How can others say that we are selfish

Positive egoism: When everyone thinks of themselves, is everyone thought of?

Isn't that way too selfish, like "I'll come first and then the others"? Both sound very self-centered and therefore negative. But you quickly forget that everything always has two sides. In the first part about positive egoism, life and business coach Regina Först would like to remind us of how vital it is.

We often associate the term egoism with a very negative feeling or attitude. Because many of us have known the warning words since childhood: “The donkey always calls itself first.” So it's no wonder that we have developed a tunnel vision with this topic. We only see: there is someone who rises above others, makes others small, only thinks of his own advantage. So far it has almost never worked (perhaps due to upbringing) to see the positive side of egoism.

Selfishness is necessary in order to love yourself

I think it is vital to be selfish to a certain extent. Just think of the commandment from the Bible “Love your neighbor as yourself”. No matter how religious or non-religious we are - we all have somehow internalized this value. If we take a closer look at the sentence, we realize: Aha - if I am to love my neighbor as myself, then I have to love myself too, otherwise it won't work.

So the next thing we ask is, how many people love themselves? The answer is likely to be disastrous. Because self-love is thoroughly misunderstood by many: Going over dead bodies in a career is not necessarily a sign of loving yourself - even if you think of yourself. Without self-love it won't work with Charity. Because it is a prerequisite for all humane thinking and acting.

Selfishness doesn't have to be bad, it is sometimes just loving yourself.

You have to love yourself in order to love others

An example: Imagine you are sitting on an airplane, suddenly the pressure drops and you are asked to put on an oxygen mask. It goes without saying that you must first save yourself or take care of yourself, so that you can then also help other people. Rescue workers also use this principle. I believe that over time it made us sick not to admit that we too have to think of us.

Anyone else with "You egoist!" insulted, thereby also shows his own egoism. Why? Quite simply: we are probably accusing the other person of selfish behavior because they want something from us that we do not like. Or because he doesn't do something we want him to do. I ask you: who is the egoist now?

Happiness does not come from without, but from within

“Everyone is the maker of his or her happiness”, is the saying. But happiness does not come from an "if-then!" In other words: "If I did this or that, I got that as a reward." Or: "If I am nice and adapt here and there, I get a raise." That is one illusion! Happiness does not come from outside, but from within - through your own attitude.

We have just asked ourselves how many people love themselves. Now think about it further: How many people think they are happy? With yourself, with your life? For most of them, the answer is not exactly rosy. Because when I depend on confirmation and recognition and I always seek my happiness in the outside world, I become dependent and needy, I turn in circles. That is exhausting and yet never enough.

What does happiness have to do with egoism?

Let's go beyond the private and also look at what is currently happening in our society: There is the banking crisis, food scandals, abuse in the church and so on. And now people suddenly listen up and ask themselves: do the bankers, the food industry, the pharmaceutical industry really want what's best for us?

Disillusionment occurs - and that is good because the individual realizes: I have to take care of myself. I can't leave that to the banks and industry, because they have their own interests. If I'm going to be fine, then I have to take care of it myself and must not trust everyone blindly! That is exactly what positive egoism means.

Admittedly, this is sometimes difficult. Because many people don't really know what makes them happy. This is not a wonder. According to a Harvard study, by the time we were 18 we had heard the word “no” 148,000 times. We learn too often that we are rejected or our heart is hurtin order to still be able to reasonably say: "But I need this here." Or: "I would like that."

When we are born, we are open and courageous, we know ourselves and our strengths. And then it gradually disappears in the fog (by the way: read “Life” backwards!). You have to come out of this again and recognize: Who am I actually and what makes me happy

Healthy selfishness means learning to say no

In no, I respect my being! This formulation also has a negative effect at first glance, because we have only too often seen a NO being thrown at our head and we felt bent or disappointed as a result. But a no does not have to be bitchy or angry, on the contrary: honest and with it to say no authentically is a very important part of self-respect and self-love! But of course you should carefully weigh up what the specific situation requires.

For example, if the boss asks me to work three hours overtime today so that an extremely important project can be completed on time, a no would be inappropriate - also in my own interest. But I really have to want the yes to overtime. Because: Many people often say yes, but think no. And that becomes a problem: when I do something that I don't really want, I unconsciously ask for that the other reciprocates.

If you can say “no” at the right moment, it will help you and those around you

The end of the song: If that happens often, I'll get fed up with it at some point. And when a no blurts out in an acute situation, there is a lot of anger in it from many other times when I actually wanted to say no. And the rejection comes across too vehement and exaggerated and may lead to Conflicts. That’s not nice for me or for my counterpart. Through healthy selfishness, I can learn to say no when it is appropriate.

Self-love: Thinking about yourself instead of always wanting to satisfy everyone

So before accepting or rejecting it, it is much wiser to listen inside and ask yourself: Can and do I want to do that? Can I give something without wanting something in return? In the end, the other person will be able to deal with it much better if I am honest (and positively selfish) than if I say yes while grinding my teeth. Another example: If you come home in the evening and have absolutely no desire to cook, you don't approach the topic rashly, but say:

“Honey, I know we agreed that I would cook now, but I don't want to because I'm too tired. We can either cook together, go out to eat or call the pizza service. ”The partner will show understanding, because it turned out to be one too constructive counter-proposal made. And so the needs of both are met, completely relaxed.

Finally, a language example for you: We can BE happy, but we DO worry. That means: happiness is a state - it always takes place in the now. Worrying, on the other hand, is a process that always anticipates the future without knowing what it will be like. And that stresses you. So it is better to find your way back to your being, because only then can you be happy in this and in many other moments and for yourself and the others Improve quality of life.

In the next part you can read where the line between positive and negative egoism lies and why positive egoism is not only useful to us, but also to companies and companies.

Recorded by: Manuela Hartung