Selfish. I really hate the concept selfish brings up. The only people who worry about being selfish are the kindest, nicest, more caring people. Religion has instilled this idea that if you do anything for yourself, you are a selfish person. Like most ideas that I struggle with, I redefine them.
Each person has a well within them. This well is full of love, companionship, support, activities that we enjoy and make us feel good, words or encouragement and hope. We can put some of these things in our own well by making time for activities we enjoy, such as a movie, time with friends, exercise, etc. We allow others to contribute to our well when they offer words of support or encouragement, when they spend time with us, call or text just to say hi.
When this well is full, we are able to give love, companionship, support and hope back to others. We can do this in the form of words of encouragement, offering our time, doing acts of service, etc. We have lots to give when we are full.
When our well is empty, however, we have nothing to give to others. We are not able to give words of encouragement when we are feeling discouraged ourselves. We are not able to give our time when we are feeling run down and frustrated, tired and overwhelmed or taken advantaged of on a regular bases. We are not able enjoy time with others when the other people are critical, demoralizing or minimizing to us. When others are always taking out of our well and not adding to our well, we are a dry desert and have nothing to contribute.
It is not selfish to expect others to contribute to our well, just as we are contributing to their well. Each relationship is a partnership, a two-way road. If only one person is contributing or it becomes a one-way road, then there is no longer a relationship in place, but manipulation and a doormat. We wouldn't think to call the other person selfish for accepting our generosity or kindness, so why do we think it is selfish to expect the same treatment in return?
A dry well cannot contribute...it is healthy to have a full and wet well. Live well and full.