How I Become Selfless by Being Selfish

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Selfless and selfish are two different things. However, just like an origami paper, in which one side is coloured and the other one is plain white, the distance to go from one side to another is very close. And the same thing goes with being selfless and selfish.

Please note that this article is written based on my own experience, I don’t know if there is any scientifical proof or not.

I live my life simply. Just like any other person, I also have flaws. In my case, I always overthink anything in life. Before doing something, I push myself to think about the pros and cons if I do that. Will it be okay if I do it? Will I be fine after doing it? What if something bad happens to me after I do that? What if society does not approve of me doing it?

The same thing goes in how I socialize with people. How I socialize with my surroundings or my inner circle. In my previous perspective, I always thought that I was being selfish all the time. I always put my feelings above all. Before saying something, the thought always popped up in my mind,

will I want to hear the things that I want to say? Is that how I want people to talk to me?

My previous perspective saw it as me being selfish because I only wanted to say the things that I wanted to hear from people. As if I demanded the same responses from the people whom I talked to.

However, one of the closest people I’ve been with told me that, most of the time, our perspectives might be wrong. And I realized that it happened to me too. Because what I thought of ‘selfish’ actually is seen as me being ‘selfless’ by everyone around me. I used to see my thoughts as proof that I always put my feelings above all. I did not want to say the things that I did not want to hear, because what if I did and people used it to backfire at me? On the other hand, people I talk to see it as me being selfless because I think very carefully about the words that will come out from my mouth as if I don’t want to hurt them.

My point is that we can always see things from many different perspectives. What you think of something negative might positively affect someone else. Nevertheless, I am not writing this to encourage people to be selfish as if they do not care about their surroundings or the people around them. I’m just thinking, if people think very carefully about the words they want to say — regardless of what their reasons are — will it lessen the population of people that we hurt by our words?

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a literature student who probably hasn’t read your books-every-literature-student-has-read list.

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Adelaide Livia

Adelaide Livia

a literature student who probably hasn’t read your books-every-literature-student-has-read list.