The Art of Balanced Selfishness: Is It Really Bad To Prioritize Yourself?


Often, society labels selfishness as a negative trait. However, does this belief hold up under scrutiny? Could there be more to the concept of selfishness than meets the eye? Before delving deeper into this topic, be sure to go through our reading guide.


Defining Selfishness:
At its core, selfishness means prioritizing your own well-being. But is there anything inherently wrong with taking care of yourself? Let’s explore this through a fictional scenario involving two friends, Anthony and Gonsalves.

The Case Study:
Anthony and Gonsalves, lifelong friends, travel to Spain to participate in a bull race on Anthony’s 25th birthday. However, when Gonsalves is about to be hit by a bull, Anthony sacrifices himself to save his friend, leaving him crippled.

The Aftermath:
While Anthony is initially hailed as a hero, the excitement soon fades. Now unable to walk, Anthony must give up his dream of becoming a footballer and struggle with everyday activities. As time passes, Gonsalves’ visits become less frequent, leaving Anthony largely dependent on his family.

Analyzing the Societal Norms:
Our society often promotes the idea of self-sacrifice for others’ benefit. But is this ideal always right? Why does society view selfishness negatively? The predominant concern is that one might harm others for personal benefit.

Consider an alternative scenario where Anthony throws a red cloth on Gonsalves to distract the bull and escape himself. This action, benefiting Anthony at Gonsalves’ expense, would unquestionably be seen as wrong.

A Balance is Key:
Yet, there’s a third possibility – where Anthony prioritizes his safety without endangering Gonsalves. Here, Anthony throws a red cloth to distract the bulls and instructs Gonsalves to do the same, thus saving both of them. This scenario illustrates that selfishness, when balanced, doesn’t necessarily lead to harm.


Selfishness, contrary to societal opinion, isn’t inherently bad. It’s harmful actions, regardless of whether they stem from selfish motives, that are unequivocally wrong. Prioritizing one’s well-being without causing harm to others, and then showing kindness, embodies a healthy inside-out approach to life. Ultimately, it’s your choice how you choose to handle situations and the level of ‘selfishness’ you incorporate into your decisions.