Selfish people are a product of a selfish society. One look at society today with its major focus on self and “what’s in it for me” mindset, it’s not difficult to understand where young people get their selfish attitudes and habits. Selfish habits can be difficult to break once they are ingrained in a person’s life. Parents can help curtail selfishness in their kids by teaching them to be considerate and giving from the time they are young.
When people think about selfishness, the first thing that comes to mind is people who are stingy with their money. However, selfishness can take on many forms. People can be selfish with their time, personal belongings, attitudes and actions by not considering the needs of others. Why are some people selfish and others not? The following gives some insight into the characteristics of selfish people and how selfish habits can be cultivated.
The world has changed quite a bit in the last century. Modern technology and urban development has all but replaced the “horse and buggy” era with its small town lifestyle. Although much good can be said about industrial growth and progress, the modernizing of society has also altered people’s way of life. The slow pace of small community living has given way to a more pressured urban lifestyle where people are more focused on their personal goals and objectives. As people focus more on themselves and meeting their personal needs, selfish habits begin to take root in their lives.
Selfishness stems from thinking only about self and being overly concerned with having personal wants and needs. It’s a natural human trait in children from the time they are small as is evidenced by siblings fighting over their belongings rather than sharing. Unselfishness and sharing are traits that need to be taught and the earlier, the better. The more parents emphasize these traits and put them into practice in their own lives, the more their children will grow up with unselfish values. Children who are consistently allowed to have their own way eventually grow up developing selfish people traits. They will continue to demand being the center of attention long after they’re grown and lack consideration for the needs of others.
Traits of Selfish People
People can be selfish in different ways. Some people can be selfish with their money, refusing to give to charitable causes or share with family or friends. The more money a selfish person has, the more he desires and the less he is willing to share.
The Bible is full of stories of selfish people and how they wound up losing all that they had due to their selfish ways. The story of the rich fool tells of a farmer who was blessed with an abundant harvest and had insufficient space to store it all. Although he could have shared the harvest with his workers, he refused, opting instead to build bigger barns to store it all for himself so he could “eat, drink and be merry” for years to come. That night the rich fool died and lost it all. There are many other stories about selfish people in the Bible who suffered similar fates due to their selfish ways.
Selfishness can breed such traits as:
- lack of love and concern for others
- envy and
Selfish people accomplish nothing more than alienating themselves from others. Young people who grow up in a selfish environment learn selfish traits and habits which eventually alienate them from their peers. Few people want to be around people who have little concern for the needs of others.
Why Are People Selfish
There are many reasons why people are selfish. Some people may have been raised in a selfish environment by selfish parents and family. Others may have developed selfish habits due to their experiences or difficult circumstances in their lives. Young people can be quite impressionable. In their attempt to be accepted or blend in with the crowd, they may adopt the selfish mindsets and attitudes of their peers. Famous selfish people can also have a negative impact on teens as they strive to emulate their beliefs and lifestyle.
Selfishness can be likened to a disease in that it can destroy a person’s mind, body and soul. In today’s society, it’s quite easy to spot selfish people in relationships, sports, business, school, social events and family life. Selfishness can be a major cause of contention and grief in just about any aspect of society.
Knowing how to handle selfish people can be difficult, especially if they are content to continue in their selfish ways. Parents, however, should make every effort to help their teens overcome selfish habits and see the error of their ways. The teen years can be difficult enough as is without young people isolating themselves from friends and family due to problems with selfishness.
How to Deal with Selfish People
There is no “one size fits all” cure for dealing with selfish people. People who are self-centered and uncaring can be difficult to be around much less befriended. At the same time, you don’t want selfishness to destroy your family. When it comes to handling selfishness, here are some steps that can help alleviate this dilemma.
- Understand Selfish People’s Perspective
The first step in handling selfish people is to try to understand their point of view and where their selfishness is coming from. Rather than assuming you know why a person is selfish, it’s better to uncover the reasons behind their behavior so you can have a better idea of how to respond.
It’s natural for young children to act selfishly as they don’t know any better. Teens and adults, however, can distinguish between selfishness and generosity and are therefore, more accountable for their actions. Responsible parents will help mold their child’s character while they are yet young, instilling in them the desire to be considerate, caring and respectful of others. Children and teens will also learn much by copying the example of their elders.
- Don’t Take Selfish Behavior Personally
Even if you have brought up your teen in a loving and caring environment, he may adopt selfish behavior towards family and friends later down the line. As a parent, you shouldn’t take his bad behavior personally. Adolescence brings many changes in a teen’s life. Most teens go through different stages in their attitudes and mindsets in the development of their personality and character. Selfishness can put a damper on a teen’s social life. After experiencing the negative repercussions of selfishness, many teens grow out of that stage quickly, so they don’t miss out on developing the friendships they desire.
- Never Assume the Obvious
When it comes to selfish behavior, never make assumptions about people without really knowing the facts. Assumptions can be very misleading and cause people to be misjudged. If you think your teen is reacting selfishly in certain situations, take time to dig deeper into what’s triggering his behavior. Open and honest communications have a way of resolving situations before they get out of hand. What seems like selfish behavior on the surface could be substantiated by good reasons that you don’t know about. Before accusing your teen of being selfish, it’s best to check out all the facts.
Selfish People Quotes and Sayings
There are many famous sayings about selfish people describing their egotistical ways. You can also find online quotes for selfish people designed to help them see the error of their ways. The following are some common quotes about selfish people that hit the nail on the head.
“Almost every sinful action ever committed can be traced back to a selfish motive. It is a trait we hate in other people but justify in ourselves. ” – Stephen Kendrick
“If there is one thing I dislike, it is the man who tries to air his grievances when I wish to air mine.” – P.G. Wodehouse
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.” – Oscar Wilde
“To be happy, we must not be too concerned with others.” – Albert Camus
“Teamwork: I love the idea of all for one—especially if that one is me.” (selfish people quote of the week) – Jarod Kintz
Selfish People in Relationships Quotes
“He who wants everything every time will lose everything any time.” – Vikrant Parsai
“If he wants you all to himself, but he isn’t prepared to give himself all to you, then you should give him nothing at all.” – Stephen Speaks
“Friendship is a two way street, not a one way road.” – Anonymous
Most everyone has been selfish at some point in their lives. You can spout “I hate selfish people” all you like, but that does little to change a person’s heart. Rather than condemn others for their selfish behavior, people should look for ways to curtail the problem in their own lives so they can pass on a legacy of consideration, kindness and generosity to others.