Monday, March 5, 2018

weekly theme :: SELFISHNESS


Author: Ryan Thompson

To be selfish is to be inconsiderate of others and to be primarily or solely focused on personal profit/pleasure of any kind regardless of impact on others. Selfishness stems from ignorance of others (self-absorbed), intentional disregard of others (self-seeking), focus of how situations, environments and events are directly impacted or impact the individual (ego centric), focus on importance of self and a sense of superiority over others regardless of truth (egomaniac, i.e. narcissistic).

Why are people selfish? 

Children often start developing empathy as early as age two and can soon begin to exhibit an understanding of empathy and can acknowledge that other people have thoughts and feelings of their own. Humans can naturally regulate empathy through competent parenting and healthy socialization. So, what happens? Why do people become selfish, self-absorbed, ego centric and narcissistic?

There are many reasons why people are motivated to selfish practices. 

A child brought up with excess often learn that they can get what they want through demands, which leads to entitlement. A selfish individual becomes limited in perception and are concerned with how much can be taken without sharing and how to give as little as possible back. Selfishness also manifests due to fear of insecurity which can develop from a myriad of sources such as an unstable home, abuse, mistrust and a lack of development of empathy.

“Selfish” or “Self-care”.

The idea of selfishness can also come from a black or white perception which easily becomes muddled. A.A. and twelve step groups often coin the phrase; “A.A./N.A. is a selfish program”, meaning that there is a primary focus on a recovering individual whom goes through a process of intense learning of self-awareness and personal responsibilities that require a focus on self to be a better individual through actions that reflect an adherence to a transpersonal commitment. These actions also include how an individual can utilize their strengths and experiences to be of service to others, creating a loop of meaning which includes the importance of fellowship and consideration of others. So is it a “selfish” program or is it “self-care”. While working with “selfishness” we ought to consider assisting clients to differentiate self-care from selfishness. Many clients minimize their problems through identifying personal processing as an act of selfishness and to be avoided. Other clients may compare their problems to others, minimizing their problems and presenting that their issues are not that bad, while the truth will continue to cause pain through delusion because of self-absorption.

How can we assist clients...

... in raising awareness of how their own personal fears and mistrust keep them in a selfish pattern of behavior, but at what cost? The cost of selfishness is usually isolation, loneliness, delusion, superficial relationships which can all be significant factors in the maintenance of co-occurring disorders and substance use disorders.

Challenge selfishness.

To challenge selfishness, we can assist clients in differentiating self-care from selfishness. As past or current patterns of selfishness are brought to awareness, we can assist clients in raising their perspective to also account for how their actions will impact others. We can aid clients through empowerment and encourage them to take advantage of their choices to engage in actions that reflect integrity which include learning to set healthy and assertive boundaries which allow for a healthy and sober lifestyle. We can assist clients in becoming aware that by challenging underlying issues which allow for selfishness to occur we can find the courage to become vulnerable to pursue genuine and authentic relationships. This can open realities to discover the value in the compassion and company of others.

Call or contact Zen Recovery Path. Our community welcomes a fresh start. Recovery will be inspired with Clinical and Holistic Therapies such as; Art Projects, Kung Fu Classes, Tai Chi, Music group, EMDR and Movie with Meaning therapies.

126 E. 16th St., Costa Mesa, CA 92627

(800) 759-1930

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