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  • Writer's pictureKelly Bonnaci

Self Respect is Not Selfish

I think many of us are scared of being “selfish”. However, sometimes we mistake our personal autonomy or agency for selfishness. When this happens, we are left feeling guilty or ashamed. Each one of us has a narrative about selfishness –I think it’s important to identify it, learn the difference and explore what you believe about the topic...



Acts of selfishness, selflessness, and self-respect fill our lands. Those who place their needs above others are selfish. Those who put others above themselves are selfless. Often, the most misunderstood person is a person who recognizes the value of self-respect.

The distinction between the three can be confusing, but understood when you learn how to recognize the differences. Furthermore, once we realize how each behavior can exist within us, we can learn to increase our self-respect without sacrificing ourselves.


Selfishness is when a person is overly concerned with themself.

Being selfish doesn’t mean we act with the intent to hurt others, but often do, and our actions do have consequences. When we put our comfort and convenience and or prioritize our wants above others we neglect to think of how our actions affect other people.


Selfessness are those who perform selfless acts and do so because they aren’t acting out of the need to be noticed or boost their self-worth. A selfless act helps us understand and connect with others.


Self-respect and the sense of it comes from how we see or feel about ourselves. The misconception of self-respect is that it is selfish. Instead of thinking of self-respect as a negative, let’s look at how self-respect positively impacts our lives.

The term self-respect is used interchangeably with self-esteem.

We can practice self-respect by setting boundaries, forgiving ourselves for our mistakes, and loving our imperfections.

Learning to increase our self-respect comes from appreciating who we are regardless of our environment. To improve our self-respect, we can work these ideas into our daily routine:


Weed out negative influences: If we surround ourselves with people or things that cause mental or physical harm, it’s time we remove those influences from our lives.


Practice self-care; Self-care is when we take time for ourselves through activities that promote peace and reconnect us to our inner selves.


Communication; When we speak to others in a non-confrontational or passive-aggressive manner, we can create a healthy dialog.


Setting boundaries; Are a healthy way of maintaining our mental and physical health. You know best what is beneficial for your body and mind, so don’t allow others to infringe on your well-being. Sometimes, we need to protect ourselves by protecting our boundaries. It’s okay to tell others to follow our guidelines. When we do this, we aren’t selfish. Instead, we are creating healthy relationships.


Your Health and Setting Boundaries - Setting boundaries is not being selfish -

When you don't protect or overprotect your boundaries, your needs go unmet, which can lead to anxiety or compulsive behaviors such as overeating, addictions, or working too much. Setting healthy boundaries allows you to connect with yourself, your emotions and your needs.


pic source RadioHealthRadio



Putting your mental health first and protecting your energy is not selfish. It's telling yourself you are worthy and deserve peace.


Links for more sources and good reads:





It is not selfish to...

Have alone time

Set boundaries

Designate time for self-care

Say "no"

Make your own decisions

Be successful

Take care of your mental health

Change your mind

Leave unhealthy relationships











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