Self-Centered: Meaning, Causes, Signs, How to Change Yourself or Deal with One

The thing that many self-centered individuals do not realize is how self-centred they actually are. They strongly believe they can do no wrong because they’re too absorbed in themselves to even notice. 

Do you know an acquaintance or family member who seems always to be only focused on themself? They don’t look at anyone else and are only concerned with their wants and needs.

If you do, you could be dealing with a self-centered individual. They are difficult to handle because they tend to put their own needs over others.

Table of Contents

Self-Centered: Meaning

A person who is self-centered or self-absorbed will be focused only on their own needs and will be difficult to show consideration for other people.

  • If someone is self-centered, they usually don’t reciprocate the effort you put into the relationship.
  • They can also be opposed to the rules, believing that rules and guidelines are irrelevant to them.
  • To handle someone who is self-centered, to deal with a selfish person, set limits and let them know how you feel or even cut off their access to you.

If you know someone who is always focused on their own needs or has zero or no regard for other people, they are most likely self-centered.

It is a common occurrence among those with narcissistic personality disorders, and it makes it hard for them to keep healthy relationships with other people.

Self-centeredness is distinct from self-care since self-care is about taking the time to take care of your needs and placing yourself first every time, especially when experiencing stress self-centeredness is thinking exclusively about oneself.

The Truth about Self-centeredness

Suppose you aren’t willing to admit that you’re not, in reality, the best in the world. In that case, this is your reminder, over seven billion people are living in the world, and the chances are good that someone is more intelligent than you, attractive than you, more powerful than you, more prosperous than you are, and more appealing than you.

Regardless of your achievements, what will set you apart from the crowd is how graciously and elegantly you act.

There’s no need to tell people about your accomplishments or appear like you’re the only person capable of making a difference. At the end of the day, nobody is really interested in what you were awarded, the amount of money you earned or even the people you’ve met.

They will care about how good you make them feel, and self-centered people rarely make people feel good.

Self-Centered: Synonym

  • Egocentric
  • Individualistic
  • Selfish
  • Conceited
  • Know-it-all
  • Egomaniac

You can call it whatever you want, but they all imply the identical thing. Self-centeredness may be good for you since it puts you in the spotlight, but for others, it’s a complete nightmare.

Causes of Self-centeredness

It’s possible to wonder what causes people to become self-centered. Is self-centeredness a character trait born into them, or is there something that happens in the process that triggers it?

There is plenty of evidence that suggests self-centeredness develops over time, based on the following:

Upbringing

The person might be raised in a manner that taught them that they don’t need to think about or consider other people. If they’ve been told that it’s okay to think only of themselves, they might not be aware of how they appear.

Trauma 

Someone may have had a traumatic experience. The experience may have taught them not to trust others and consider their needs only over all other things.

Sociopathy (Personality disorder)

People with an antisocial personality disorder, also called sociopathy, can often disregard or infringe on the rights of others. If someone’s self-centeredness results from a condition called sociopathy, they could not be conscious of this, they might not be aware.

The feeling of rejection (Loneliness)

Self-centeredness can also originate from early experiences of rejection. The individual may not have been seen as important or valued as a child and may therefore have an overwhelming desire to be accepted in adulthood.

Coping mechanisms to shield their feelings (Social factors)

Sociocultural factors can also cause self-centeredness. For instance, in an environment where people think that the wealthy earned and deserve their wealth (and those with lower incomes deserve their misfortune), they could consider their inheritance or entitlement to be the reward for “doing the job right.”

Signs of Self-Centeredness

Self-centeredness places you above all others. It implies you are superior, but it’s deeper than that.

Here are some traits of someone self-centered.

Defensiveness

Self-centered people are always defensive. They view the world only through their lens. Ultimately, they don’t support anyone who disagrees with them or thinks differently.

They believe the world revolves around them.

Any time a life event occurs, a self-centered individual will be focused on how it impacts their life only. They believe they are the most important thing in the universe, and everything else is irrelevant except for their desires.

Self-centred individuals will always do things in their way and adopt a “my way or the highway” way of life.

The feeling of entitlement leads self-centered people to often be opposed to rules due to their arrogance, carelessness or lack of empathy, preventing them from understanding their actions’ impact on others.

Always talking about themselves and their accomplishments.

Self-centred people are fond of talking about themselves and boasting about their accomplishments. They always try to be better than everyone else and boast about their achievements.

They don’t appear to care about anything you have to say.

They don’t seem interested in hearing about any else’s lives since they’re only concerned with their personal lives.

If you discover that someone doesn’t ask you questions about your day or isn’t interested when you attempt to talk with them about what you do, it could indicate that they are self-centered.

They lack empathy and perspective.

Being compassionate towards other people requires putting yourself in the shoes of a person and comprehending their feelings. Self-centered individuals might not be capable of seeing things from a different perspective so that they can empathize with them.

This could be a sign of:

  • refusing to look at another’s point of view in a disagreement
  • Invalidating the views of others or opinions, beliefs, or views as untrue

Incredibly demanding 

Self-centred individuals are very demanding and demand that others meet their demands. They hate it whenever things don’t work as planned and often get angry if they aren’t getting what they need.

They take more than they give

In a relationship that involves someone self-centered, you may notice a pattern of offering your time, energy and focus to them; Yet those efforts and gestures aren’t rewarded or reciprocated.

Self-centred people usually take much more from your life than they want to offer. 

It is clear that they have more respect for themselves than others because they’re not prepared to make an effort for you to feel like you’re in a good relationship.

They do not take any accountability for their actions.

Refusing to take responsibility for their actions is a sign of self-centeredness. They always blame others for their issues but never take accountability for their actions.

If you notice that someone always blames others or cannot take any responsibility for their own errors, this could indicate self-centeredness.

Bullying

Self-centered individuals can be extremely rude to other people. They want to dominate the entire situation in the context of friendship or relationship.

They do not care about others’ opinions – they are only concerned about what they would like and will do whatever to achieve it.

Uses others to get what they want

They have no problem taking advantage of other people. If they think using others will get them what they want or where they want to go, they will do it.

Always think they’re superior to everybody else.

If someone owns something they believe to be superior or of superior quality, the self-centered individual wants to have it for themselves. If this isn’t true, they believe they are the best and are more valuable than others.

Make promises they never intend to keep

Self-centered individuals are famous for making promises they don’t intend to keep. They might promise to perform something but don’t follow through on the promise. It’s because they only take care of themselves and their personal needs.

If you see someone who keeps making promises but is not delivering, it could indicate that you are selfish.

Can be arrogant and overconfident

Self-centered people generally have low self-esteem, but they appear self-confident and arrogant.

This characteristic can be difficult to spot because self-centered individuals create a facade to hide their fears. They act as if they’re superior to others.

They’re not able to receive or respond to feedback.

Suppose you attempt to give an individual who is self-centered any comments about their selfish behaviour. In that case, it’s highly likely that they will not consider it a serious matter and will not admit to the fault of their behaviour.

They might become defensive, not see the effects of their actions or ignore feedback due to their arrogance. If something isn’t hurting or affecting them, it’s difficult for them to want to change.

They always have to have the last word.

Self-centered individuals always want to assert their authority because they want to be in control.

If you notice that someone always tries to get the upper hand or is always trying to be the right person, it could be a sign you are pro-ego.

How to avoid being Self-centered

People are complicated. You may not be aware that you are exhibiting the signs of this kind of behaviour. A person who has a selfish attitude to life is probably not aware of the fact that they are.

If you are confronted with a traumatizing incident, it’s crucial to maintain your compassion. Everyone goes through challenging moments and has to deal with issues. Accepting the people around us and being generous and open is the best approach to dealing with it.

When you allow yourself to be self-centered and avoid others, you will develop a pattern of behaviour that will continue to spiral over time.

In no time, you’ll have friends complaining heavily. No one wants to endure one who is always self-centered.

Dealing With Someone Who Is Self-Centered

If you’re dealing with a self-centered individual, here are some suggestions to make your relationships more enjoyable.

Tell Them How You Feel

Although some individuals might be aware of their desire to attract focus and draw focus away from other people, some who engage in this behaviour aren’t aware that they’re doing it or how their actions affect other people.

If they are not aware of their actions, you can engage in an honest conversation with them about what they are saying and how they affect you. Most people respond to being redirected or can learn to be redirected.

Assert Yourself

If someone is acting rude, you can make a statement to ensure your preferences and needs are heard. Be diplomatic but specific about your needs and preferences.

If, for instance, you’re angry and want to vent, however, the person you’re talking to is prone to dominate the conversation. You can request their attention. For example, you could say: “Hey, I had a wild day at the office today, do you have 20 minutes to listen to me vent?”

If you’re trying to arrange an outing with them, you can be in charge and not give them any control of the decision-making process by stating: “I am planning to go see this movie, would you like to join me?”

Set boundaries

The ability to set limits for self-centered people can assist you in interacting with them on your terms. It will also allow you to avoid situations that consume your energy or take up all your time.

Some examples of boundaries that you could establish are:

  • If you’re planning a trip for the future, notify them ahead of time that you won’t be available for some time.
  • If they contact you to speak with them, you could inform them that you will have around 10 minutes for conversation.

Adjust Your Expectations

Being around someone self-centered could cause you to be upset, disappointed or angry when they’re not considerate of you. It’s possible to feel manipulated for having given them many hours, energy, attention and encouragement without receiving anything in return.

However, accepting their individuality and adapting your expectations accordingly will help you deal with them. For example, a self-centered friend may not be the most trustworthy person you can trust and count on for help, but spending time with them at least once or twice can still be fun.

Find ways to cope if you cannot disengage

In some instances, you won’t be able to completely separate from someone who is self-centered, like the case of a family member or colleague you work with regularly. In such a case, it could be beneficial to discover ways to deal with their behaviours.

Examples of how to deal with this situation are: for this kind of situation are:

  • Reminding yourself not to take the things they say or do personally.
  • Redirect upsetting dialogue with them by changing the subject or leaving the conversation.
  • Learning to let things go by expressing your emotions or venting to a trusted friend.

Keep Your Distance From Them

It is best to stay away from them if they are draining your energy or causing you to be frustrated or angry frequently.

If it’s a family member or a romantic partner who won’t change, you may choose to break off relationships with them to safeguard your mental and emotional health.

Suppose you have a family member or a colleague who you might not be in a position to completely avoid. In that case, it is possible to restrict your interactions with them to an essential extent and remove yourself from them as far as possible.

Know when it’s time to cut them off.

If you’ve spoken about your feelings to the person, but they’re not making any efforts to alter how they behave, then it’s a good bet that you’ll constantly feel anger or hurt when you spend time with them.

It could be time to think about ending the relationship in this situation. The ideal relationship is connected and mutually beneficial. Keeping an unresolved romantic relationship or relationship with someone who can’t satisfy your relationship’s fundamental needs will eventually take a toll on your psychological health.

How to Stop Being Self-Centered

If you’re worried about being self-centered, that worry is a sign that you’ve made a significant step toward changing. Change can be difficult, but ReelNat can assist you if you need more help. Here is a list of suggestions to help you concentrate less on only your own needs. Making small changes to your everyday life can have an enormous difference!

Give others your full attention and hear them out. 

Self-centered people often cause conversations around themselves and often be bored if the focus isn’t on them. If this is a pattern you recognize, it’s time to break that habit! Give others a chance to express their opinions, and work hard to demonstrate that you’re paying attention. Removing distractions, nodding or asking questions are excellent methods to improve your listening.

Begin to pay attention to how others react to you.

If you take a moment to not focus on yourself and focus on your surroundings, you’ll be able to discern whether someone is upset or annoyed, or plain bored. Be aware of their tone of voice and how they respond. These are indicators that they’re nearing the point of going away.

As powerful as emotions can be important, you must be aware of their body expressions. Communication through non-verbal means is equally crucial in determining the feelings of someone about you.

For example, if people you’re talking to are holding their arms in a cross-stitch, leaning backwards, and not making many glances at you, they’re not the biggest fans of the conversation.

Imagine yourself in the other’s shoes.

Imagine you’re with a friend for a coffee, and they’re talking about the bad day they’ve endured. Consider what you would like to hear in response if you were the one sharing.

Do you want someone to take over the conversation to turn it into a discussion about themselves? Would you like the person to disregard all you’ve stated and then discuss a totally unrelated issue?

It doesn’t sound very pleasant, right? That’s precisely what people experience when you try to make their story all about yourself.

If you’re trying to become less self-centered, an excellent way to achieve this is to imagine yourself in another person’s position. Take note of the words of your friend. Smile, nod, and respectfully participate in conversations by asking pertinent questions and giving sensible advice without making it about you.

Fight the urge to talk about yourself in every conversation.

It’s a habit that’s easy to fall into, but you won’t be able to concentrate on others if you’re constantly discussing yourself. Make an effort to reduce the amount of “I” and “me” comments you make in everyday conversations. Studies have shown that talking less often can make you feel happier and healthier. So, try remembering that whenever you’re feeling down.

  • Try asking others how they’re doing instead of giving lengthy descriptions of what you’re doing.
  • Instead of telling your spouse about your day right when they enter the room, ask your partner about their day first.

Be excited for them without inserting or comparing yourself. 

If you’re finding it difficult to be content with your friend who recently received an impressive job, it’s because you made the situation about you in some way. It’s not a problem; it’s an attitude you can change.

  • Perhaps, for instance, you can’t help but consider how much you dislike your job. Make an effort to focus on your friend’s success to congratulate them, and try your best to get yourself out of the picture.

Keep in mind that everyone has their own lives as well.

Every person has their own set of challenges, ups and downs. It’s normal to be with people you love. However, when they don’t have time to spend with you, do not hold it against them.

They’re not jerks refusing to accept your invitation. They’re living their lives.

Always consider the circumstances of the people you’re speaking to because you don’t know how selfish you appear until you hear about it from someone else.

Self-centered people want everything to go their way all the time. 

Compromise means deciding to believe that the needs and wants of another are just as important as yours. Instead of arguing with them in the event of a disagreement, meet each other halfway to ensure that everyone gets a portion of their wants fulfilled.

  • For instance, if your spouse wants to take a trip, but you are convinced it’s not in your budget, a good compromise is to arrange a day trip or take a low-cost activity, such as walking or visiting the beach nearby.
  • It is essential to inform your friend that you appreciate their willingness to meet halfway. 

Get to know the people around you.

From your neighbours to colleagues to the parking attendant, you meet twice daily, be nice. Aren’t you surprised you meet these people daily yet know nothing about them?

Everyone knows your story through your narrating and rants, but which tale do you really have?

Learn to get to know the people around you, and you’ll better understand what you’ve yet to see because you were focusing on your own needs.

Praising others more often doesn’t diminish your light. 

It’s good to be recognized for something, particularly when you have worked hard to achieve these things. You should learn to praise the accomplishments of others. If others contributed to your success, take the initiative to share your spotlight with them.

  • For instance, if your boss praises a project you’ve completed, mention your team’s involvement and work as well.
  • Appreciating others makes you feel more connected to them. It also assists in turning your attention away from yourself.

Be proud, but don’t brag.

There’s nothing wrong with feeling proud and happy about your accomplishments.

It’s a challenging task to accomplish something in an extremely competitive environment, and justly, you are allowed to be proud of your accomplishments. However, there is no need to brag.

Be modest when announcing your accomplishments. One method to achieve this is to acknowledge the assistance you’ve received and thank the people who helped to help you climb higher.

Do something nice for everyone you care about

It is also possible to kick self-centeredness out of the way by giving a gesture of kindness to the people you care about without expecting anything back. You don’t need to do extravagant things. Simple gestures that let them know that you care enough about them.

Say “thank you” more often.

If you aren’t grateful for the positive things that happen in your life, it usually implies that you feel entitled to them or do not appreciate them. This is, unfortunately, a self-centered approach to viewing the world. Instead, you should look for ways to show others gratitude for what they do for you. Being grateful will make to feel closer to others and inspire you to keep on your journey of self-improvement.

Get involved in volunteering.

Volunteering can help you realize that more important things are happening in the world that is not about you.

Be aware that giving money is not enough, as the essence of volunteering is in the time, effort and energy that you put into helping others.

Research shows that loneliness can lead to self-centeredness.

Being around other people can help shift your attention to the outside instead of inward. If you’ve been feeling depressed for a while, it may be challenging to make yourself more social. You should push yourself to step out of your comfort zone in social settings.

  • Signing up for a group, committing to classes, and then responding “yes” to invitations more often is a great way to begin!
  • It’s normal to be self-centered in response to being lonely. However, self-centeredness can create a sense of isolation, making you feel more self-centered. It could become a never-ending loop.

Self-centeredness could be an indication of anxiety or depression. 

If you’re having difficulty eliminating your self-centered behaviours, don’t think you’re not a good person or quit trying to improve yourself. Self-centeredness can be a symptom of a bigger issue like anxiety or depression. Therapists can help you comprehend the root of your issue and offer the needed assistance.

  • Being compassionate for yourself shouldn’t necessarily mean that you’re selfish! It is important to look after your emotional and mental health.

Let those close to you know what you’re doing.

Like quitting smoking or cutting down on vodka, you need to be completely prepared to let go of self-centeredness to make the change.

It would be best to let your family and friends know about this journey, so they can be supportive and keep you on track whenever it appears you’re getting lost in the abyss of self-centeredness.

Inform them that it’s acceptable to confront you, and be sure not to be offended. It’s to your benefit, and you’ll find the world more enjoyable when you alter your attitude.

Remember to be modest and pay more attention to your surroundings.

How you think and how you live your life isn’t the easiest task to do, but if you’re willing to make an effort, there’s no reason to believe that you can’t be able to achieve it.


Read More: How To Become a More Thoughtful Person and Why It’s So Important

Read More: How To Stop Being Naive: Highly Effective Tips

Read More: What Is Cleithrophobia: The Fear of Being Trapped


Conclusion

If you’re in contact with someone who makes every effort to be seen as the best, appears to be impulsive, or has a huge ego, most likely, you’re dealing with someone self-centered.

Being in a relationship of any kind with a person like this can make you feel emotionally depleted or even hurt.

If you are trying to save the relationship, establish limits and talk about your feelings. However, be aware that your relationship may have to be ended to protect your interests if they continue to exhibit self-centered behaviours.

Ways To Deal With Selfish People

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