Grief and Selfishness

By: Matthew Funeral Home
Monday, May 6, 2024

Grief is a complex emotional state. For many people, grief can bring out different sides of us. And while grief is not an excuse to act out, or be a bad person, it can often be a defense mechanism. Selfishness while grieving can seem harsh to others, but it can also be an important part of your grief journey. Sometimes, you just need to focus on yourself and your own needs. This article will discuss grief and selfishness, and how it isn’t always a bad thing.

Grief as a Defense Mechanism

Grief is how we process the complex emotions of loss. And in many ways, our brains try to shield us from further pain and loss. This may be in the form of shying away from others or wanting to be alone, for example. On the other hand, grief may make you feel like you need others near you. Whatever the case, your grief is guiding you to what your brain thinks will keep you “safer,” even if that isn’t truly the case.

It Isn’t Wrong To Be Selfish

Acting in selfish manners, or focusing more on yourself can be a part of your grief defense mechanism. Taking time for yourself is not wrong. Wanting to spend time for yourself is OK. There is a difference between selfishness and hurting others, however. And while selfishness can sometimes be a good thing, it can also hurt your relationships with others. So it is important to try to be mindful of that.

Selfishness VS Self-Care

Self-care is something often overlooked during times of grief. But it can also be an important part of the healing process. Some people may completely disregard their own needs while grieving. Some people may try their hardest to care for everyone else around them. And others still may just look out for themselves. We all react to grief in different ways, and each is valid. It is important to take care of yourself after a loss. Keep in mind that it is not selfish to care for yourself during stressful times. 

The author of this post is not a professional therapist or counselor. For assistance in finding a grief counselor that is right for you, there are several resources out there. For our Grief Resource Center, written by Dr. Bill Webster, click here
For over 50 years, Matthew Funeral Home has been serving the Staten Island community. We can help with almost every aspect of your loved one’s memorial service. Our family is here to serve yours, every step of the way.

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