People who display these 10 behaviors are selfish and self-absorbed (even if they don’t realize it)

Is there anything worse than a selfish, self-absorbed person?

I’m talking about people who always put themselves and their needs first. In fact, sometimes these people seem to forget that other people have needs and desires at all.

What makes it even worse is that often, these people are too self-absorbed to even know how they come across to the rest of us.

It’s not always immediately obvious when you’re dealing with a self-absorbed person. But sooner or later, their behaviors will show you who they really are.

Keep an eye out for these classic behaviors of selfish, self-absorbed people who don’t even have enough perspective to know just how obnoxious they are.

1) They monopolize conversations

This is one of the first and most obvious signs of a person who is completely self-absorbed.

In fact, I encountered someone like this quite recently when I went to hang out with a friend and we ran into a friend of his at a bar.

This person simply would not stop talking. And it soon became clear that their favorite topic of conversation was themselves.

Plus, every story they told ended up sounding the same. It was always a story of how he was smarter, wealthier, better looking, or in some other way superior to everyone around him.

In the end, I was glad I could escape and never see this person again.

People who are self absorbed tend to monopolize conversations and love to talk endlessly about themselves. They are so fascinated by their own lives they feel as if everyone else should be too.

But in reality, they are often incredibly boring, as well as selfish.

2) They diminish other people’s feelings

To a self-absorbed or selfish person, the feelings of others are barely real. Or if they are, they are certainly not as important or as profound as their own emotional lives.

That’s why these people often diminish the feelings of others, a trait psychology writer Brittany Carrico calls emotional invalidation.

“Emotional invalidation is the act of dismissing or rejecting someone’s thoughts, feelings, or behaviors,” Carrico writes. “It says to someone: “Your feelings don’t matter. Your feelings are wrong.”

Examples of things people may say to invalidate your emotions include:

  •       You’re overreacting
  •       You’re too sensitive
  •       You shouldn’t feel that way
  •       Let it go
  •       Imagine how I feel
  •       I don’t see the problem
  •       You’re making a big deal out of nothing

Sometimes, a person who is emotionally invalidating you will think they are helping. But more often, it’s a sign of someone who doesn’t think your feelings are as valid as their own.

3) They prioritize their own needs

Often, this is what most of us imagine when we think of a selfish person.

I’m talking about the people who always put themselves first. This can manifest itself in lots of different ways, but the root cause is always the same.

Whether it’s helping themselves to all the best items at the buffet, making sure they are first in line to buy something new, or insisting everybody goes to the restaurant they want to dine at or on vacation to the place they want to visit, a selfish and self-absorbed person will always put their needs in front of everybody else’s.

This is one of the most obvious ways you can recognize someone who is completely wrapped up in themselves to the point of ignoring the preferences of others.

4) They are entitled

People who act entitled seem to think the world owes them something.

They feel they deserve nothing but the best, even if they have done nothing to earn the preferential treatment they want.

To this type of self-absorbed person, the world is nothing but a mechanism for getting what they desire.

According to Web MD, entitlement is a trait of a narcissistic personality. And it can become a vicious circle:

  •       A person’s sense of entitlement makes them vulnerable to not having their unrealistic expectations met.
  •       This can cause anger and a sense of having been cheated out of what they deserve.
  •       This makes them more likely to exhibit the same entitled behavior again as they try to make sure they get what they feel they deserve this time.

This kind of entitled behavior is a good indicator that you’re dealing with someone too self-absorbed to understand that the world does not exist for their convenience and comfort.

phrases narcissists use to manipulate their partner People who display these 10 behaviors are selfish and self-absorbed (even if they don't realize it)

5) They get defensive when challenged

Another highly annoying trait of a self-absorbed person is their inability to handle criticism.

Call them out on their selfish behavior, and more often than not, they will get defensive.

“They may get defensive, fail to see the consequences of their actions, or simply disregard feedback out of carelessness,” says therapist Emily Simonian. “If something isn’t hurting or affecting them, it’s difficult for them to want to change.”

And because they are so blind to the way the world perceives them, self-absorbed people may take any kind of criticism as a personal attack.

So instead of taking your criticisms on board and using them to improve their behavior, they are more likely to argue with you.

6) They want to control everything

Because they prioritize their own needs, self-absorbed people can often be very controlling.

There are many different ways this can show itself. It could be something fairly benign, like always wanting to choose where a group of people go for dinner or what movie they watch.

Or it can be more damaging. Self-absorbed and narcissistic people will often try to control the behavior friends, family members, and romantic partners to make sure they get what they want.

If you know someone who often seems to want to control everyone around them, it’s a good indicator that you’re dealing with someone who is completely self-absorbed.

7) They may be manipulative

Sometimes, people who are highly self absorbed may also be incredibly manipulative.

This is where selfishness and self absorption overlaps with negative personality traits such as narcissism. It happens when a self-absorbed person is so determined to get what they want and put their own needs before those of others that they are willing to engage in manipulative behaviors.

These include:

  •       Lying
  •       Gaslighting
  •       Isolating people from their support networks
  •       Love bombing
  •       Threats

while these behaviors are often intentional, it’s quite possible for someone to be manipulative for their own selfish ends without necessarily realizing just how selfish they are.

8) They want to be the center of attention

A less harmful sign of a self-absorbed person is that they always want to be the center of attention.

This can show itself in someone who monopolizes every conversation. Every story you have, they have a story that can top it. Everything you’ve been through, they have been through something much more dramatic, interesting, or exciting.

Often, this desire to be at the center of everyone’s attention is actually a mask for deep insecurity.

But it can also be a sign of someone who is so self-absorbed that they think everyone should be as interested in them as they are.

9) They don’t put in the same effort as everybody else

This is one of the things that makes a relationship of any kind with a self-centered person so frustrating.

Because they don’t care about your feelings as much as they care about their own, they will often fail to put in the same effort to relationships as the people around them.

They may not make the effort to invite friends to hang out together. They may not show the people they are in romantic relationships with how much the other person means to them.

Basically, the self-absorbed person doesn’t think they need to put in the same amount of effort and doesn’t bother to consider how that makes the people around them feel.

They are too focused on their own desires and preferences to put in the effort to think about what others want.

10) They are inconsiderate

Finally, this is another obvious sign of someone who is self-absorbed.

They don’t think about other people. They forget birthdays, anniversaries, and special occasions. They don’t think about how the people around them may be going through a hard time.

Everything they do is designed to get them what they want, and they are too busy thinking about themselves to ever really think about other people. That’s what makes this one of the most obvious signs of someone who is completely selfish and wrapped up in themselves.

Keep an eye out for selfish people

We all have a tendency toward selfish behavior some of the time. After all, we want what we want, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of prioritizing our own needs above those of others.

But most of us know that’s not the way to live.

Unfortunately, self-absorbed people never get this realization. For them, all that matters is getting what they want.

Keep an eye out for these signs of a self-absorbed person. Because often, knowing what to look out for can help you avoid these extremely annoying people.

Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham, based in Auckland, writes about the psychology behind everyday decisions and life choices. His perspective is grounded in the belief that understanding oneself is the key to better decision-making. Lucas’s articles are a mix of personal anecdotes and observations, offering readers relatable and down-to-earth advice.

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