Aside from being free-spirited and inhibitionless, children also have another trait. They tend to be selfish. If a sibling is getting too much attention, the child will act out. If someone else is playing with a toy he wants, the child will commandeer that toy (along with the 8 others already is his corner of the sandbox). “Mine” is an oft-heard statement passing children’s lips.
And sometimes there is a time and a place for being selfish. I am a firm advocate of spoiling yourself once in a while and really, truly doing what you want, when you want. A spa appointment? A nice dinner? A new down comforter for your bed?
But let’s be honest. We’re not children anymore. And selfishness only goes so far. Selfishness does not allow the average relationship to succeed. Selfishness can hamper a professional goal. Selfishness will lose friends.
When an adult abandons selfishness, she lets down her guard inherently and allows people into her life. She allows friends to enjoy themselves together with her. She allows someone to take a chance on a relationship with her. And often, she brings light into other peoples’ lives without trying.
Life is full of obstacles and people wanting you to fail. But the adult who abandons selfishness will find friends to lend a hand, and significant others who will put as much devotion and strength into support as the other has. Selfishness is about allowing others into your world so you can be a part of theirs.
Granted, there are times when we all still want a certain someone’s attention. And often the passive-aggressive game comes into play here. But in the greater scheme of things, a little give and a little take get you much farther.
After all, it’s easier to move in smaller steps forward than it is to face total resistance.