The Art of Being Selfish

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Two years ago, I was in a relationship where I felt the need to watch my words around my then-boyfriend. I felt like I was walking on eggshells all the time just to avoid a fight. If something was bothering me, I tried to hold it in to spare his feelings. First of all, that was toxic af and I didn’t even realize. Second, I understand relationships are about compromise, but my feelings, not his, should have been my top priority.

What if I told you that people who always put themselves first and only worry about their own feelings exist? You’d probably call them selfish. The word selfish has a negative connotation because it is associated with being inconsiderate. Since we were children, we were raised to be selfless instead of selfish. We’re told to play nice, be fair, be polite. I’ve come to learn that it’s very possible to be all those things and still be selfish. I’m not talking about the “my way or the highway” selfish. There is an art to putting yourself first for the sake of your happiness so you can be a better human being and offer even more to this world. To understand my point better, check this blog out.

One of my favorite quotes is “you can’t pour from an empty cup”. A part of being selfish is self-love. How can you keep giving love, attention, and affection to others when you can’t even give it to yourself? By the way, self-love is more than face masks and bubble baths. When you really love yourself, not just saying it, it bubbles up from within you and oozes through your pores and radiates out. And guess what? That self-love, that selfishness, that “I’m going to do me, for me” attitude just might inspire someone more than your faux philosophical tweets ever could.

So here is what I’ve gathered and narrowed down for you from my reading on this topic. The YBO art of being selfish is:

  1. Physical Self-care

You can’t make a difference in this world if you’re dead and that’s just facts. Exercise (even just a 30 minute walk). Take your vitamins. Don’t skip breakfast. Get a good night’s sleep. Drink water. And would it kill you to get STD tested?

2. Saying No

I have the hardest time saying no to people because I don’t like to disappoint them. But saying no sometimes is necessary. Think about the money and time you could have saved if you didn’t let your friend convince you to go out to that wack ass party that you never wanted to go to anyway.

3. Not Requiring Validation

The key to being selfish is doing the best thing for you. Not your friends. Not your followers. It takes time to shake off the brainwashing, but eventually you have to live YOUR life for YOU. You came in this world alone and you’re gonna leave alone. So what if people laugh at you or judge you? Do they wear your shoes? Do they pay your bills?

4. Unplugging

I often take random social media hiatuses and I highly suggest you do the same. It’s simply to clear your head. You can’t focus on you when you’re scrolling and watching everyone else’s life religiously. Pray, meditate, or read a book instead. I promise when you return, your notifications will be right there waiting.

5. Doing More of What You Love

Please make time for your hobbies. When you get wrapped up in society’s obligations and adulting, you lose what makes you, you. Whether it be photography, dance, cooking, drawing, do more of what makes you happy. I always say, I don’t care if 10 people or 100 people read this blog. I write as my escape.

6. Getting Help

Self-love, self-care, self-help. These names are deceiving because sometimes you can’t do it alone. If you need help, ask. I’ve seen a therapist. There is no shame in my game. Psychological health should be #1 on your to-do list! I also run all my insecurities by my mom. I visit online communities of people going through the same things as me. Being selfish doesn’t mean isolating yourself.

The art of being selfish is hard to master. We’re wired to care for other people. Not doing so almost seems immoral. But remember to care for yourself first and foremost.



  1. sneedlaw · October 18, 2017

    Self care is good, you can’t rule if you’re not physically ready. Saying no is good, more than that, not shying away from negative things in general. Move toward awareness rather than just the good. Knowing yourself is good too, there’s nothing outside of your perception so be free of all constructs not just for judgmental reasons but for creation. Meditation or breaks are good… And employ as many “others” as you can they’re yours to work with. 👍🏾


    • roysterc · October 19, 2017

      really like your statement about not shying away from the negative like it’s there you’re aware now what are you going to do about it to come out on top?


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