yourself and won’t let people treat you badly. You do these things because you know that you are valuable and deserve to be treated with love and respect from everyone around you. You aren’t easily upset by others because you know that what they say about you are only opinions, it’s never the truth.
There are many ways we can speak up for ourselves without having to be rude or disrespectful of others. People are also much more likely to listen to someone who speaks to them in a respectful way versus someone who is loud and rude.
One of my life goals is to continue to “shrink my ego”. I know that the smaller my ego gets the better I will become at relationships and the more loving I will become. I also want to continue to become better at Self Love, because I know that I need to love myself well to be able to love others.
A less selfish person will make decisions that are best for everyone, not just best for him or herself. I know what life becomes when you choose the selfish road. Life is great in the beginning, you get everything you want and nobody can stop you from reaching your goals, but in the end you are left with a lot of people who you have hurt including yourself.
Selfish people are terrible at relationships and sooner or later our own selfishness will sabotage our relationships. The only way to do well in this life is to learn to love yourself and others well, because the human experience is all about relationships. We interact daily with our spouse, friends, co-workers, neighbors, family members, our kids etc. The better you are at love, the better your life will become. Love is not selfish, love is kind.