This is the second in a series on managing stress. At the Managing Stress website, Wayne Froggat* has an article entitled “Enlightened Self-Interest”. The article is quite practical in its application. He says,

  • The ability to act in your own interests follows on from self-acceptance and confidence. As we shall see, though, it is also important to take into account the interests of others. The principle of enlightened self-interest has two parts:
  • To cope with stress and achieve happiness, you need to place your own interests first; and …
  • Your own interests will be best served if you take into account the interests of other people.

He has a number of helpful points under the following sections:

Human beings are fundamentally self-interested

Human beings are also motivated by social interest

Why enlightened self-interest is important to stress management

In his final section, Developing enlightened self-interest, he says:

  • Go out of your way to practice showing positive feelings towards others- gratitude, respect, trust – which in turn will arouse goodwill from them. Choose some new activities in various life areas – work, family, leisure, that will bring goodwill.
  • At the same time, act assertively. Ask for what you want, say no to what you don’t, and tell others (when appropriate) what you think and how you feel.
  • In other words, until enlightened self-interest becomes part of you, consciously seek to get you get more of what you want, while respecting the views and feelings of the other people involved.

The whole article may be found at:

Centre for Stress Management: Enlightened Self-interest:

* Wayne Froggat is Consultant Director of the Centre for Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy, London, and Director of the New Zealand Centre for Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy. Consultant Editor of the Online Journal of Multimodal and Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy.