Do we have the right to prioritize ourselves and our well being? Is it selfish?

These are honest questions:

Do we have the right to prioritize ourselves and our well being? Is it selfish?

I have been trying hard to feel good, especially about myself and my life. My last 20 years in North America and many years prior to that at home, I always worked towards ending this frequent feeling of “feeling like shit”, “fear/anxiety”, “financial and other insecurities”, and “low self-esteem”. I naturally kept studying and working to keep my mind occupied with these so that I would not think about the existential thoughts. I felt better as a result, however randomly. The trap is that studying and working, especially in my highly competitive field with high failure rate and with rapid deadlines, also mean stress and feeling like shit again, experiencing anxiety, insecurities, and low self-esteem due to high competition and failure rate.

So, what is this all about?

Entire story sounds like delusion to me.


I have been in North America for nearly 20 years now. I left my home-country, my family, and my friends for work, and then stayed. I like the safe and relatively peaceful atmosphere of Canada particularly, even though the economic situations are straining me and my work place is getting more and more toxic especially lately, but it is alright here. And I know that despite occasional racist and discriminative treatment here and there (which really annoys and is so wrong), I believe I feel much better here in Canada than I would somewhere else.

Being away from home and family is never easy. Home is home and family is the most important thing in life. Yet, when being with family and your well-being do not go side-by-side, what do you do? Emotionally, I want to go back, but logically I know this is not the right decision, at least for now. So I stay and I refuse the demands from my family to go back.

I am not convinced that I can survive mentally there, not unless I changed the way I think and deal with things in a more healthy way. Otherwise, I see myself easily in more anxiety, stress, and depression. Who can benefit or be happy with this? Neither me nor my family. I cannot get my family understand this. They think that I can earn much more money, have less stress and issues that I experience or may experience, and feel better there with the support of my family. I do not buy this. I cannot buy this.


So, my family needs me, yet by prioritizing myself and my well-being, I deny them the help (financial or emotional) they expect from me. This naturally creates conflicts and lots of negative emotions and encounters between me and my family.

Tell me; how selfish am I to do this? Keeping myself rather in a stable and peaceful place that I believe is better for my mental health at the expense of abandoning my family except seeing them annually for a month or so, calling them every off-day, and financially helping them when they need it most?

I believe it is selfish. That is why I feel like shit as well.

As I said, the entire story looks delusional.




30 thoughts on “Do we have the right to prioritize ourselves and our well being? Is it selfish?

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  1. Taking care of yourself and making yourself a priority is not selfish at all. It’s good for your overall well-being and health, And everyone should do it. You can prioritize yourself and still find a way to care/prioritize others you care about. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.❀️

    Liked by 3 people

  2. It’s a tough one, as we are programmed I think to look after our own and we feel guilty when we can’t. However I have been thinking about something I read a lot lately which is ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup.’ So to even look after other people, you have to take care of yourself first. ^_^

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I love the ” you can’t pour from an empty cup” way of being. It has helped me set boundaries with a bit less guilt
        I don’t think you are selfish at all!
        You can only give so much of yourself and it is unkind for people to demand more at the expense of your wellbeing

        Liked by 1 person

  3. not selfish at all. we come into this earth alone and it is alone that we must navigate this earth. family and friends are important but boundaries are vital. the love of good family and friends is unconditional so should exist regardless of distance and life choices. family and friends support what is best for their loved ones and only you are he expert at knowing what that is. no one else. it is not selfish it is self love, self awareness and self growth. we absolutely have the right to prioritise ourselves – not to hurt others but to help ourselves become the best we can be and to set an example that this is ok for others to do to. through this then we can all connect better through love and understanding and if others feel affronted by your choices it really has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them and their own issues; which you couldn’t help or change whether you live close to them or far away. xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  4. what a wonderful and wise set of words. They made me think in a little bit different and logically accept my own choices. Self love and selfishness seem to be differentiating in front of my eyes now. I am glad you stopped by and shared your thoughts with me (and us). bless you

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You most definitely are NOT selfish by putting yourself first. Self-love and overall well-being mentally and emotionally are so important in life. Oh the pain and uneasiness that we can bring upon ourselves when set our needs too far to the side. Remember, loving yourself and putting your needs first does not take away from the love that you have for your family.

    I hope you continue to find peace in your life! A peaceful life is a successful life!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Look after yourself first, absolutely. If it helps at all, you could tell yourself that if you were to go against what is right for your own mental health, you would be no use to anybody else anyway! I wish you a growing sense of peace.

    Liked by 1 person

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