The thing is, I am confused whether the word selfish itself can be used without expressing a negative connotation. I am a bit biased about it since I believe that by using this word it automatically implies that a third party will be affected by the action.
The thesaurus provides self-interested, self-seeking, egoistic; illiberal, parsimonious, and stingy as its synonyms; and I am aware that some can be used in a positive manner. For example self-seeking doesn't necessarily mean I am affecting someone else.
In other words, will everyone who hears selfish automatically perceive a negative meaning for the preceding action?
Could there be a better word that could express a similar meaning without being negative?