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.

Life is a Battlefield

Life is like a war zone. Everyone is fighting for their lives, for their survival, for their preservation of their self. It’s a constant war of me-versus-you. In some cases we create teams or troops, then it’s us-versus-them. Even so, it is not uncommon for a barrage of me-versus-you appearing within the troops of the us-versus-them. We are surrounded by the war we wage for our self.

Are we all so narcissistic to think that we are so superior to any other person, that any incongruence that we interpret or sense justifies suiting up and weaponizing anything available to us in the immediacy of that moment when our self feel threatened, disregarded or disrespected.

We strike out, strike back in a full on devil may care battle to defend our self, to annihilate the enemy taking no prisoners.

If you don’t see this taking place in your life, you certainly can see it in others. In fact, you may be keenly aware of others posting up to defend their selves and striking out at others, even labeling and pointing out their behavior to others, but unable to see your own participation in the battle. Maybe, it’s out of denial – or an all-out attempt to refuse to see these attributes within – or, you might be using a different set of weapons, hiding behind the shield of the victim.

In most cases, reviewing the base causes initiating the fear of loss and defense of self is based on something that isn’t even real. Some emotionally charged belief in something that cannot be seen, verified or vilified, because it is a feeling. A feeling that created a trigger marking the emergent defense measures being launched, because anything else would mean certain death to what you believe to be true.

Yet, we know that what we believe to be truth changes as we mature or gain access to new information. This has never been more apparent than in these current days of rapidly advancing technology when we actually have been able to witness – with our own eyes – the impossible being an ordinary aspect of everyday life.

Regardless, we see everything in the world all around us as a potential threat as we continue to be keyed-up and on high alert to any prospective assault. And the higher law rewards us by honoring our seeking by giving us the gift of bestowing upon us that which we seek. Universal laws do not change, so this is true: Seek and you will find. (This law sometimes confounds scientific research.)

If you look for demons, you will surely find them. When you discover them, you can initiate the holy war you rage to protect your self, yet again.

If you’re open, and honest, you might find yourself looking inside and asking if all this pain and war is necessary. Why? Because something inside you is yearning for an alternate emotional state, one of peace, serenity, joy and happiness.

When you are in a constant state of combat, there is little space available for experiencing the good things in life with any degree of gratitude or enjoyment. When you are in a high security mindset scanning for potential threats, you find it difficult to find the space for gratitude and allowing yourself to live a better life.
This is true: You are waging a war, when no war exists, that vanishes when you stop fighting it.

It’s your choice. You can choose to love, instead of fight.

It’s not easy, because you’ve spent your whole life being the warrior.

Your love life, your life filled with love and enjoying and cherishing all the good things this life has to offer, is tapping you on the shoulder, even now.

Isn’t now the time to consider putting down your weapons, turning your back on the war, surrounding your self with love and gratitude?