In A Better You

Your Guide to Understanding Self-Centered People

Self Centered

When a person is self-centered or self-absorbed, they are typically the last to know. The reason for this denial is because self-centeredness can hide behind good qualities such as a high level of self-confidence and good self-esteem. These qualities make it difficult for someone to realize how self-centered they are, and can even make it hard for other people to identify this character flaw.


Definition of a Self-Centred Person

Being self-centred means looking out only for one’s self. One’s conversation and actions lack in consideration and respect for others, while one’s own interests and pleasure lie completely internally. Very simply, someone who is self-centered is preoccupied with himself or herself.

Self-centred synonyms include:

  • Self-seeking
  • Self-obsessed
  • Self-absorbed
  • Selfish
  • Egotistical
  • Egocentric
  • Narcissistic
  • Being wrapped up in oneself

A self-centred personality disorder is more serious than simply having the behavioral characteristics. It would be equivalent to a narcissistic disorder, which focuses on the self-centeredness, but then adds other levels of power and vanity into the diagnosis.


Identifying a Self-Centred Person

It’s easy for any of us to slip into self-interested behaviors. Typically, however, selfish perspectives can be changed with some determination and a little work. Self-centered behavior produces a self-centred personality, which is not positive or fun for others to be around. There are certain behaviors and actions that make it easy for an individual to identify others as self-obsessed. However, when it comes to ourselves, we rarely see it in the same way.

For those people who have self-centered behaviors, or would like to see if they do, identifying specific behaviors or patterns of thought can be really helpful when trying to develop a sense of selflessness. Once people can see their behaviors in terms of how they affect those around them, they can learn how to be less self-centered and more courteous.

The 15 questions below are designed to help the average person recognize self-absorbed behaviors, both in yourself and others. Once the trait is identified, compassionate actions can be taken to decrease its hold. Remaining self-centred is never a good choice. Answering these significant questions might help you realize how much time you spend considering the feelings of others.

  • Have you spent a long period of time with someone who is upset without realizing it?
  • Do you often wonder how you come off in interactions with others?
  • Do you spend time with people not really wanting to know them?
  • Does constructive criticism or feedback seems like a waste of time for you?
  • Do you find other people are to blame most of the time?
  • When you’re not the center of attention, do you get bored and impatient?
  • Do you often expect praise?
  • Are your problems more important than everyone else’s?
  • Do you like things done your way and, secretly or publically, can’t stand to do it someone else’s way?
  • Are you ever jealous when anyone else receives public recognition?
  • Do you feel guilty or embarrassed with your behavior?
  • Do you forget birthdays, anniversaries, and other important events of those around you?
  • This might be hard to detect, but do you spend the majority of your social time talking about yourself and your issues, ignoring the fact that you also need to listen to others carefully?
  • Do you treat other people with respect?
  • In conversation, do you usually allow the other person to speak freely or do you do most of the talking?

Now that you have your answers, have you been truthful? Becoming honest is a major step in identifying character defects like being self-centred. Imagine how relationships would improve if people were more open to being considerate and respectful of each other. If the questions revealed to you that you have become a bit self-absorbed, there are several options to bring that attitude around. Thinking of others first is the priority.


On Selfishness

Below is a collection of quotes that encourage people to be less self-centred:

  • Shannon L. Alder:

If there is no communication then there is no respect. If there is no respect then there is no caring. If there is no caring then there is no understanding. If there is no understanding then there is no compassion. If there is no compassion then there is no empathy. If there is no empathy then there is no forgiveness. If there is no forgiveness then there is no kindness. If there is no kindness then there is no honesty. If there is no honesty then there is no love. If there is no love then God doesn’t reside there. If God doesn’t reside there then there is no peace. If there is no peace then there is no happiness. If there is no happiness, then there is conflict because there is no communication.

  • Albert Camus:

To be happy, we must not be too concerned with others.

  • Colin Smith, Jonah:

When God interrupts your life, He is calling you to follow Him in a new way. By breaking into your settled pattern, He is moving you to a new place where you can make fresh discoveries of His grace. Embracing God’s call is never easy, but this is where the pursuit of a God-centered life begins, and where the shame of a self-centered life is exposed.

  • Kevin Thoman:

Pride is nothing more than us highlighting us.

  • Bertrand Russell:

These illustrations suggest four general maxims:
The first is to remember that your motives are not always as altruistic as they seem to yourself.
The second is: don’t over-estimate your own merits.
The third is: don’t expect others to take as much interest in you as you do yourself.
And the fourth is: don’t imagine that most people give enough thought to you to have any special desire to persecute you.

We fear what other people think about us, we are frequently more focused on ‘being interesting and less focused on ‘taking an interest.’ That’s why many people talk a great deal when they are anxious and why many people never feel heard. If both people and conversation are trying to be interesting, there is no one left to genuinely listen.

The most self-absorbed people display an ironic pension for the smallest minds and the largest mouths.

How hungrily we read about ourselves!

Selfishness, self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt. So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making.


How to Be Less Self-centred and How to Deal with Self-centred People

Those who are close to a self-absorbed person know it can be emotionally draining to deal with someone who thinks the world revolves around them. Unfortunately, the selfish person often finds pain and loneliness as the people in their life slowly leave because they always go too far.

The self-absorbed person craves attention and approval. These are the main traits in a self-centred person. The twisted thinking could have developed as early as childhood by being ignored or criticized, or as an adult pretending to be someone they are not. It’s natural for a self-absorbed person to want to be the center of attention. However, if they want healthy relationships, it has to stop.

The answer to this ingrained, over compensated self-focus is to learn to focus on others. This one step will slowly turn self-centred habits straight. Here are five suggestions to practice that will bring back balance and turn the focus away from oneself:

  • Notice what is going on with other people and show interest in friends and family. Show gratitude when they complete everyday tasks for you.
  • Practice empathy with others.
  • Listen more than you speak in conversations and ask questions.
  • Decrease the drama in your life.
  • Question your motives for speech or actions when with others.

As a person learns how to stop being self-absorbed, their true self-esteem will be enhanced. The sign will be that they focus more on others and they reduce the drama in their life.

We want to hear your thoughts on the matter of selfishness. Please join in the conversation below with your opinions.


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  • Don Dressel
    Sep 14, 2015 at 04:09 am

    I have lived with the most self centered woman in the world
    Now I am divorcing her!!!

  • Don Dressel
    Mar 25, 2016 at 04:58 pm

    I have lived with the most self centered woman in the world
    Now I am divorcing her!!!

  • Don Dressel
    Apr 14, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    I have lived with the most self centered woman in the world
    Now I am divorcing her!!!

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