Selfishness Matters

A book by Theo Selles, M.Sc.

Warning: Some readers may find some of the material offensive. The author hopes so.
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Selfishness Matters is a self help book even a man would read; a well overdue parody of the self-help industry.
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Theo Selles

Theo has been a Registered Family Therapist for over 20 years. He has advanced training in areas such as Sex Therapy and Trauma/Crisis Debriefing and Intervention.

Theo’s business, Integrity Works, specializes in increasing organizational productivity through fun, interactive, values based teambuilding. He is an accomplished public speaker. He considers his greatest honour to have served as the Master of Ceremonies for Toronto’s United Nations International Day for People with Disabilities.

His book Selfishness Matters—A Self-Help book even a man would read is available for anyone who would love a good laugh at themselves and at relationship “experts” who take themselves far too seriously.

Theo’s latest book The Heart of the Pearl - How to Completely Heal from "Sexual" Abuse is of a serious nature. The book challenges the notion that abuse should ever be referred to as sexual, and provides a clear and compassionate step by step program for how to COMPLETELY heal from being abused. The Heart of the Pearl is recommended both for people who have been abused and for the people with whom they share their lives.

Public Appearances

Selfishness Matters is a self help book even a man would read; a well overdue parody of the self-help industry.
  • Book Signings
  • Speaking Engagements

Theo is available for book signing events and public speaking engagements.

He can be reached at (647) 686-0116 or using our contact page.

Why did I write Selfishness Matters?

When I was first asked why I wrote this particular literary masterpiece, the flip answer came easily: I wrote it because I thought it would make you laugh and make me money. The more I thought about the question, though, the more it became clear to me that I wrote it for much deeper reasons as well. The truth is that I had to write it. The truth is that I was compelled to write it. Selfishness Matters came roiling and boiling out of me like a storm. I would sit for hours as the words raged out of me and onto the screen. I confess to you that there were times when I cackled but, most of all, I felt a release of anger.

Go to your local bookstore and see if you can extricate yourself without tripping over a self-help book. Rows upon rows of self-affirming books, all dedicated to the understanding, care, and development of your Self stretch out as far as your growth-desiring eyes can see. Open the Yellow Pages and let your fingers walk over the columns upon columns of wisdom-dispensing experts who will guide, coach, lead, facilitate, and nurture your Self to the happiness that it deserves. What’s more, you can watch Selves on T.V. being bullied into psychological and relational “health” for your entertainment.

Billions of dollars are spent each year on the development of Selves. Fortunes are made on the backs of the perceived under-Self-developed. One can’t take a metaphorical walk in the woods and see the gorillas for the gurus in the trees. And it all seems to make so much sense. You are important, right? And you can’t love other people if you don’t love yourself first, right? You have to know you! You have to know what you need! You have to put yourself first sometimes!

It all does make sense, but you know what? I’m sick of it. I’m sick of people focusing on their needs. I’m sick of people trying to love themselves better. I’m sick of people self-actualizing and self-improving. I am sick to death of better-than-thou self-inflated windbags pontificating about what you should do for your supposedly stunted little neglected Self! And I’m sick of how we end up treating each other, especially those we say we love. Sick, I tell you!!

The truth is that we (me included) are usually pretty damn good at focusing on ourselves. We don’t need encouragement for that, though it sure makes us feel less guilty about our selfishness when we get it, and it sure makes it easy to sell books that encourage it. After all, we are so fascinating; we’re worth a closer look. But look outward and around you and dare to tell me that you can’t see the world suffering because of selfishness. On a macro level, our planet is dying because of our continued greed and our willingness to fulfill our own immediate needs at the expense of others, both human and not. We appear willing to sacrifice the future of our children in order to avoid the discomfort of personal sacrifice. On a micro level, our loved ones suffer and our relationships are destroyed because of our perpetual self-focus. Oh, and if you tell me that you really believe that you don’t love yourself or never put yourself first, believe me when I tell you that you’re getting something out of staying a victim. Do you know why it’s so hard for us to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes? It’s because we’re so bloody comfortable wearing our own. Our perspective, our needs, our wants - they’re what we’re familiar with and they’re what we tend to focus on. We do pretty much everything I wrote about in Selfishness Matters.

You want to be happy? You want love? Well, I have some real advice for you; get over your Self. Stop focusing on you. Get into the reality of others. Believe that other people are as important as you are. Can you IMAGINE a world where we all did that! Maybe we could start an Other-help movement as we move away from Self-help. Wouldn’t it be cool to go to the bookstore and walk between rows and rows of “other-help” books?

Do you know what I rarely hear when I do couple’s counseling? I rarely hear both people say, “How can I love my partner better?” And that’s sad, because those are the only times couple’s counseling ever truly works as it is ideally intended. It may seem odd for you to hear this, but I think therapy and self-help can do more harm than good. Both have the risk of fostering masturbatory navel gazing which only encourages our already self-centered natures to become more selfish. Both can nurture a greedy psychological self-entitlement that can leave us personally empowered and our relationships empty. Both can create the false comfort of illusionary change based on the barrenness of disconnected insight. How can you know you’ve changed for the better? When the people you say you love can gain from your growth. If not, your change is like love unexpressed - a useless idea trapped in your head.

I hope you laughed while you read this book. But now, be sure to get over yourself. Do the absolute opposite of what The Big Fill advised you to do. I know from my own failures that it’s hard, but try to avoid being selfish. Avoid blaming your feelings on others and, if you’re not happy, don’t take that out on your loved ones. You’ll be a better friend, lover, and parent. Then, and only then, will you have truly earned some peace; some ease of spirit, and maybe even some happiness.

And please, please, please, don’t look for easy answers, or merely do what comes easily. Be curious, and don’t look for a much wiser-than-you guru to arrogantly tell you how to live. Gain wisdom from many people and places. Choose your thoughts and beliefs carefully. Consider where they came from and if you should replace them. Challenge ideology and truisms. Most importantly, pay close attention to the hearts of others and find many ways of loving people the way they need to be loved. That’s not hard to do at all. They’ll tell you how if you take the time to ask. If I believe one thing to be true, it’s that there’s nothing more joyful and Self- Developing than loving well.

I wish you well, and I hope you have all the love you need.
Thank you for reading.

Educational Background:

Honors B.A. in Psychology and Child and Family Studies and a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy, both from the University of Guelph. Over 20 years experience as a Registered Family Therapist providing family, couple, and individual therapy. For additional flavour, a Radio Broadcasting post-graduate certificate from Humber College.

Favorite Author:

Stephen King would probably be the world’s most gifted psychologist if he wanted to be. The man understands people. He gets what people are capable of, both at their best and worst.

Integrity Works

Integrity Works
Check out Theo's business Integrity Works to see how he can help you at home and at work.

Theo on the Radio

Listen Now to Theo Selles’ radio appearances. Passionate. Provocative. Making a difference.

Theo’s Latest Book

Abuse is NOT sexual: Theo offers a new way to understand and completely heal from “sexual” abuse.

The HEART of the PEARL. Inside every PEARL is a secret. Inside every PEARL is pain. Paperback and E-Book now available!

Theo’s Documentary

Listen Now to Theo’s Music Documentary. Tomorrow’s Going to be Grand is a Compelling story about Music, Courage, and Epilepsy.

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Selfishness Matters is a self help book even a man would read; a long overdue parody of the self-help industry. Paperback and E-Book now available!

Sample E-Book

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