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The Two Types of Selfishness

  1. gmwilliams profile image86
    gmwilliamsposted 4 years ago

    There is a good type of selfishness when a person wants what is BEST for him/her whether at work, relationships, and the better material and financial aspects of living.  This good selfishness makes him/her happier and more fulfilled in life.  This is the type of selfishness which makes one want to achieve and ultilize his/her human potential, being the BEST person possible. 

    Selfishness has gotten negative press so far.  To be considered selfish is often the worst possible thing in many people's eyes.  However, selfishness can be an admirable, even a good trait.  In fact, normal and mentally healthy people possess a good type of selfishness.  Anyone who says he/she isn't selfish has some mental health issues or is deluding himself/herself.   

    Then there is the bad type of selfishness when ALL one thinks about is the issue of self.  Others clearly do not matter to this person.  Everything is about the Great Almighty Self.  This person considers his/her needs, desires, and wants before all.   He/she is not above using other people for his/her ends.  This is the person who feels that he/she is entitled to all regardless of the cost and/or consequences therein.  This person can be classified as toxic.   
    Do you agree/disagree with this premise?  Why? Why not?

    1. pennyofheaven profile image80
      pennyofheavenposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      We each must start somewhere. Some perhaps do not or have not 'yet' been given the inner tools in order to  detoxify any ways others might perceive as being toxic. Deep down those who have no thought for others are usually trying to fill inner gaps that have developed for various different reasons that we might never know.

  2. Mighty Mom profile image85
    Mighty Momposted 4 years ago

    Yes. I agree with what you're saying.
    The word selfish invariably invokes the second meaning -- negative.
    I wish there were better words to describe each type of selfish so that it's immediately clear which is meant.
    Example: The GOOD selfish could be self-aware or self-assured or self-motivated.
    Note that in your description, the ultimate goal of this self-improvement is to be selfLESS and be the best possible self in the world with and for others, right?

    The BAD selfish is basically self-centered. Or stick with selfish for the negative, toxic definition. If the definition fits.... smile

  3. profile image0
    Emile Rposted 4 years ago

    I have to admit this line of reasoning makes me uncomfortable. It's a slippery slope. Being the best you can be has nothing to do with selfishness. Any action taken to better yourself, if it involves not taking into account how your actions affect the wants and needs of others cannot be labeled positive selfishness. I don't know that positive selfishness exists. I don't find your explanation to be indicative of 'positive' selfishness.

    Being the best you can be and utilizing your potential is not selfish, in and of itself. It becomes selfish by the goals you hope to achieve and the actions you are willing to do in order to achieve it.