I got chewed out a few days ago for calling myself selfish.
This is kindof a running joke, the self-deprecating kind I prefer, like dumb-blonde & Irish jokes.
But there's a very good reason why I use the word 'selfish'.
Selfish: chiefly concerned with ones own profit/pleasure
Generous: showing a readiness to give more of something, as time or money, than is strictly necessary or expected
If you look at the definition of 'generous', it doesn't mention anything about the state of mind/heart of the person giving time/money/etc.
You can be generous, but give your time/money/etc because you want to be praised, you want to be thanked, you want to feed your own ego, or even to get a tax credit.
The person who chewed me out did so because I went far out of my way to do them a big favour.
Does that make me generous or selfish?
Well, in my mind, it was selfish because I like that person, I liked being able to help them out when they needed it, I liked that, by giving up some of my time, I made their day better, easier, and less stressful. I liked the look on their face when I surprised them.
When the people around me are happy, I'm happy too. Mood is contagious.
If it gives me pleasure to help someone, then I'm acknowledging that I'm getting something out of it.
As for it being more than necessary/expected? Well, again, I like that person. There's no sliding scale that determines how much effort you put in depending on how much you like them (okay, maybe some people have a scale like that...) More than necessary? More than what's expected? How can you even quantify something like that! Is math involved? Pie charts?
If it was someone I didn't like, that would be an entirely different story.
In no way am I altruistic. I will put all my time and energy into things and people I care about, but each person has a reservoir with a set capacity. How I use/disperse my own is up to me.
Because not only am I selfish, I'm stubborn. If I don't want to do it, I won't. Not even to be polite.
At the end of the day, if doing something for someone else makes me happy, then there is selfishness involved. No thanking is necessary.
So, GRRRRR! You know who you are! Don't chew me out if/when I call myself selfish!
This isn't false modestly. I'm selfish. I'm stubborn. Deal with it.