The Difference Between Self-Care and Selfishness: How to Prioritize Yourself

Do you ever feel guilty for taking care of yourself? If so, you’re not alone. A lot of people have a hard time distinguishing between self-care and selfishness. They think that if they’re taking care of themselves, they’re being selfish. But that’s not true! There is a big difference between self-care and selfishness, and it’s important to understand what that difference is. In this blog post, we will discuss the difference between self-care and selfishness, and we will help you learn how to prioritize yourself!

What is Self-Care?

Self-care is the act of taking care of yourself, physically and emotionally. It is important to nurture both your body and your mind. When you take care of yourself, you are investing in your own wellbeing.


Self-care is a win-win situation! It allows you to be a better parent, partner, child, friend, professional, and employee. We become better individuals as we enhance our self-care skills. Being in touch with your own needs and feelings enables you to demonstrate greater empathy and compassion for others. If you want to have the energy and resources available to help others, you need to take care of yourselves first. This means filling your emotional and physical buckets so that you can then give back to your family, friends, or anyone else who needs it.

Self-Care Beliefs:

  • Self-care is essential to thrive.
  • Self-care is an act of self-love and self-respect.
  • Self-care is a way to nurture our physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing.

Self-Care Habits:

  • eating healthy foods
  • exercising
  • getting enough sleep
  • taking breaks
  • unplugging from technology
  • spending time outdoors
  • practicing meditation or mindfulness
  • journaling
  • spending time with loved ones
  • setting and holding boundaries for toxic people

It’s important to understand that self-care is not selfish. It’s actually the opposite! When you take care of yourself, you’re able to show up as your best self for others.

What is Selfishness?

Selfishness, on the other hand, is an act of putting your own needs above those of others. It’s characterized by a lack of empathy and compassion for others. When you’re being selfish, you’re only thinking about yourself and what you want. You’re not considering how your actions might affect others.

Selfishness is often motivated by a need for power or control. People who are selfish may try to manipulate or take advantage of others in order to get what they want. They may also be unwilling to compromise or share resources.

Selfishness looks like:

  • hoarding resources
  • refusing to compromise
  • taking advantage of others
  • manipulating others
  • being unemotional or uncaring
  • always needing to be right
  • thinking only about oneself

Selfishness is harmful because it can lead to a lack of empathy, compassion, and connection with others. It can also result in toxic relationships.

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How to Prioritize Yourself

Now that we’ve discussed the difference between self-care and selfishness, let’s talk about how you can prioritize yourself!

Here are some tips:

  • Make time for yourself every day. Dedicate at least 30 minutes to an hour to do something that you enjoy. This can be anything from reading, taking a bath, going for a walk, or listening to music.
  • Set boundaries with others. Learn to say “no” when you need to. Don’t let others take advantage of your time and energy.
  • Practice self-compassion. Be gentle with yourself. Cut yourself some slack when you make mistakes. Remember that you’re human and that you’re doing the best that you can.

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We hope this helps clear up some misconceptions between self-care and selfishness. Prioritizing yourself is essential to your wellbeing!

Remember… If you’re always focusing on helping others and neglecting yourself, you’ll eventually burn out. At some point, you’ll become short with people around you, experience mental exhaustion and start forgetting things right and left, constantly be distracted, and possibly not have the physical ability to keep up with everything you want to do. Our counseling services in Tampa can help remind you of the importance of taking care of yourself.

There's hope towards feeling better!

Is being exhausted keeping you down? Are you ready to fill your cup so you have more to give others? Working with an expert counselor in Tampa can help you find healing and become the best version of yourself.

Expert Counseling in Tampa

If you’re struggling to take care of your mental and emotional health, reach out to us. We offer therapy and counseling that actually works because you deserve to live better. Contact us today at (813)333-1425 or schedule your free phone consultation now.