Bad Words: Selfish, Unaware, Unthinking

Selfish, unaware, unthinking.

Now we’re getting down to the nitty gritty.

I am a selfish person. I admit it straight up. My parents railed against any sort of selfishness from the time I was little. They told me to share, told me to think of others, put the needs of others before my own. It was never to be about me and always to be about someone else. Other people should be more important.

Well, I got news for you: those lessons didn’t stick.

That’s not to say that I don’t share or I that I don’t help people in need. I do my bits and pieces here and there and I’ve been told I’ve been a decent help to friends and family when they need it. I share what I have when I can when it’s appropriate.

But I am still the center of my own universe.

I admit it. I am as egocentric as they come. I’m selfish with my feelings and my attention and my interests. If it’s not about me, if it doesn’t pertain to me, if I am not involved in some way, you’d better believe there’s a good chance that I don’t care about it much. More than once I’ve done things or gone places or said words that I didn’t really want to do, go, or say just because I know it’s more socially acceptible to do so.

Many times, though, I don’t because I don’t want to. I put what I want ahead of what other people want.

I am most selfish with power. I will tell you right here and now that I may be a good leader, may handle responsibility well, but you do not want to give me any authority over other people. I turn into a tyrant. I don’t mean to, but it happens. I’m selfish, so it’s all about me. If it’s all about me, then it’s all about my way and my way is the only way. And because I don’t give myself a whole lot of slack when it comes to getting the job done, nobody else gets any either. Their performance reflects on me and I don’t want to look bad. All about me.

Since it’s all about me it leads me to be unaware of the thoughts, feelings, and needs of other people. I’m focused so much on myself that those things have a tendency to slip by me undetected (to be fair, I think  I earlier established that even if I am paying attention, I don’t always pick up on certain things). It’s not necessarily an intentional act of neglect; I’m not purposefully ignoring people. I’m just not paying particularly close attention to them because they are not me and what’s going on with them doesn’t pertain to me.

Because of all of this, I come off as unthinking. I already have the tact problem; the selfishness just compounds it. These two words combine with being unaware to make me appear so inconsiderate that the word doesn’t do it justice. I’m unthinking. I don’t bother to consider how my actions and words will affect other people. I’m that selfish.

Again, I’m not saying this out of pride. I’m saying it out of truth. I know I’m this way. I know I do these things. I’m not proud of them, but they exist. I’m not trying to excuse them, just acknowledge them.

The selfish things has given me a bit of a complex. Because it was drilled into me so hard as a kid not to be selfish, when I recognize my selfish behavior, it causes major guilt.

I don’t want to be selfish. I try not to be selfish. But I am and it still happens. As such, I don’t ever feel like I’ve earned any “me” time because I feel like I haven’t given enough time to other people, which has a tendency to make me more selfish because I haven’t gotten any “me” time. It’s a vicious cycle that I’m working very hard to break and not having a whole lot of success doing it.

And until I get my head out of my own ass, I’m not going to have much success at becoming more aware either.

The one thing I can say that I have improved is being a tyrant. I still have my moments, but I’m the first person to shun leadership and will only take it grudgingly. And then, I’m very, very careful about how I dictate and delegate.

The rest of my selfishness, just like the rest of me, continues to be a work in progress.

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