I’ve spent the last week being really selfish.
It’s hard not to be, after all. You only totally know yourself, your own thoughts, your own experiences. It’s quite hard on a day-to-day basis to not let your life just be all about you. We’re all a bit selfish, even though none of us mean to be.
But sometimes the self gets a bit more selfish. On a bad day, it’s easy to slip into the rhythm that you are the problem. That you’re having a bad day because you didn’t try hard enough, or you made someone angry, or you made all the poor life decisions leading up to this moment. It’s easy to stop believing that there are any kind of external forces at work.
That selfishness creeps and crawls it’s way into everything. Something went wrong at work? You don’t think about who might have needed support, or who else might need to know in order to fix the problem. Instead you just get caught in a mire of how it’s all your fault. Friend seems down? Probably because they have made the mistake of associating themselves with you. Couldn’t be anything else, because you’re the poison, after all.
Of course, that can only go on for so long before you pick yourself up and say “don’t be ridiculous, you’re not terrible” – and then on you wander into the selfishness of making other people validate that. Sure, there was an issue at work, but “I did all I could, right?” – that’s the mantra you make your colleagues and friends and significant others repeat. Or have them tell you how great you are as a person, to make you feel better about you.
I’ve had a week a bit like that, feeling sorry for myself and then shutting down any possibility that maybe, just maybe, the whole world doesn’t revolve around me.
And to clarify, sometimes you need those days. It’s not wrong to need support and validation when you feel a bit rubbish. But people are bad at expressing that (and I count myself among them) because no-one on Earth has successfully said “Oh hey so I know other stuff is going on in life, but just right now I need you to really focus on making everything all about me”. It doesn’t work like that. What if more than one person needs that at once and they ask each other? Then what do you do?
Selfishness happens to everyone, it’s just a part of life. There’s no clever moral here, just me recognising that I have KILLER toothache, and I’ve been a bit grumpy and me-me-me, and it’s because I have been a bit blinkered to my own selfishness.