Black Label X Even during the instruction of a flight attendant regarding an emergency, passengers are told to first take the masks, cover their noses and breathe, before they begin to assist with the aid of other passengers. Does that sound selfish or is it smart? When you think about it, basically it's common sense in that if you don't take care of yourself first, you will not be in any condition to take care of anyone else later. But often, as women, the nurturing side usually takes over, especially if they have children or others to look after. It just seems to come naturally for them to want to go into "protect mode", barring themselves in the process.