We’re likely all guilty of being self-centered people from time to time; after all, everything always makes the most sense when it’s in our best interests!

However, there’s a big difference between looking after yourself and making proactive efforts to reach your goals – and being permanently selfish to others’ detriment.

Remember that occasional self-interest isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you feel like you’re prone to being a pushover, it might not be a bad idea to try and incorporate some of these characteristics when you need to.

Let’s look at signs of self-centered people and what behaviors to look out for.

Key Indicators of Being Self-Centred

  • Acting defensively, or defending your right to focus on outcomes that have the best result for your own purposes.
  • Being dismissive of other people’s priorities in favor of your own.
  • Not listening to alternative options and remaining set on achieving your aspirations.
  • Finding it frustrating when things don’t go your way.
  • Making your successes or struggles the center of the conversation.

As we’ve mentioned, all of these signs are likely to be displayed by self-centered people.

But likewise, it is healthy to highlight your needs and interests when necessary and to ensure you aren’t so worried about being perceived as selfish that you make sacrifices that you aren’t comfortable with.

The more significant issue evolves with people who are so entitled that they lose sight of the bigger picture, and turn this emphasis on themselves into a characteristic that drowns out everybody else when a little empathy would have gone a long way.

Four Behaviours of Self-Centred People

If you’re concerned about being egotistical, let’s take a closer look at how these indicators manifest into behaviors – and how you can learn from these traits to differentiate between self-care and self-centredness.

1. Playing the Blame Game

This is a red flag that you’re dealing with someone incapable of rational thought. A genuinely selfish person will always believe that they are correct and believe any problem or issue to be the fault of somebody else.

It’s impossible to do something wrong or make a bad call if you are 100% focused on yourself, and so there must be somebody else who bears responsibility!

You might experience a co-worker blaming anything and anybody but themselves for failing to hit a target or a family member who expresses anger when the traffic lights change against them. This is because they’ll struggle to accept responsibility for running late and prefer to heap blame on an inanimate object than agree that they would have been on time if they’d chosen to leave the house a little earlier.

2. Lack of Interest in Others

This is another primary differentiating factor between somebody self-seeking, and a person who is celebrating their achievements and successes.

Selfish people perceive their achievements as more important, more interesting, and more valid than others. They will, therefore, turn every conversation around to themselves and fail to display the kind of support and happiness you’d expect when a partner or relative wants to share the good news.

For example:

  • Talking over people to get their point across.
  • Cutting off a story to share their own experience.
  • An unwillingness to listen.
  • Outward discomfort when somebody else is the center of attention.
  • Lack of responsiveness when a person achieves something positive.

You can see this manifested quite clearly on social media. Most people will share insights and images that they enjoy or represent the essential things in their life.

Self-centered people are unlikely to interact with other accounts or return compliments – and their feed is very likely to be dominated by selfies!

3. Always Putting I Before We

If you know somebody who is genuinely self-indulgent, you might, at times, be shocked by their behavior – which can be insensitive, rude, and unkind.

This trait can emerge in any scenario where a selfish person is focused on self-gratification to the detriment of anybody else.

Examples could include:

  • Cutting up other vehicles – because it matters more that they complete their journey on time than anybody else, and they won’t see why they should wait their turn in a queue.
  • Hogging all the praise or rewards. Even if success is a team effort, selfish people will believe themselves to be the best performer, such as claiming responsibility for an achievement that others have contributed to – or taking all of the best food at the buffet.
  • Placing different values and rules on other people believing that those same rules do not apply to themselves. A self-centered person will assume that everybody else should be prepared to wait for them if they are late but will never expect to return the favor.

4. Using Manipulation or Untruths to Get Their Way

As this scenario unfolds, we begin to see the darker side and why it can be challenging to maintain a positive relationship with somebody who is entirely self-centered.

If this kind of person wants something, they will go out of their way to get it – regardless of whom they might hurt in the process.

It’s all about the perception of worth and having the thought process that your own desires, happiness, and well-being take precedence over all others.

You might experience:

  • The truth being twisted to support their opinion and ensure they ‘win’ the argument.
  • Facts being skewed or deliberately misinterpreted.
  • A disregard for reasoning or logical debate in favor of a blind commitment to the path that best supports their desires.

All in all, being around self-centered people is not for the faint-hearted, and it takes a lot of stamina to manage this behavior and cope with it.

Many selfish people don’t deliberately behave this way. They will need a lot of work, re-configuration of thought processes, and external support to analyze why they find it hard to empathize or consider other people, and perhaps start changing for the better.

The critical thing to remember is that we are each responsible for our own self-care. If spending time with an innately selfish person is proving harmful or beginning to make you question your own worth, it might be time to move along.

References:

  1. https://www.wikihow.com
  2. https://www.psychologytoday.com
Lauren Edwards-Fowle, M.Sc., B.Sc.

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