How to Deal with Selfishness

You might think you’re dealing with a narcissist, but you might just be dealing with someone who is selfish. Ask yourself is this a narcissist or selfish person?

Selfish people are self-centered, putting their needs, wants, and desires before others, and they’re less likely to concern themselves with the needs of others. So, before you jump to the conclusion that you’re dealing with a narcissist, sociopath, or psychopath, consider you might just be face to face with someone who is selfish.

And being selfish is not all bad. Some of the healthiest people are selfish. It takes a degree of selfishness to make sure you’re looking after your own needs, because if you don’t look after you, then who will?

Being selfish enough to look after your own needs is something you might need to so, especially if you’re in the habit of caring for others or putting the needs of others before your own needs. This can lead to unhealthy martyrdom, which is unnecessary self-punishment and does not serve you well.

There is a delicate balance between selflessness and selfishness which a healthy person needs to maintain, just as there is a thin line between selfishness and narcissism, as well as narcissism and sociopathy.

Just because selfishness is a component of those on the Antisocial Personality Disorder spectrum, doesn’t mean they are suffering from ASPD, they might just be selfish. It’s hard to believe that anyone is not selfish these days because our society trains us to be selfish.

How to deal with selfishness

First, try to understand that we’re all in this together. We are born selfish. It is a survival instinct. We are taught how to share and care for others as young people in training, though some of us were raised devoid of this training.

None of us is better than anyone else, and if someone is being selfish, it may be part of their survival instinct. If someone has not always been selfish, then suddenly acts out as being extremely selfish, if you dig deeper, you will find the causality of the selfishness.

Selfishness can be situational or a temporary response to being in fear, or an act of self-preservation. You see the selfishness response in those who have been victimized, in physical or emotional pain, or facing challenges with safety, well-being, survival, or mortality.

Left to itself, selfishness could overtake someone completely, or after time, they could find balance, once they have provided for themselves a sense of safety and security. Being selfish does not make you a bad person.

Remember that when a selfish person is protecting themselves, it’s about them, not you. It’s easy to think that they are directing their selfishness at you by imposing their wants, needs, and desire over yours, or not having any concern for you whatsoever, but in reality, they may just be weak and hurting people, taking care of themselves in the only way they know how.

Being in close proximity of someone who is damaged but protecting his or her self by becoming severely self-centered, assuring they are invulnerable as they heal, can make you feel like a victim, but he or she is just doing the best he or she can to keep safe, while they grow in their personal strength and heal from the wounds from his or her past.

What if someone thinks you’re being too selfish? Often, we ourselves exert enough selfishness, for whatever reason, which can make someone in your circle of friends think you’re being too selfish. If someone speaks up, this is an opportunity for you to query about yourself. Ask him or her, “What makes you think I’m being selfish?” and, “How could I have done it better?”

You may come across as being selfish, when your motives are pure, you are exercising diligence, persistence, and even commitment to servitude. In other circumstances, you might be protecting yourself from potential perceptions of threat or danger, whether real or perceived.

We all need to be selfish sometimes to get the important things in life done.

Even putting the needs of others before other people in our life, which looks like selfless servitude, can actually be a selfish act.

Just try to remember, there is healthy selfishness, and you are never victimized by another person’s selfishness unless you’re suffering at the hands of a predatory sociopath or psychopath.

See also: 10 Signs You Might Be Too Selfish


The World’s Best Kept Secret

You are the world’s best kept secret.

While you navigate and interact with the world as we know it, you do your best to understand other people whom you meet along your journey. You watch, listen and even try to put yourself in their shoes in an effort to understand them, and in some ways we can find ways to perceive or understand them, but you can never truly know them. How do you know? Because you are the world’s best kept secret.

No one knows who you are

When you think about it, no one can ever really know who you are. Even if you try to be totally transparent and open, revealing everything about yourself and going through rigorous efforts to try to get someone to understand who you really are and what you really think or feel, it is impossible to relate the totality of your personage to another person because

No one knows what you think

That part of you which is boundless exists and thrives in the intimate spaces between your words, actions, biochemistry, and other methods of observable communication occupied by you and only you are your thoughts. Nobody knows what goes on inside that head of yours; no one. You are the personification of the idea that, “Still waters run deep.”

No one knows what you feel

Everything that you experience or feel in this life is not simply the observation of life though your five senses. Your feelings, the way you feel about something, or the nearly unlimited array of feelings that only you can feel cannot be authentically understood, felt or known by another person. Not even the world’s most attuned, sensitive, empathetic being can know the breadth of feeling as can only be experienced by you.

You hide behind your disguise

You do, I do, and we all hide behind our respected disguises. We represent ourselves to our communities as we might like to be perceived. We allow different versions of our selves to be revealed (or more correctly “projected on”) to others depending on the level of intimacy we maintain with the recipient of each particular projection.

Still we try to know someone else

Even though each one of us holds our inner most thoughts so dear, never to be fully shared with any other human being, still in our desire to connect with others, we imagine we can see into the life, heart and mind of someone else, even when we know this degree of intimacy is highly improbable. We have impeccable knowledge of the impossibility of anyone else knowing us fully, yet we hold onto the illusion that we can know someone else and act surprised when we witness some unexpected personal revelation. This dichotomy is referred to as asymmetric insight among the mental health community.

And we want to be understood

There is a part of you that wants to be understood, yet no one could possibly know you. And if given half the chance, even if you could allow someone to see everything inside of you, you wouldn’t willingly allow it. But, you do have certain parts of you that you long to share with another person who resonates with your perspective; someone who would agree with you and support your point of view, if it could understood as you understand it without judgment. We all seek this harmonic balance with another being.

Tolerance is the key

So the key to this conundrum is tolerance. The idea that, “I am me and you are he and we are all together,” such as conceived by John Lennon in his cryptic song in which he dons the disguise of the walrus, refers to us. We are all what we are, that is all we can be and we can only do the best we can with what we have. We all suffer from the same human condition and the best we can do is to understand that we are all okay.

If you want to be honored for who you are, the only way to have any hope of being respected by anyone else is to first honor others with the same respect you might like.

No need to make it so complicated.
You are one. And so are we.
We can do this.

Meet Your Ego

Ego is that part of us that insists on being right, asserts our correctness over anyone else’s being wrong. The ego will persuade you to argue or fight for what is perceived to be “right” in order to defend or justify the ego’s position. It is the ego which is commonly in opposition to the “heart” or that more spiritual component that often lies dormant within.


As the heart begins to awaken, becomes empowered to expand and influence the host (our bodies) its energy field increases affecting not only ourselves but, others, the environment and the world around us. The heart honors you (the real, authentic soul being who you are), powers your yearning for growth, expansion, peace and harmony and accesses forces and data unattainable by logic or linear thinking.

All the attributes of the heart are often locked away deep inside you, but as you awaken it can permeate your whole being, including every cell of your body, if you could allow to release it and let it flow. The one thing that can thwart the heart’s efforts to expand is the ego, threatened by the idea of selflessness, and will stop at nothing to restrain the heart by any means to preserve itself.

When approached with ideas, methods and tools that could enhance the expansion of the heart or spiritual awareness, the ego steps in, asserting, “What a bunch of hooey!” or some similar thought, flooding your mind with ideologies, concepts and words that threaten you, make you fearful or susceptible to the ridicule of others.

While your heart is trying to break out of its locked box, not only your mind but the entire society which surrounds us will attempt to dissuade you from allowing this inner growth to take place, as this is the mentality of the herd of egos by which we are surrounded.

Deciding to go allow your individual expansion may make you the black sheep in the fold and even though you may feel more and more that you are less and less a sheep, it might be prudent to not draw attention to your burgeoning enlightenment.

And it is here, that the ego will attempt to pull a fast-one on you.

When the ego has felt that it has lost the war of itself to your insistence to allow the expansion of the greater part of you, the ego will begin a campaign to throw the entire process off-track by making you not only differentiated from the rest of the sheep (though it is true that you are becoming decisively “different” in deed) but “better” than anyone else.

If the ego can convince you that you are superior to others because of your enlightenment, then it has won. The ego is now back in the saddle and will do whatever it can to reduce your effectiveness to the greater community, while restricting your access to continued personal growth.

Enlightenment is allowing that loving, compassionate, selfless part of you to expand so greatly that there is very little (if any) self left for the ego to battle for.

If you are interested, there are ways to deal with the ego.