06/28/2014 11:22 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

When Being Selfish Is a Good Thing

I think sometimes the word selfish gets a bad rap We grow up learning to play fair, be nice to others and above all else, be selfless, not selfish.

But what happens when being selfless puts you on a track that's not leading to your own personal happiness? Is it okay to turn selfless into selfish? Is it okay to do something for you?

The other day I was confronted for "being selfish" for a certain aspect of my upcoming wedding. When the choice was made, the only factors involved were my fiancé and myself -- no one else.

Did we think we were being selfish? Not in our minds; it is our day to plan as we see fit. It brings up a valid question: Are we supposed to plan a day meant to celebrate us according to the wants and needs of others?

Let's look at the Oxford Dictionary's true definition of the word:

"Selfish: lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure."

Did we consider others while making the decision? No.
Was the decision made to further our own personal profit or pleasure? Absolutely.

But chances are, that when I asked earlier if we were supposed to plan a day meant to celebrate us according to other people -- most of you probably shook your head, "no."


Photo credit: Jonas Maon, Aria Studios

It's no secret that typically when a female is confronted with an accusation such as selfish -- our go-to defense mechanism is to apologize. We are made to believe that by putting ourselves first, those we are meant to care for come second and, as such, are being let down. It's troubling that our society has come to the point where the connotation of a word can strike fear into our conscience to the point where we question our own choices and morality. People have truly come to believe that we must sacrifice a piece of ourselves in order to be considered good people. But what good can you do if your own personal happiness is in the balance--constantly striving to appease others?

"Sometimes you have to be selfish to be selfless." -- Edward Albert

The reality is that to be truly happy, you need to put "you" first sometimes. If that means being selfish, do so with a smile on your face. Am I saying to ignore others or how they feel, always choose yourself or become completely inconsiderate 100-percent of the time? Absolutely not -- life is about balance.

Make choices that honor your own happiness first, and if you are able to do that, you will be better equipped to make a difference in the world around you.