Selflessness is considered a noble trait. Selfishness, on the other hand, is considered a character flaw. Society reveres the selfless and demonizes the selfish. Those who are selfless are admired by others, while those who are selfish are reviled.
In reality, famous selfless individuals were anything but selfless. Individuals like Bono (U2), Oprah and Winston Churchill were actually very demanding, obstinate and self-centered.
This isn’t a bad thing. It’s a good thing.
You see, if you want to be respected and treated properly by others you must train them to respect and treat you properly. You must become a little bit selfish.
Below are a few guidelines for training others to treat you with the respect you deserve:
- Stop saying yes to everything. Saying no sends a message that your time is valuable. The occasional no lets others know that they cannot walk all over you. It takes courage to say no. Don’t let fear hold you back. No is like a stop sign that says “I am not your slave”. Saying yes to everything is another sign that says “I am your slave”. Saying yes all the time trains others to walk all over you.
- Don’t give into others just to get along. Surrendering all the time to the will of others sends a powerful message that you are weak. Be obstinate every now and then. It lets others know that you are a force to be reckoned with, that you are strong and confident. Giving in trains others that you are weak.
- Don’t vacillate. Stand your ground on things you believe in. If you constantly change your mind or allow others to change your opinion, you send a message that you can be easily manipulated. You train others to manipulate you when you don’t stand your ground.