To a greater or lesser extent we are all selfish in some respects. However, there are people who are excessively selfish and their behavior attracts a lot of attention. When others are selfish we tend to detect it quickly, but when it is we who show this attitude, we find it difficult to recognize and detect it.

But, is it worth being selfish? The truth is that selfishness can ruin many interpersonal relationships. If you think you are being selfish and want to change your behavior, this article will interest you.

Characteristics of a selfish person

We all know what it means to be selfish and nobody likes to be surrounded by one of those guys who don’t take our needs into account. When we have one of those people around who look only at their own benefit and rarely lift a finger if they’re not going to get something in return, we’re hardly going to establish a deep friendship or give them our trust.

Selfish people do not exactly enjoy great sympathy from others. In short, selfish people:

  • They’re unlikely to share. Unless, of course, they want to make a profit in return.
  • They try to get rewards from everyday situations.
  • They are very offended and resentful when they don’t get what they want.
  • They try their best, and always for their own good.
  • They have no interest in others, only in themselves.
  • They are insatiable and always want more.
  • They don’t stop until they get it.

These “me first, me second” individuals create toxic relationships, whether they are in a relationship, at work or as friends. Selfish individuals are not always aware that they are selfish or of the damage they do , but they end up manipulating their environment to get what they want.

  • You can delve deeper into the characteristics of selfish people in our article: “Selfish People Share These 6 Traits”

What to do if you are selfish

Selfishness is a more or less habitual behaviour of people, but this does not mean that we cannot adopt behaviours to be more aware of how we behave with others, in order to improve the quality and quantity of our relationships.

If you think you are behaving like a selfish person and want to change the way you act , you can follow these tips.

1. Reflect on and accept it

To be able to change you need to be aware of what you don’t like. This is key to taking action and transforming yourself. Therefore, to stop being selfish the first step is to reflect on how your behavior harms others and yourself.

Because selfishness breaks relationships, causes suffering and can lead to an intense feeling of discomfort . To avoid this, you should examine your selfish actions and how they affect the people around you. However, when you regret being selfish, guilt can take over. So it is necessary to accept this behavior and recognize that this attitude is not beneficial to either party.

2. Change your perspective

Once you recognize that you are being selfish it is necessary to change your perspective, and this may require effort and willingness. Changing your perspective means assuming that you won’t always be right and that the opinions of others count too. Once you understand this, you can begin to offer something to others and not just think about receiving all the time.

Remember that when we give to others we will feel better , because helping others is also beneficial for the one who gives help and not only for the one who receives it. This is the conclusion of a study based on brain images carried out by scientists from the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA).

3. Stop believing that you are the center of the world

Egocentricity, self-centeredness and selfishness are the same for many people, but in reality it is not. For example, one can be selfish without being egomaniacal. Now, these concepts often go hand in hand. The egoist wants everything for himself, it is behavior and an attitude. However, while egocentricity is that one loves oneself very much. egocentrism is that people think that the center of the universe and the opinions of others are below their own.

Although these concepts do not always appear together, in many cases people who think so much about themselves do not take others into account or think about their needs. The result is that they are also selfish. Leaving aside this way of thinking can help to stop being selfish .

4. You must be empathetic

Therefore, it is important to put yourself in other people’s shoes and pay attention to how they feel. A person who may believe that the other person is suffering will hardly hurt him or her (unless he or she is a psychopath).

Many times we act in a negative way towards others because we think they want to hurt us or because we are victims of prejudice, and we do not stop to think about the pain we can cause to the other.To be empathetic is to understand others, and therefore, to feel open to their feelings and emotions.

5. Active listening

To understand the emotions of others it is indispensable that you listen to them . But it is not the same to listen as to hear. To listen you have to pay attention not only to what the other person verbalises, but also to what he expresses through his non-verbal language and behaviour.

This is what is known as active listening, which is a skill that can be acquired and developed with practice.

  • If you want to perfect this type of listening, you can read our article: “Active listening: the key to communicating with others”

6. Not only receive, but also give

When you understand the feelings of others and their needs, then you can open your heart and offer them something. Human beings need to surround themselves with other people to feel happy. Therefore, antithetical to the needs of others and show them that you care. I’m sure they will thank you for it .

7. Make the effort

It is not always easy to act in a compassionate and altruistic manner, because selfishness has much to do with how we have been brought up and the society in which we live, which encourages this kind of practice.

We human beings want immediate pleasure, and this often leads us to disregard others and the consequences of our behaviour. That is why it is necessary to do your part, because the will is key when it comes to being compassionate and friendly . Better that people remember you as a good person than as someone who is selfish.