the tendency to act excessively or solely in a manner that benefits oneself, even if others are disadvantaged



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5 Ways To Assess and React To Selfish People

If you have a relationship with a selfish person, practicing healthy communication and setting boundaries can help you protect your own well-being.

Do you have a selfish person in your life? People who exhibit selfishness tend to have a pattern of acting in their own self-interests with no regard for who they may hurt along the way.

It can be exhausting and painful to have a relationship with a selfish person who doesn’t seem to care about you or your needs.

Many different factors may lead people to behave in selfish ways. If you’re impacted by someone’s selfish behavior, there are certain ways you can approach the relationship to protect yourself.

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What is a selfish person?

Selfishness can be defined as the trait that leads people to frequently act in their own interests without any regard for how their actions could impact others.

In the American Psychological Association (APA) dictionary, the definition of “selfishness” is listed as: the tendency to act excessively or solely in a manner that benefits oneself, even if others are disadvantaged.

Some signs of a selfish person include:

  1. having no regard for how their behavior impacts others
  2. consistently acting in their own self-interests instead of meeting the needs of others
  3. having no empathy for the suffering of other people
  4. showing no remorse when they’ve hurt other people
  5. using manipulation tactics to get what they want
  6. always asking for favors but never repaying them
  7. being unkind, or their kindness comes with a price
  8. using others to get what they want
  9. not giving back to others
  10. feeling entitled to always getting what they want, even if it means that others will be pushed down

Self-centered vs. selfish

Self-centeredness is similar to selfishness, but the two concepts might differ slightly in important ways.

People who are selfish often knowingly behave in ways that hurt other people so that they, themselves, can benefit.

Self-centered people are overly focused on themselves; the Mirriam-Webster dictionary defines “self-centered” as preoccupied with oneself and one’s affairs.

Someone who is self-centered could be too absorbed in thoughts about themselves to even give a second thought to how their behaviors impact others. But self-centered people could be able to feel more remorse when they realize that they’ve hurt someone else.

Both selfish and self-centered people can be difficult to deal with for those around them.

If you have a selfish person in your life, you might feel overwhelmed or frustrated about not knowing how to communicate with them. It could feel like no matter what you say or do, this person continues to hurt you (either intentionally or unintentionally) to act in their own interests.