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Dealing With Selfish People

Updated on January 30, 2014

Being a little selfish is normal but some take it too far and only think of themselves at the exclusion of others. Taking care of ourselves keeps us alive and functioning but we have to find that happy medium where we are also sympathetic of others; especially those closest to us.

Selfish people do not do well in relationships. They only look for what they can get from the other person in the way of affection, trinkets, goods and services. The other person’s feelings and wants are not important; it’s all about them.

“What can you do for me?”

These women are the ones looking for a man who will treat them like a “queen.” The men are looking for a sex slave and servant. They never realize they are selfish, but if the person they choose as a mate is not giving enough or tires of their games and leaves the one sided relationship, they label their ex as “a selfish person.”

They are obvious to most of us who are observant but they just don’t get it. You’ll see them on social networking sites lamenting about their ex(es) and how he only cared about himself and when they aren’t whining about past relationships they are begging for attention and hinting for money, items they “need” or services from friends. “Please pray for me.”

Every post is all about them.

The men say harsh things about women, calling them derogatory names, putting them in a lower class file and in the next breathe flirt and ask for sexual favors. I doubt most of them get many offers.

If these people are on the upper end of the attractive spectrum they will get away with more than most but eventually they start getting wrinkles, warts, gray hair, gain weight, and lose their appeal. What do they have left to offer?

These are the people who use their kids as slaves, their needs come first and their children are second.

You’ve heard of the sandwich generation; those are the people who have to care for their parents and their children at the same time, typically those waiting late in life to have kids.

Selfish people are not sandwiches but sponges sucking money, services and whatever they can get from their parents and kids often living with one of them because they are victims of the world and need “help," or they feel they owe it to them. (Disclaimer: Not everyone living with a relative or child is a selfish person, there are other circumstances that can warrant this so we must look at the whole picture before passing judgment.)

After a divorce, selfish parents will use their offspring as pawns in the financial and emotional games they like to play. “You can’t see the kids unless you pay me.” Jealous ex-spouses will keep kids away or refuse to visit if they don’t like the new person in their past significant other’s life. They are quite good at justifying this behavior and their children’s best interest is seldom the real reason.

Egocentric parents will often leave their kids for someone else to raise or the children raise themselves; they are only a burden and get in the way. They are too busy with things they find to be more important: career, hobby, games, addiction or whatever else holds their attention.

How to spot a selfish person

Activities are all about what the self centered person wants; their significant other or family’s needs or desires are not important to them.

Oh they’ll fool themselves by throwing in a toy for the kids to play with once they get there or drive by a site their loved one might enjoy seeing but if they are truthful with themselves the crux of the whole venture is for them alone.

Manner of speech is a clue to whether a person is selfish or not. They love the words, “Me, mine, my, I and myself.” Conversations will be all about what they want, what they have, what they’ve done and how things affect them.

Giving people tend to ask questions about you, when they talk the conversation will include your interests or those of other people. They’ll ask questions like, “Where would you like to go? What do you want to eat? What would you like to do?” They are interested in your opinions and listen. Your life, what you want and how you feel are honestly important to caring people and it shows in how they talk and their body language.

What causes people to be selfish?

Spoiling children too much can cause this as well as learning the behavior from their parents. If one or both parents are selfish there is a good chance the child will be as well. This is all they know and accept as a normal way of life. They see it as looking out for themselves and taking care of number one. Most don’t even realize they are being selfish.

Can selfish people change?

In some cases, yes but they have to work at it and if they have been selfish for many years it can be difficult to learn to be more caring and giving of others. They have to make a conscious effort to be more giving. They must change the way they speak and think all the time. It can be hard but is not impossible.

Do self-centered people always raise selfish children?

Not always. Those raised by egocentric parents may use them as an example and decide that lifestyle won’t be for them. They’ll be giving to their children, maybe too much so and strive to be a more loving spouse than the parental figures they had as role models.

What do you do?

Don't play into their games. Make sure you to do what you want part of the time and don't back down.

Don't do too much for them. They don't want friends; they want slaves. If they ask you to do something for them learn to say no once in a while.

Avoid them. This is not always easy but eliminating selfish people from your life is the best thing. They'll never change and being around them can just bring you down.


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    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Case1worker, I have seen some people to through a "midlife crisis" and suddenly become a selfish person. Rahna Reiko is a good example of this, she even wrote a book about it.

    • CASE1WORKER profile image

      CASE1WORKER 6 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

      Perhaps the worse thing is when a selfish nature develops as the person ages. The spouse finds that the endearing qualities they had when they are married are eclipsed by the "I am doing this" philosophy, rather than the "shall we do this?"

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      We have to look at a person's whole situation. Some live with family but not because they are lazy. Thanks for reading, Prasetio.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Very inspiring hub. I don't want to be selfish and I must appreciate others. I am not living alone but I need other people to support me. Thanks for writing and share with us. Cheers..


    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Marellen, I just ignore them and find friends who are not selfish. There will always be selfish people in the world.

    • profile image

      marellen 6 years ago

      Yep..its takes all kinds to make this world and I'm afraid selfish people are here to stay. People who act this way usually get away with it from others... If we as people decide to call them on it, then maybe they 'just' might change.