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When is it okay to be selfish?

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  • When is it okay to be selfish?

    You obviously can't spend your whole life being selfless. Sometimes you need to take care of your own needs before those of others. But when is and isn't it okay to be selfish?

    Marx vs Nietzsche. One believed in communities whilst the other believed the individual was more important. Supposedly your conscience should be a bit of a guide on the matter but if you're like myself then your conscience is over zealous. I feel awful doing bad things on video games and in real life I can't even hurt a fly. At the same time I tend to lean much more on the selfish side when it comes to my own happiness. But man do I hate winning bids on ebay. I feel so bad for the losers. Historically humans do much better as a group. We are social animals after all. On the other hand, all the greatest inventions and discoveries were made by singular people right? Although those individuals admittedly got a lot of ideas from others and many even worked in teams. Neil Armstrong didn't single handedly build a rocket to the moon. But then there would have been times in his life where he shut out others to further his career prospects. And a lot of our greatest leaders were sociopaths or at least very single minded in their ambitions.

    So I go back to the question, when is it right to be selfish?


  • #2
    Most times you ideally should be selfless. But every now and again you need to think of yourself.


    • #3
      It's okay to be selfish if you're ill, poor or if you feel uncomfortable doing a favor. Some people will always put others ahead of themselves, one example being my dad who'll have trouble saying no to help any of his friends or relatives. I try to follow his example but I can much easier say no to people out of selfish reasons and sometimes those reasons are almost baseless. That doesn't happen very often though.

      Ultimately I don't think you should do something if it makes you uncomfortable, you just have to judge for yourself whether or not it's justified.


      • #4
        I'd say it's most okay to be selfish as a way to treat yourself from being selfless.

        Gotta take care of yourself, some people spend so much time caring for others that they forget to do that...but the problem with being that sort of person is that you're so helpful that sometimes people don't realize they should help you too.

        I feel like that's probably what happens in cases like Robin Williams, he was such a swell guy that few people ever even realized he struggled with depression. He was always making people laugh and doing his bit for the world, you could feel comfortable knowing how happy he was, a lovely happy man.
        But in hindsight, we know that was not the case at all.

        Of course, most of us are blind to the lives of celebrities we'll never personally know but I think that same concept can easily be applied to people we do know.
        That nan who always goes the extra mile to bake you some goodies even though she can barely walk is probably dying for a foot rub, she'd never ask though.


        • #5
          don't step on other people and take care of your dependants.

          If you do this, be as selfish as you want.


          • #6
            I think it's ok to be selfish as long as you're not invading other people's privacy or infringing their property and rights.


            • #7
              Yeah, you can have selfish desires, but make sure you respect others' human rights.