As a personal motivation, research suggests that thinking of others seems to be the most healthy attitude. However, self-care, and keeping our critical wits about us, are also essential, to make sure we don’t get taken advantage of.
There will always be more selfish and more selfless behaviour. Selfless people need to learn to manage the selfish ones.
By treating others as special, and being curious about them, we can escape our own selfishness.
Managing our reputation is reasonable. But we can become excessively self-protective, and fall out socially. We can train ourselves into better habits.
Selfish behaviour is an escalation of the natural wish for resources. Such escalation can cause unwanted conflict and isolation.
We make ourselves suffer when we (1) put our ‘self’ before others, (2) fear loss to that invented ‘self’, and (3) pin the blame on someone else.