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Being Selfish is Great

Updated on January 8, 2013

The Positive Side of Being Selfish

As children, we were told that being selfish was equivalent to being wicked, heartless, and bad by parents, teachers, relatives, and religious authorities. We were endlessly indoctrinated that the epitome of being worthwhile people was to be self-abnegating and altruisitc. This goes against human values. We are by nature selfish. If we were not selfish beings, we have not have survived as a species. Looking out for oneself is paramount for survival.

The value of altruism is a hypocritical one. Self-interest is a normal part of development. It shows being alive and a concern for one's self being and preservation. People who are selfish are less likely to be taken advantage of than people who are altruistic. People who are selfish are also assertive, know how to speak up for themselves, and to draw appropriate boundaries. They know how to respect themselves which result in other people respecting them. People who are selfish have the most success in life. They know what they want and how to obtain their goals. They do not expect others to do things for them. They believe in being self-starters, doing things for themselves. They are proactive people instead of being passive.

Anyone who believes that selfishness is bad is surely making poor judgement. Look at people who achieve great success- they are selfish in that they believe in utilizing their potential in life, career, financially, and emotionally. These people believe in living life at full gusto and not halfway. People, in fact, respect selfish people more often than altruistic people in that selfish people are more honest in expressing their wants and desires unabashedly.

Selfish people do not bother people nor are they are drain upon them. Selfish people see nothing wrong in putting themselves first which is perfectly normal. People who usually put other people first are seen as doormats and are not respected. Altruistic people tend to be taken advantage of by other people who see their kindness as weakness. Furthermore, altruistic people do not succeed in the working world. They are the people who get put upon by co-workers and bosses and they seldom, if ever, get promoted. They are the drones of the world. Also being altruistic is a sign of a masochistic disorder.

Although altruistic people are praised publicly by society, secretly they are despised as being fools. Altruistic people are the so-called nice people who have no boundaries. If a parent wants his/her child to be considered a patsy and/or failure, teach that child to be altruistic. Altruistic people are more subjected to spousal abuse because they cannot say no and they would put up with anything. In contrast, selfish people do not tolerate spousal or any type of abuse and are not hesitant to say so.

On the whole, selfish people are happier and more successful in life than altruistic people. Selfish people are also the happiest and most successful people. They know what they want out of life and make no apologies to anyone. They believe that life is to be enjoyed, savored, and to be lived passionately without any apologies.


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    • gmwilliams profile imageAUTHOR

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      3 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Well stated indeed!

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Selfishness is a Virtue. Altruism or selflessness, does not exist. Everyone is inherently and completely selfish, whether they know it or not. One cannot act outside of one's body. Even if one gives all of one's money to a stranger, one acted from one's own volition, unless one was robbed. It was a personal selfish choice to do so, if done voluntarily. The altruistic ruse comes into play, however, when the snake oil salesman separates fools from their money, time, labor and/or happiness, by inculcating them with dreams of a selfless life.

    • profile image

      Altruistic Idiot 

      6 years ago

      Your article has opened my eyes, I know what it feels when your are being exploited by others. It takes a lot of courage to say 'no', especially in tight situations. However, if we look at altruistic perspective, it's very advantageous if one uses one's selflessness discretely to gain future favors from someone whom we can definitely trust.

    • gmwilliams profile imageAUTHOR

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      7 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      To Om Paramapoonya: I totally agree with you. There is good selfishness and bad selfishness. Good selfishness is being comfortable in your own skin and not being afraid to go after what you want. Bad selfishness is total disregard for humanity which is venal, banal, and evil. One must consider others.

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 

      7 years ago

      I agree selfishness isn't necessarily bad. But extreme selfishness is. It's best to be in the middle of the road. Be a little selfish when we need to be, and be kind when we should to those who truly deserve our kindness.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Also, just a quick plug: 71 percent of firefighters in the United States are volunteers.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This is an interesting point of view for sure. But if lived to the extreme a person will not be happy in the end. When you lay on your death bed and you know that you are going to die, self is non existent. You begin to think about what you have done for others and how you have made a difference in the world. You wonder if you have ever affected anyone in a positive way. You can work your entire life getting the promotions you deserve but you never see the lifes you affect if you become arrogant and completely self centered.

      The majority of the medals of honor given in the military are those who have fallen on grenades to save a few people. The military in general is suppose to be those who give up self to serve and protect those that they do not know. Yet it is centered around promotions. It works both ways. You can be selfish and altruistic.

      People are remembered best about how they were selfless from family, friends, and coworkers. Who do you think will still be remembered more 100 years from right now: the story of how you or your coworker became the CEO of a fortune 500 company? Or the timeless story of robin hood?

      It is good to watch after your self. We all need to make sure we have food on our tables and our children can have the best future possible. But wait, isn't helping our children a form of altruistism? Who cares about those snotty nosed teenagers? Their parents do, and I would gamble that the majority of mothers would jump in front of a bullet for their child. There are many examples in life of natural altruistism.

      It is good to defend youself when needed and do your best in life how ever it takes to get there. But also people are naturally giving. And if you can intentionally give you always feel better about yourself in the end.

      It is best to try to be both in life. Protect your own well being but give to those that NEED help. Be altruistic and "selfish".

    • Ashantina profile image


      7 years ago

      ..and nuthin but The Truth.

    • profile image

      Hydrology Major 

      7 years ago

      I always ignored parental demands to share my stuff with others and still do. I enjoy my life utterly!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      What an interesting point of view, I really like & agree with it.


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