"Selfish" is such a dirty word in today's society. The negative connotations of crazy women, demanding attention, or of men who only want to spend time in bars, are the reason that being "selfish" is now such a terrible thing.
We're brought up and encouraged to explore our own individualities, to forge our own opinions, to make our own judgements on the world, and yet, even in this day and age, we're often discouraged when we genuinely want to explore our own routes.
Whether it's something as simple as wanting to eat at a different restaurant than that suggested, or something more major like only dating someone who wants to follow the same plans in life as you do, doing what we want in life is surely one of the fundamental things that we are promised on the route to adulthood.
A lot of the opinions we have and the choices we make are often branded as "selfish", but we're allowed to do whatever we want. How can anyone say our choices are not worthy. The choice to not want to work the evening shift, the choice to not want to go out for a fatty takeaway, or, in the bigger picture, the choice to not want to move across the world for your other half, or the choice to want or not want children.
We're all entitled to want and to believe exactly what we want. That's the beauty of the free speech and the equality that we have spent so long fighting for. It's not selfish to want what you want. In fact, your life will take a whole different turn when you stop complying to what everyone else says and do whatever the fuck you want.
1) It allows us to be better people
We need to take the time to listen to ourselves and fulfil some of our own choices. It's not selfish to cancel plans to take a well deserved night off at home. It's not selfish to not want to waste your money on a drunken night out so you can use it for some new makeup instead. It's not selfish to take well deserved time away from the 'friends' who don't add anything to your life. Before we can start to care for other people, we need to take care of ourselves, and that requires a little bit of selfishness every now and again. By taking time to invest in our own desires, it will make us love and enjoy the world so much more, that will ultimately make us want to love and enjoy the world with everyone else even more.
2) We have a right to want what we want
We as a society have spent hundreds of years fighting for the right to do this, or the chance to do that. We have more options now than ever to take our life in new directions and new routes, that we should use every moment to do whatever the hell we want. So what if it's not what our parents want. So what if it's not going to help further our education or career. So bloody what if people disagree. We are entitled to do whatever the hell we want, to believe whatever the hell we want, to want whatever the hell we want, and we should embrace that unapologetically.
3) Everyone else seems to, why can't we
Why is it that everyone else always seems to do the things they want to do? Everyone else is working their dream job, driving their dream car, hanging out in their favourite places with their favourite people - why can't we? We need to stop being people pleasers. We are the most important person in our lives, and we need to take more time to please ourselves. We need to listen to our needs and our feelings and do what we want to do for a change.
4) You don't rely on anyone else
If investing in your own desires, you don't have anyone else to hold you back. How many times have you not done something because someone else disagreed, or done something stupid just to please someone else? By waiting for everyone else to agree and give you the affirmation you're waiting for, you miss out on so much. Go and do whatever the hell you want to, and when your friends cancel or change their mind or find something better to do, you'll still be the one in charge and enjoying your life.
5) You push your boundaries
Always wanted to do something but never had the encouragement to pursue it? By being selfish and doing whatever we want to do, we can accomplish things never done before. Last year, I wanted to travel America by myself. My now-ex-boyfriend wasn't so sold on the idea. Luckily, I ignored his requests and listened to my own selfish needs, went on the trip, and had the time of my life. Something I never would have done if I'd listened to the 'kind words' of those 'who care'.