How I’m becoming a Selfish Bitch
By: Céline Munanga
There’s been a lot of talk on self-care. Rightly so. We become more aware of mental health as each year passes. But, besides bubble baths and meditation, there are many aspects of self-care that I tend to ignore.
I asked Auntie Google what it meant to be ‘selfish’ and she told me this:
“lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.”
See, I used to think selfishness meant putting myself first in any way, but GIRL was I wrong. So, I’ve developed a code of sorts, that Old Me would have thought made me selfish, but Current Me knows just makes me happy and at peace.
My Selfish-Bitch Code:
- I do not owe anyone my time
Us demonized, just dreadful millennials constantly immersed in social interaction sans human contact have made the world so terrible—we know. We suck, or whatever. But, really, we have this idea that we should be robots, responding immediately to any sort of interaction. It’s exhausting. I’m an introvert who freaks out about last-minute social plans (I need 72-hours’ notice, please) especially with people I’m not entirely comfortable with, so I have a similar reaction to messages and/or social media interactions that require me to be a social butterfly at that instant.
I constantly reassure my friends that they do not have to respond to my messages or audiobook-length voice notes immediately, but they still apologise for it anyway. I do not expect people to drop what they’re doing and immediately listen to my problems, and I appreciate a similar consideration. We’re busy. We have responsibilities, deadlines, crazy days. And we should be allowed to have those days and not feel terrible for not reassuring others that we still like them since we last spoke 8 hours ago. Chill.
- I do not owe anyone my energy
I no longer engage in heated debates with people who enjoy debate for the sake of debate. If the topic at hand is something that personally affects me or at least means a lot to me, it’s not a topic I want to see thrown around by people who have no actual investment in it.
Exhibit A: a white guy in my circle whose questionable views are no secret asked me my thoughts on a racial issue. I simply stated: “I am not going to discuss race with you.” He blinked twice and was pressed about it for 2 weeks, but that was not my concern. I did not need to spend my energy for zero compensation. Yes, you can absolutely pay me to discuss racism and sexism and all that and I may accept your offer, but you will not have me sacrifice the hours I could spend meditating or eating cookies to engage with you on a topic many tired women have discussed at length. No, Satan—I am not the one.
- I do not owe anyone an explanation
I’m a recovering approval-addict. In fact, that’s probably what I still struggle with the most in all my self-improvement endeavours. But I have learned from observing confident women around me that they are who they are without apology. And that’s what it comes down to: apologising for your potential disagreement with what I choose to do.
But I don’t need to do that. If I don’t feel like going out (a common phenomenon for a bitch like me), I just don’t feel like going out. If I don’t want to date you, I simply don’t want to date you. I don’t owe anyone an explanation for my career choice, my sexuality, my romantic partners or my aspirations. All of these aforementioned things? Entirely my business. Nachos!
Well, I hope you could find some relief that you are not the only selfish bitch out there. And I hope this inspires you to be a little more “selfish”. Take care of your wonderful soul—self-sacrifice isn’t a good colour on you.