How to be less selfish: Why getting every last hand sanitizer doesn’t pay off

You don’t mean to be rude or pig -headed. You’re just a little selfish. Unya? Aren’t we all self -serving?

No matter what your habits – don’t think about your intentions – most of us are selfish creatures. Some even argue that we find it difficult to be selfish.

British evolutionary biologist and ethologist Richard Dawkins, who founded Charles Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” theory from the early 1800s, called it “the selfish gene,” or known as something mothers say to their teenagers and resentment-people are selfish! The theory says that those who put ourselves first of others are more likely to survive, according to a paper by evolutionary biologist and author J. Arvid Ågren of Uppsala University in Sweden.
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“Looking deep into our oldest self, there is a deep need to live,” Drs. Cecily D. Havert, a physician at Northern Virginia Family Practice Associates in Alexandria, Virginia. “This need, if you break it down into its simplest parts, is based on fear and the need to feel in control of our environment and resources,” he said.

We did what we needed to survive. However, that does not mean that our selfish actions are always justified.

Greed has consequences

Swooping over that juicy pork chop or the last little hand sanitizer may satisfy your self-serving habit, but these options have an impact on others, including the one you claim to care most about.

Selfishness stems from a “deficient mentality, which often drives a constant urge to get more and have less,” Drs. Mark Goulston, a Boston-based psychiatrist, author and podcaster, who wrote the book, “Get Out of Your Own Way,” is an appropriate title for those of us who look less selfish. “That practice can cause people to lose trust in you and lead to“ their frustration, anger and frustration, ”he says.
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There is no point in being truly selfish, says Sharie Stines, a California -based psychologist, author and life coach, who believes that the selfish behaviors we see in most people today come from the wrong ideas of what happiness means in a culture that speaks to us. at every turn we must seek ultimate happiness.

People who are content, who are grateful for all they have and don’t seek and more, are likely to be less selfish than those who are not content. “When people are not content (ed) they tend to become more self -centered, which in turn, becomes self -centered, thus leading to selfishness,” Stines said. “I’ve always noticed that relationships break down because of a selfish person.”

Thinking first of yourself has the potential to not only hurt your loved one, but can also have a negative impact on the wider society (that gas-guzzling SUVs can also contribute to the destruction of the planet that your grandchildren will inherit). and I).

Our actions affect others, we know this. And our actions are the manifestation of our thoughts, which can be selfish or unselfish behavior. Sometimes it’s just too simple.

Moreover, a selfish mindset will never work in today’s world society, where we have to consider the larger whole and community when we make decisions if we want to survive, according to Havert. “Selfishness and an inward look at individual survival will never work in this context,” he said.

We have a choice of thing

Despite what some have said about the inherent nature of greed, there is some evidence that humans are perfectly capable of acts of unselfishness and altruism without destroying their evolutionary ability to survive others. In fact, selfishness can keep you from progressing, according to a 2020 study by the University of California, Berkeley, researchers said.
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We can choose to be unselfish just as we can choose to be selfish. We can serve our essentials with the best pork chop on the dish. It is possible. We do not lose anything by doing these acts of consideration, of unselfishness.

In fact, acts of unselfishness can make us feel better, more, more noble citizens of the world. If people choose to give their money rather than hide it, they report being happier, according to a 2017 study by the University of Zurich.

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To break the line of selfish thinking, simple actions to focus the attention of others can help.

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“People don’t do what’s important to them. They do what they care about. So, you have to take care not to be too selfish to make the effort to be that way,” Goulston said. Acts of unselfishness can be as simple, he says, as giving a healthy snack to a homeless person or asking others what makes them smile.

Recognizing what we have is an important step to becoming less selfish, according to Stines. “We’re more content when we focus on the other person and find ways to make their life better for us who are in it,” he said.

The practice of “getting yourself out” can also help, according to Stines. That means actively listening when you’re talking to someone and doing acts of service to make their life easier or more comfortable.

“Instead of making the pursuit of happiness your priority, make the happiness of other people your priority,” he said.

In short

All selfishness is not created equal. There are, of course, different levels of prioritizing oneself over others. Getting the most delicious looking pork chop at a family dinner isn’t the same kind of saying, getting the last remaining shopping cart from an old lady or stepping on someone’s dahlias to get your stray soccer ball. And those acts of greed are not as bad as cheating your important others, lying to get votes, or making martial law to get what you want.

There is also a difference between greed and self -defense. “Self-protection, self-care, and personal boundaries are all intended to protect oneself and also other people,” Stines said.

It’s probably OK to be selfish sometimes – especially if you fall on another side of the spectrum and default to putting others before yourself in acts of extreme unselfishness.

All right, have permission to indestructible glaze the sherbet paint in the freezer this one time.

Allison Hope is a writer whose work has been featured on CNN, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate and other outlets.

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