There are two ways of viewing a person who doesn’t feel guilty for putting themselves first: somewhat selfish or somewhat smart!
The truth is that you have to look after yourself in life.
You don’t always have to put yourself first. But you should do it most of the time.
If you do it too much, you’re considered selfish by most people’s standards. If you do it just the right amount, you’re probably living your life right!
Yet not everyone is like this. Some people lose sleep at night at just the thought of doing something for themselves!
The people who never feel this way share these 7 distinctive traits.
Let’s get into it!
1) They’re decisive about what they want
First up, people who know how to put themselves first are decisive.
They know exactly what they want in life – from what they’re going to eat for breakfast to where their career will be in five years.
When you’re indecisive, experts say this sometimes comes from a lack of self-esteem.
You don’t know what you want because a) you don’t feel worthy of certain things or b) you’re worried about being judged for wanting something.
But when you’re self-serving, you don’t worry about these things. You feel confident in yourself and you know what you need to do to become the person you want to be.
Even when that comes at the expense of others…
2) They have self-confidence
Speaking of self-esteem, you definitely have lots of this if you always put yourself first! Why?
In simple terms, self-esteem is all about how we feel about ourselves.
Having high self-esteem means you like and believe in yourself. Having low self-esteem means you don’t.
When you have low self-esteem, you’re more likely to people please to get validation from others. So you often put others first to feel better about yourself.
Whereas if you’re confident, you don’t need to do this. You feel good about yourself, and your belief in yourself mostly comes from within rather than without.
Which basically means, you don’t care that much what other people think about you. You know what you like and you’re happy – and that’s what matters most to you.
3) They’re motivated by their goals
Imagine a time when you’ve been absolutely determined to do something.
Maybe it was when you wanted to beat your best 5k running time. Or maybe it was just when you wanted to beat your family on quiz night!
When you were training, you didn’t care that the person running on the other track would feel bad that you beat them. When you were studying for quiz night, you didn’t care that your dad would be gutted he didn’t win.
You wanted what you wanted, and you were motivated to get it.
This is exactly how people who put themselves first all the time feel!
They don’t feel bad that their coworker lost out on the job over them. They don’t care that someone might feel worse about themselves because they’re succeeding in life.
They’re more focused on their own goals, rather than how other people might be impacted by them.
4) They have good self-discipline
Like we said earlier, people who don’t feel guilty about putting themselves first aren’t terrible people. They might be, but they probably aren’t most of the time.
Usually, they’re just very self-disciplined. Nothing stops them from doing what they want to do – especially when they know it’s for the good of themselves.
Like if they really wanted to lose weight by going to the gym regularly. When friends invite them out, they say no so they can get their cardio in.
These friends might be going through a rough time or just need a friend to talk to. But if they don’t keep on top of their gym regime, their own health is seriously going to suffer.
Plus, they really, really, really want to look and feel fitter. They want it more than they want their friendship with this person, sometimes!
5) They lack some guilt and remorse
Some people lack guilt and remorse because they are narcissists with little empathy for others. But not everyone who lacks guilt is a narcissist.
Believe it or not, there aren’t actually that many narcissists in the world – according to experts.
Some people simply don’t have as much emotional intelligence or empathy as others do.
So when something bad happens to a person, or there are negative consequences on others for their actions, they don’t feel that bad about it.
It’s not because they’re a nasty person. They’re just not as empathetic as someone with high emotional intelligence.
6) They brush things off easily
Being dismissive is mostly branded as a negative trait. But sometimes it can be positive!
Like if you’re a surgeon or healthcare worker. Being able to brush off negative things easily helps manage your stress. It prevents the job from weighing you down.
That’s when a bit of dismissiveness is a good thing.
Yet when you’re dismissive of other people’s feelings, especially when it’s “you or them”, this isn’t always that good. It can come across as a little selfish.
People who don’t feel guilty about putting themselves first will brush things off very easily – especially when it comes to other people!
If you said to them, “What about me?” or “Won’t that look bad on [person]?”, they’d probably respond with something like, “Not my problem” (and mean it!).
7) They’re fiercely independent
Another trait of someone who doesn’t feel guilty for doing them is independence.
Why? Independent people generally develop this trait out of necessity. They had to learn how to look after themselves.
Otherwise, they wouldn’t have made it this far in life…
When someone is fiercely independent like this, they become used to looking after them (and only them).
It’s like a friend of mine who was an only child with somewhat absent parents. She had to look out for herself and got used to doing it. When she got into relationships in later life, she struggled.
Partners would call her selfish. But she was just used to washing her own dishes, doing her own laundry, and making her own lunch – rather than doing other people’s, too.
It took a lot of adjustment to get her to even realize the impact her actions had on others, let alone feel guilty about it!
She was just so independent and used to looking out for herself that it came naturally to her. She even felt good about it, rather than bad about it.
Sometimes it isn’t nice dealing with a person who lacks guilt for putting themselves first. If you’re on the receiving end of their dismissiveness, it can feel pretty crappy.
Yet there’s something to be learned about these people and the traits they have.
Putting yourself first is a good thing. Dare I say, it’s something most of us should do more often!
Looking after yourself is never a bad thing, especially when you’ve been a people pleaser for too long in the past.
But if you want to be a good person, a good friend, a good partner, or a good parent, you need to put others first, too.
The trick is finding a good balance between doing you and doing others. And making sure that you’re putting yourself first at the right time, and others at the right time.
That way, the times you do put yourself first, you’re less likely to feel consumed with guilt about it!
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