I was thinking about starting this article with a preface. I was going to, in some way, apologize for talking about my mom's cancer in my articles too often. But then I realized: 1. I've only mentioned it twice; 2. It would negate the idea of my entire article; and 3. It's my article, so I can write whatever I please.

Sound a bit too harsh or straightforward? Well get used to it. This is the Brooke that does things for herself. I'm here to tell you that you should transform yourself, too. For all my folks who shove away their own needs and focus too much on others, I'm here to help you. Here's my unofficial guide to being the good and healthy kind of selfish. 

1. Don't Make Every Burden Your Own

cream, coffee, chocolate
Amy Cho

The sad truth is, you can't solve every problem. This is the first thing you need to realize in order to become a Good Selfish Person (GSP for short). 

When my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in April, I stretched myself so much that you could probably see my heart nervously beating through my thin skin. I cooked, I cleaned, I asked her how she was doing every five minutes... But I never asked myself how I was doing. I was so focused on taking on the weight of the world's problems that I forgot to take care of myself. It took me awhile, but I finally learned that I can't help other people if I don't help myself first. I suggest you do yourself a favor and do the same.

2. Don't Go To Every Social Function

cake, birthday cake, buttercream
Madison Mounty

That woman you know from work who never shuts her trap about the kombucha craze she's on? You don't have to attend her pyramid scheme party in which she'll further try to sell you on the world's "next biggest health product". Your life, your rules.

You don't have to be rude about it, either; just politely decline her invitation. And instead of feigning sickness, I challenge you to admit that you just need time for yourself. That hippie from the marketing department doesn't deserve your money, your time, or a lame, fake excuse. 

3. Don't Pretend To Like Certain Things

Beatrice Forman

I truly don't care if you think Halsey is the most gifted singer to ever grace this Earth. Personally, I'm not a fan of hers (sue me) so there's no way I'm going to listen to her music and pretend like I am. It's time that you realize that life is too short to match your own preferences to anyone else's in hopes of pleasing them. No matter what you do, you can't make everyone happy. So stop living your life for other people and live for yourself instead.

4. Don't Wait For Other People To Change

chocolate, cake
Jocelyn Hsu

This is definitely one of the hardest steps to master in order to become a GSP. A problem that many people have is settling for relationships. Too often, we put way more effort into relationships (platonic or romantic) than the other person and end up getting hurt. We don't notice how unfair the relationship is until we begin to see patterns.

You ask them how they're doing, but they never do the same. You make them soup when they're sick, and they don't even send you a "feel better" text. You hate horror movies, but they drag you to Annabelle: Creation.

People settle for this type of relationship because of what I like to call the Hammock Effect. These relationships are easy to settle into. They're comfy at first, don't get me wrong. But after swinging in a hammock for a few hours, sometimes you get hungry. Or thirsty. Or a crick forms in your neck.  At some point, you know you need to get up and get out of the hammock, yet you feel too tired.

Hammocks, like toxic relationships, are easy to settle into yet ultimately lose the comfort that was originally there. Just because the easy option is to stay in the relationship, you still shouldn't do it. As The Perks of Being A Wallflower says, "We accept the love we think we deserve." And I'm here to tell you that you deserve way more than some dunce who doesn't realize how great you are. Think of yourself more highly and I guarantee that you'll be treated better.

5. Don't Apologize Unless It's Well Deserved

tea, beer, coffee
Claire Fitzpatrick

Please don't misunderstand me on this one. If you cheated on your partner, then yes, you need to express regret. However, what you need to stop doing is absentmindedly apologizing for things that don't matter in the long run. 

Didn't catch the Super Bowl game? Don't let a "Sorry, I'm just not a big football fan" slip out of your mouth. Take that "sorry" and shove it right back inside your trap. Let me let you in on a little secret: no one cares whether or not you watched the football game on Sunday. So why would you waste your time trying to explain yourself? You shouldn't spend your life feeling the need to give a person the reasons behind every decision you make. When you let the word "sorry" slip out of your mouth too often, it loses the power it has. Save your apologies for something that matters. 

Don't apologize for breaking up with a toxic person. Don't apologize for disliking country music. Don't apologize for taking a rain-check on dinner plans and staying at home in your sweatpants. Don't apologize for saying something that felt true and good in a certain moment. 

Don't spend your life apologizing for things you don't regret.

The Caveat

This advice is all good and dandy if you're the type of person that gives too much to others and rarely does things for themself. However, if you are the bad kind of selfish- as in, you never bother to worry about others- then I encourage you to lessen the extent to which you are consumed with yourself.

Before you can become a GSP, you have to stop being a BSP (Bad Selfish Person). If you're still a BSP, don't be too hard on yourself. Sometimes it takes certain people longer than others to reach emotional maturity, and that's perfectly okay.

In Conclusion

Old Brooke would've said something along the lines of "sorry for being so callous" to close out this article. However, the new and improved Brooke knows that any self-proclaimed GSP is proud of the choices they've made and refuses to look back. So here I am, world: selfish, proud, and not changing for anyone else. May I never listen to Halsey again.