Selfhood is a state that is achieved primarily by taking responsibility for your true self and the way it is expressed. A person in selfhood operates from a place in which collective legitimacy is not required, because their own sense of legitimacy is enough. They operate truly from the self, and not from an adopted set of principles.
There are several words in the English language that encompass broad or sometimes even mutually-conflicting meanings. This can cause confusion in our communication and how we regard certain concepts. The term 'Selfish' is widely regarded as a negative term, meaning 'to put one's needs before those of others'. The word in technical terms merely expresses a focus on the self, but as a social collective we have afforded the word, and therefore the simple concept of focus on the self, a negative meaning.
Social principles dictate that we put the needs of others before our own, or compromise until we reach a watered-down version of ourselves that is socially acceptable, because this is the 'fair' way to co-exist with others. The general consensus is that ‘if everyone did their own thing, the social framework would fall apart’, but it's because no one really does their own thing that life is so dissatisfying for so many people.
When a person finds selfhood, they're operating through their own set of principles, arrived at through honesty and integrity. They fill up the hole caused by a life of self-suppression, and for the first time have a foundation from which to afford genuine consideration for other people: not because it's required of them, but because they want to give it.
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