Throughout my books I preach that “love is infinite” and “you can’t help how you feel” and that “all people are manipulative”. We, as people, are complex. Many of us love the feeling of being in love, we love romance and feeling special and feeling wanted. We love anything positive, and we want people to like us. There are others who don’t, or maybe they do, but they come across as cold, and selfish, and hard.
Every day we are making investments. We invest our time, we invest our money, and we invest our energy. The most complicated investment we make is an emotional one. So what is an emotional investment? It’s caring about someone or something. It’s investing a piece of yourself in them and quite often hoping for something in return. Everyone thinks they prefer to give than to receive, or say “it’s better to give then to receive” but when you’re making an emotional investment it involves both giving and receiving. In order to keep it ‘safe’ there should be a balance of both. But then what happens?
Well, what can happen is that some people who give to you then feel that you owe them something, or conversely you feel that you owe them something. Then things can get messy. Some people have a hard time saying ‘no’ because they don’t want to hurt other people’s feelings, and then what happens? They didn’t speak up and they led people to believe that things were a certain way and when the other person finds out they aren’t – they’re hurt. No one wants to get hurt and no one wants to hurt anyone, we hope.
This is where I introduce the concept of “selfish esteem”. Esteem, as a noun, means respect and admiration. Whether or not someone has a good self-esteem is based on how much respect and admiration they have for themselves and this can be effected by a lot of factors … starting at birth. Therefore, I’d like to consider selfish esteem to mean that you conceptualise that everyone feels like you do. So, it’s not so much about how you think of yourself, but how you expect other people to feel. While you’re busy being selfish with your esteem, you need to understand that no one thinks exactly like you do, no one has the exact experiences that you have had and sometimes people’s self-esteem is a real barrier to understanding the expectations of those around them.
What am I try to say? Don’t be selfish with your esteem. Like people, love people, be kind to people, yes there’s give and take, but don’t expect everyone to feel like you or think like you or want like you. Some people desperately need to feel valued, and that makes them vulnerable. If you’re one of those people it’s hard to know when people are just being kind or when you need to give something in return. Communicate about it. Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’. There will always be people who don’t like you and you don’t need to justify that or sacrifice yourself in the process. If you’re someone who has ‘selfish-esteem’, wake up, people don’t have to bend to your will. They don’t have to think like you, feel like you or be like you just to be valued by you. Respect their individuality and don’t base your esteem on breaking others’.