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Michelle Gottlieb Psy.D., MFT, LPCC
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Healthy Selfish

March 2014

Is it healthy to be selfish? Now, most of us have been taught that the answer to that question is a resounding no, but I would challenge you. I feel that there is a healthy level of selfishness, especially if you define selfish as taking care of self.

Now, just to be clear, if I am only thinking of myself, then that is an unhealthy amount of selfish. But if I never focus on myself, that is unhealthy, too. The challenge is to find that healthy amount, keeping a good balance. Some of that includes the right amount of sleep and nourishing foods. Another piece is beneficial exercise, along with an active spiritual life. Of course, a strong relationship is crucial as well. All of these things take time to create and keep in harmony. If we are not being selfish, in a wholesome way, we are unable to achieve that balance.

One of the ways that you can check to see if you are in balance ask yourself how you would feel about your friend taking the time to do these things. Would you think that he was being selfish? Or would you be impressed that she is taking the time for herself? If it is the latter, than you can trust that you are achieving a healthy balance of selfish.

So, today, go out and experiment with being selfish! And see how your world changes!

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