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When to Be Selfish

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 2

For most people, the desire to maintain a relationship is instinctual. However, if we're not careful, we may find ourselves sacrificing ourselves on the altar of the collective. There are going to be times where being selfish is not a vice, but a means of self-preservation. Here are a few instances where you should stop being so nice, and look out for yourself.

1. The Toxic Friend- Friendship is a beautiful thing, but it can quickly turn ugly when engaging with a toxic individual. Toxic individuals are identified by their habitual taking in relationships, a need to inflict feelings of shame on the people they care about, and a cyclical relapse into abusive mannerisms. Examples might include someone who goes from talking about you behind your back to promising be best buds forever the next day.

In situations like these, it's best you cut and run. These "friends" don't want a healthy relationship so much as they want someone to blame for their problems and use as a punching bag. Sure, the good times are really, really good, but much like the little girl with the curl right in the middle of her forehead, those moments of joy are not worth the horrid.

2. The Demanding Boss- There will always be times when you don't like your boss. However, in some cases, those "times" are a lot more like "all the time." You'll find yourself constantly being asked for more, and not in an encouraging manner. In some cases, being willing to go the extra mile will bring you increased respect, responsibilities and promotions. However, in other cases, it's just your boss taking advantage of someone they feel like they can push around.

There are a couple of tell tale signs that you have that demanding boss. First, if you're the new guy in town (and I mean new) and you know that you're good, but probably haven't gotten to a point where a promotion is imminent, question whether your workload is above your pay grade. Calculate out how many hours you're spending in the office each week, and divide your weekly salary by that number. How much are you making? Is it worth it?

Second, if you're the old dog that's been promised a promotion for years on end, and nothing has changed in the nature of the work you're being given, perhaps it's time to analyze your situation realistically. Your job is not to keep the company afloat. Your job is to support you and your family. If your boss is interfering with your ability to do that by demanding too much, then it's time to start job hunting.

3. The Troubled Family- They say that blood is thicker than water, but blood also makes a much bigger mess, both metaphorically and literally. Family ties are wonderful and should be preserved whenever possible, but sometimes, you'll find you have a family member that is exploiting the sanctity of familial bonds.

In other words, the leech that mooches in the name of family is no good. Maybe they have a problem, maybe they're in a rough patch (that has lasted 4 years), or maybe they're just lazy. Whatever the excuse is, when it gets to a point that you're being taken for granted, or their problem is becoming too much for you to handle, consider giving them a dose of tough love. The problem with caretaking is that, when given in hefty doses, it comes back to bite you in the butt in the form of reliance.


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Comments

Jun 3, 2010 8:35pm
mulberry
Sounds like good advice. I have a friend that refers to family as "the F word". (hers is apparently rather toxic)
Jun 4, 2010 12:08pm
believeinfamily
Excellent article on when to be selfish. Thanks for the advice.
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