Restorations Therapy Blog

Understanding the Differences Between Self-Respect and Selfishness

by on Thursday, September 9th, 2021

There comes a time in all our lives when someone asks us to do something, and we have to say “no.” Maybe we have a conflict and can’t do it, maybe we don’t have time to do it, or maybe we simply don’t want to. 

Turning someone down can be a very difficult thing to do because it’s human nature to want to please people and help them whenever possible. It can be especially challenging for women to tell someone “no,” mainly because it’s natural for women to be maternal and caring. 

Differences Between Self-Respect and Selfishness

Self-respect means we do things deliberately in order to manage and maintain good mental and emotional health. Those things can, in turn, help keep our physical health in check as well. If we don’t set and maintain boundaries, we can become unhappy with ourselves. Some might even say it is akin to self-abuse. 

Selfishness occurs when someone does things only for their own benefit or pleasure. They think of no one but themselves, and they have no regard for others.

In short, self-respect is putting one’s needs over the wants and needs of others. Selfishness is described as putting one’s wants over the needs of others. It’s about loving and caring for ourselves. While saying no to someone could technically be considered an act of selfishness, it is being selfish in a very healthy way. 

Learning to Say No

One way to say no without feeling guilty about it is to practice saying no. Because someone will get a negative feeling when you turn them down, it’s important to choose your words carefully. Letting them down easily is key. You can simply say that you have so many things on your plate already that you can’t possibly take on one more thing. You could also say your schedule is tight and, while you wish you could help them, you just can’t right now.

The main thing to remember is that you have the right to say no if you want to, and you should not feel guilty doing so. After all, saying no to someone is saying yes to you and your own needs. 

If you have self-esteem issues and have become a people-pleaser as a result, you may need to see a therapist to help you learn how to set boundaries for yourself. Learning to say no if you are asked to do something that you don’t really want to is crucial for your recovery process. Restorations Therapy has licensed, professional counselors who can help you with those issues and anything else that is preventing you from living your best life. We’ll design a therapy program specifically for you and your needs. Call Restorations Therapy today at (720) 446-6585

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