Self-Love Isn’t Selfish: Here’s How To Tell The Difference

By Wild Ginger

Self-Love Isn’t Selfish: Here’s How To Tell The Difference

February 8th, 2022 at 8:06 am

Growing up in a collectivist culture, we were taught to do what was best for our families and communities. Being “good” meant being selfless, putting the needs and goals of others before our own needs and desires. This made self-love seem selfish.


Self-love isn’t selfish – it’s important, especially for our mental health. You aren’t “Westernised” for wanting to focus on your own wellbeing and goals. What would make you selfish is if you didn’t care about others at all – self-love allows us to love and support others.


Have you noticed that when someone has low self-esteem, they unfairly project their negative thoughts onto others? Now that’s selfish! Here are more major differences between the two:


  • Selfishness lacks consideration for others

Self-love allows you to share the empathy and compassion you have for yourself with others, and help them by being the best you can be.


  • Selfishness comes from a place of lack

Self-love provides you with more energy to care for others without having to sacrifice your own wellbeing and happiness.


  • Selfishness is manipulative

Self-love takes responsibility and recognizes when you are in the wrong.


  • Selfishness is conditional 

Self-love helps you accept and forgive yourself, and others, and want to improve because of that love.


  • Selfishness depends on external validation

Self-love does not depend on others for happiness or approval.


As you can see, self-love and selfishness are two completely different things. When you appreciate your worth and hold yourself in high regard, it benefits your confidence, motivation, and happiness, as well as your mental health. It also benefits the people around you by teaching you how to build positive and loving relationships in general.

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