By Andrew Leigh
Why a little selfishness is good for you – and for everyone else!
Have you invested any time on your own wellbeing lately?
Well, while I guess some will be able to say yes to that question, many others will be shaking their heads in disbelief. There always seems so much to do: work, partners, family and friends, and jobs around the home – all clamour for your attention, time and energy. And when it comes to deciding between yourself and others it’s no contest.
Negative generosity? Can there really be such a thing? Well, while it’s brilliant to have a generous nature, only being able to say yes to requests for help, time or work is anything but. One consequence of only being able to say yes is a feeling of not being in control. Another is that we find it almost impossible to engineer time out for ourselves – and when we do something inevitably crops up that seems ‘more important’. If we continue this way, then over time we become stressed, anxious, worn out and eventually resentful to those around us.
Yes, strange as it may seem, generosity of this kind can actually damage relationships! And as the receivers seem to just take it all for granted the over-generous giver becomes more and more tetchy in their giving.
When people in this frame of mind do finally say no, it’s usually done in a temper, and often blurted out at the ones who least deserve it.
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