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Telling someone they are selfish-good or bad? You tell me.

Updated on January 6, 2012

Hello fellow Hubbers. I have a bit of a dilemma that I hope you can help me with. Today has been one of those days where there has been a lot of tension running around our house. Let me tell you what happened.

My cousin is visiting us. She is young, in her early 20s, and is still quite immature for her age. However, she likes to think that she is very adult and mature. I am in my mid 30s and know that I am still immature.

Anyway, today my cousin and I had a plan to go for ice skating. I thought I would skate with her even though I usually fall down more than skate (LOL). However, when I woke up this morning, my back was so sore. I could barely walk. My health is really not what it used to be, and this back pain happens on occasion to me. I find I just have to take rest and not stress it out. As my cousin wanted someone to go with her, I told her that I could watch her skate. However, she insisted that my husband or my dad actually go out on the ice and skate with her.

Now, all of us have something wrong with us- my husband has a bad foot due to plantar fascitis, and cannot move much either, nor can my dad move much with a bad back. My mom has an old knee and foot injury so she also has limited mobility. So we all told her that we could not actually go out and skate with her. We told her that we would go watch.

She got so upset that she actually threw a tantrum. She stomped her foot and started walking away. My mom started to explain all of our health issues to her when she just said, "Whatever", and walked away. So my mom got upset at her and told her not to be so selfish. My cousin got even angrier and stomped off to the room that she is staying in. She was so angry that she basically stayed at home holed up in her room all day without coming out to talk to any of us. In fact, I think she just came out to have dinner with my dad and that was it.

I was not around to hear my mom tell her this, but my dad and husband were. We all know that she is an only child and spoiled rotten. I also know that she usually gets whatever she wants. I am not so sure telling her that she was selfish to her face was a good idea even though it may be true.

What do you think I should do or say to her if she broaches this subject to me? I don't want to hurt her feelings, but at the same time she does need to grow up a bit. Any thoughts, comments or ideas are greatly appreciated.


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    • rlaha profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Spartanburg, SC

      Thank you! I think she has realized how she acted. I don't think she was happy, but I think she is a better person after she finally did realize what she was doing was not right or fair for us. Thanks for stopping by!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I was told by a very wise man once that if it didn't have my name on it then don't pick it up....however...I would waste no time telling her she was selfish because I can't stand rude people and her actions were rudeness to the extreme. Good luck!

    • rlaha profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Spartanburg, SC

      Thanks lawdoctorlee. I think she finally got the picture. I don't think that it made her a better person, but hey, she's family. Thanks for stopping by!

    • lawdoctorlee profile image

      Liza Treadwell Esq aka Liza Lugo JD 

      6 years ago from New York, NY

      I say when someone, especially if they are in their 20s, is acting the way you described...then it's time to tell it like it is...straight up!

    • rlaha profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Spartanburg, SC

      @Taleb80: Thank you. I think she figured it out on her own. However, she is still not happy.

      @Aboutaustrailia: I know, right? She should really be grateful that she even has a place to stay at Christmas. She is still a kid, and still acts like one. I hope she grows up soon.

      Thanks everyone for stopping by!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      6 years ago from North Texas

      Thanks Ghaelach.

    • aboutaustralia profile image


      6 years ago from Newcastle, New South Wales

      That is no way to behave! I would tell her politely that it's time to leave, but she would be welcome back if she respected the house rules i.e. Show respect, consideration and care for others. It is not too much to ask.

    • Taleb80 profile image

      Taleb AlDris 

      6 years ago

      I think you should not tell her that she is selfish for just this accident, rather than that you can tell her that she showed selfishness in this situation.

      If she always like this tell her clearly & politely.

      Let her work on her self now, better than waiting for this selfish to grow.

    • rlaha profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Spartanburg, SC

      Wow. I never expected so many responses so soon! Thanks everyone for replying! My dad seems to think that I am jealous of her. I'm really not. I am also an only child so I understand her issues. However, I don't think it's really my business to tell her how she is. I would rather her find that out herself. Is that wrong?

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Well said Au fait.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      6 years ago from North Texas

      First let me say that simply being an only child does not necessarily lead to selfishness. What leads to selfishness is allowing a child to always have their way no matter what. A parent who allows that is doing their child no favors.

      This young woman is going to have a lot of rude awakenings in her life from the sound of it. I wouldn't lower myself to behaving the same way she is by calling her names or shouting obscenities, etc. I would quietly explain how she is going to conduct herself in my home if she wants to remain in it taking advantage of everything my home has to offer, which she has no rights to.

      It is funny how keeping one's cool actually makes the person behaving like a selfish brat look even worse. Often when they see that their tirade/tantrum is getting them no where, they will try another ploy.

      I would not go to the girl's room to check on her unless it's so quiet you fear she may have harmed herself. Let her be the one to come out of that room when she's prepared to make a profuse apology. Until she makes that PROFUSE apology, even if she does come out of her room, I would give her an Arctic-in-the-wintertime shoulder. Twenty something is old enough to have some consideration for other people. (So is twelve something.) Every word spoken from my mouth and every gesture would be soft spoken and icy cold until I received that apology and clear indication of respectful behavior.

      If she packs her bags to leave, give her the kindness of holding the door for her.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Morning rlaha.

      I would ask myself a few questions.

      Is she old enough to drive a car?

      Is she old enough to smoke?

      Is she old enough to vote?

      Is she old enough to drink?

      Is she old enough to have a baby?

      And does she need anyone to hold her hand when she goes to the toilet?

      When you have five yes and one no then sit her down and tell her straight that she's a spoilt and selfish brat with no respect for her elders.

      Let her sweat it out for a while and may be she might just come round and realise the situation.

      Take care and i hope you have a bit of piece.

      LOL Ghaelach

    • IzzyM profile image


      6 years ago from UK

      I would just come straight out with it and call her the selfish cow that she is, and that she ought to think of other people around her.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Welllll.......why do you think you should refrain from telling her that she is selfish! Although she already knows, maybe you need remind her because being immature is no excuse or reason to look beyond someone being inconsiderate and out of control. At the end of the day if she chooses to behave like a child, she deserves to be treated like one. Although twenty something is young she knows better and being inconsiderate or out right disrespectful to people that are taking care of you is just unacceptable. Especially when they are going out of their way to make you happy. If this is indeed how the story went as adults one of you, if not all of you need to let her know her disrespect will not be tolerated. Some times some people need to be told about themselves, even if they already know. If they have any scrupulous or respect for themselves they will think twice about exhibiting whatever behaviors next time! WHy?!?!?!? because they will remember how you handled it the last time and know that you will not stand for it anymore!


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