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What Are Signs of Selfishness?

by Jaime Vargas-Benitez

A selfish person acts superior to others, putting his personal desires above the needs of others. The selfish person demonstrates no consideration for other people's feelings, nor does he care about other people's thoughts or opinions. Domineering and controlling behaviors are prevalent with a selfish person. She is typically self-serving and self-involved.

Confidence Robbers

Selfish people criticize others in an effort to feel superior, advises human behavior and relationship expert Patrick Wanis in his article, "Selfish People Rob Your Confidence." A person who is selfish or self-centered acts controlling toward partners, friends and family. Through domineering behavior this person gains control over situations and people, making him feel powerful. A relationship with a selfish person is emotionally draining because the partner is expected to give continuous attention.

The Role of the Ego

Ego play a signifiant role in selfish behavior. A selfish person has difficulty seeing beyond herself, says psychotherapist F. Diane Barth in her Psychology Today article, "Four Ways to Deal With Selfish People." The self-centered person looks at how issues impact her life, but does not consider the feelings of others. For instance, a child graduates college and moves out of state for a new job; a selfish mother wallows in self-pity, claiming abandonment by the child. She does not stop to think about the child's feelings around this new life adventure.

No Time for Others

A person who is selfish has no problem taking care of himself and only himself. The selfish person does not look around at what can be done to help the community, a family member or even a spouse. A selfish husband may go golfing every weekend without regard to helping his wife with the house or children. He spends hours participating in activities he enjoys, while his partner is at home struggling to keep up with the obligations of being a parent.

Sense of Entitlement

A woman feels too important to wait in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles, so she tries to cut ahead. A man is above sitting next to a sick, elderly person at the doctor's office, so he demands to be taken to a private room immediately. A sense of entitlement is a sign of a selfish person or narcissist, says psychotherapist Samuel Lopez de Victoria in his PsychCentral.com article, "Narcissists Who Cry: The Other Side of the Ego." A person who displays a level of self-importance that places himself above everyone else is selfish.

About the Author

Jaime Vargas-Benitez has been a parenting writer since 2010. She has worked in the child wellness field in various roles for over 20 years. Along with the experiences of raising her own kids, she has been privileged enough to participate in the raising of hundreds of other children as well.

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