Why You Need to Learn to Be Selfish

And let go forever of the thought of people-pleasing

Zita Fontaine
6 min readApr 26, 2022


Photo by Elisa Ph. on Unsplash

I have a friend whom I always envied. It’s not the jealousy kind of feeling I had, I rather just wanted what she had — without wanting to take it away from her. It was never about her job, her finances, her relationships — it was about the main attitude she has that has been influencing every single thing.

She has always been selfish.

She has always been the right kind of selfish person — you might call it having high self-esteem with healthy boundaries, the capacity to say no whenever she didn’t feel like doing something, the ability to always, without a fault, prioritize herself in every situation, at every turn.

In my eyes, she had it all — just because she had her focus on herself, always, in such an unquestionable way that the whole world around her had to conform to her if it wanted her to be involved. She never felt left out, she never felt pressured, she never felt forced to do anything. She did what she wanted, and the world around her accepted and appreciated it.

I don’t have a better word for her attitude, but selfishness — because it’s more than confidence, more than boundaries, more than self-esteem. But she is the good kind of selfish, the type who cares about herself first, at the same time never doing harm to others deliberately. It’s not a neglectful, abusive, narcissistic trait — it’s the highest level of self-concept that exists.

Looking around, observing the difference between people who are successful, happy and content with their lives and those who constantly struggle with one or another main area (relationships, finances, work etc), I noticed that the key trait of those who are better off are the ones possessing a high level of selfishness — unapologetically.

Those who prioritize themselves are thriving in their relationships. Those who never question their abilities are mastering otherwise difficult territories, like creative areas, business and more. Those who believe they can, can.

And they are all selfish — in one way or another.

They don’t hurt others but they don’t care about them too much either. They are not abusive but they are not caught in…



Zita Fontaine

Writer. Dreamer. Hopeless romantic. Newsletter: zita.substack.com Email me: zitafontaine (at) gmail