Wednesday, March 28, 2018



Selfishness is self interest that's become out of balance: what should be healthy self preservation, can become preoccupation with self interest at the expense of others.

Selfishness in relationships is like a bucket with a very small leak, because selfishness will slowly but surely cause you to lose what you have. It is often gradual and subtle, but bit by bit, people stop feeding the selfishness, until you realise too late you've lost what you had.

Like many areas of our life, it's harder to see the subtle signs of gradual decline, than the big issues that dominate our headspace, unless we specifically look for and monitor them.

How to make sure you don't have a leaky bucket?

All relationships spend time, money, attention and energy on:
* Hobbies
* Work pursuits
* Pleasure
* Meeting needs
* Small talk
* Problem solving
* Discipline

I believe it is critical in any relationship to take the time to  proactively monitor a self-interest KPI:

Does my relationship with [spouse/child/friend/employer/employee] spend more time, money, attention and energy on things that are my personal self interests, or is it spent roughly equally on both self interests?

Answer these questions to assess your relationships self interest levels. For each question, is it more you, me or roughly equal for both:

- Who's issues or interests do we talk more about?
- Who's hobbies and interests do we pursue and spend money on?
- Who's needs are we focused on more?
- Who's goals and personal development do we work towards?
- Who's receiving the most pleasure aspects of the relationship? (Eg love language, intimacy)
- Who's sacrificing the most to keep the family financially sustained?
- Who's sacrificing the most to keep the house in good working order (organising, cleaning, kids etc)?

These are only a few questions, but good to actually monitor this in any relationship.  Am I taking more than I'm investing?

If your relationship supports, builds, maintains, discusses, prioritises your interests and needs more than the other, perhaps you have a leaky bucket and it's time to make changes as soon as possible to avoid losing it all before it's too late.

If your relationship supports, builds, maintains, discusses, prioritises the other's interests and needs more than your own, then this is not healthy and you're also probably headed towards some troubled times ahead, because this is not sustainable.  You need a bit more self interest to bring the relationship back into healthy balance.

If your answer to the questions above is mostly "neither", then that's another issue again. Is it even a relationship?  That's a question for people smarter than me....

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