8 signs you’re dealing with an incredibly selfish person

Do you know someone selfish? Maybe it’s a friend, family member, coworker, or the person you’re dating. 

Perhaps you’re here because someone called you selfish? And you’re looking for answers.

Truth be told, we’ve all been selfish at some point in time – a juncture where we decided to put our needs before someone else’s. 

Some argue it’s an inherent part of being human. Although – there are many more who would disagree

Ultimately, it’s a spectrum. After all, the world would be a bleak place if everyone was selfish 100% of the time. 

But when that behavior becomes a pattern, it quickly turns from self-care to a self-serving habit. Especially if you know that what you’re doing will seriously hurt or inconvenience someone in the process. 

With that in mind, here are eight signs you’re dealing with an incredibly selfish person.

Do you recognize any?

1) They think the world revolves around them (or at least it should)

Dealing with a selfish person can be pretty one-sided. Most days, it’s just take-take-take, and nothing in return.

It’s frustrating, right?

For some reason, they feel that they deserve special treatment. What’s more, they believe that their needs should take precedence over others – no matter what. 

Anything less is considered unfair. 

To put it bluntly – they have an “I’ll get mine” (and them some) attitude brought on by equal parts entitlement and resentment. 

So what do I mean by that?

Well, according to experts, it could be due to a sense of inequality. 

Essentially, they feel like they’ve been dealt a bum hand in life. As a result, that justifies their selfish actions. 

Not only that – but this warped cultural mentality leads them to believe that to be “rich” or “make it” in life, they must be selfish

And by any means necessary.

2) They have no regard for personal boundaries

Intentional or not, we all have boundaries to some degree. They’re what help us build and maintain healthy relationships. 

At work, home, or play – these lines in the sand are our way of telling people to back off. 

And, whether they’re emotional or physical, they protect us and others from feeling pressured or uncomfortable. Mostly, they stop us from getting hurt.

Of course, there’s some chatter over whether having boundaries in itself is a selfish act. But that’s not what I’m talking about here. 

Nope. What I mean is, boundaries go both ways. 

The thing is – selfish people couldn’t care less about this. For them, it’s their way or the highway.

They have no problem invading your personal space, violating your privacy, or concerning themselves about consent. Not if it doesn’t get them what they want.

3) They have no problem using you

We all have that one “friend”. You know who I mean, that one person who always needs something from you. In fact, they have no problem ringing in the middle of the night to ask you for a favor – or three. 

Maybe they need a petsitter, a lift to the airport, or a “quick” tire change. Whatever it is, like any good friend, you’re happy to oblige. 

You care about them and you want to help – all without expecting anything in return. After all, that’s what friends do, right?

Well, not if you’re selfish. 

Lately, you’ve noticed this favor train only goes one way. You rarely ask them for anything, but today you’re in a real bind. 

The problem is – when you give them a call, they have a plethora of reasons why they can’t help you. And definitely not today of all days. 

Not only that, but they make you feel bad for asking them in the first place. For them, it’s a major inconvenience and you’ve put them on the spot.

Quite simply – they’re not invested in your friendship as much as you are. And on the rare occasion that they grant you a favor, it’s not free. Something which brings us to the next point…

4) Their “kindness” comes at a cost

Why are we friends with people? Is it the company, the memories, and the witty banter? Or is it more about what they can do for us in return? 

Selfish people pick their friends very carefully. They don’t just think in terms of like or dislike. But they consider “how useful” you’ll be in the future. 

It’s purely transactional. 

Do you need a favor? Sure thing. But only if you do x, y, and z first. Oftentimes, the “payment” is disproportionate in size to the original favor. 

They may even hold that “favor” over your head for years to come – all so they can manipulate you into helping them again, at a later date. 

It’s like they’ve won the lottery. Only, your eternal servitude is the prize.

As a matter of fact, the words “Remember, I’m doing you a really BIG favor” will haunt you for the rest of your days. 

And that’s all thanks to their master guilt-tripping skills. 

Oh, and they’ve conveniently forgotten about all the times you’ve helped them for free. Typical.

5) They exaggerate EVERYTHING

words and phrases classy people never use 1 8 signs you're dealing with an incredibly selfish person

As master manipulators, selfish people have no problem minimizing their flaws and maximizing yours. 

And like the above, they love to exaggerate how much they contributed or “helped” when you or someone else needed it most. 

Perhaps they did you a favor or maybe you were assigned to the same project. Eitherway, they demand all the praise. 

The fact is –  they love nothing more than being the center of attention. And what better way to do that, than being a martyr? 

To do that, they need to downplay your role and embellish theirs to anyone who’ll listen. 

The end goal is to paint themselves as the star of the show (the protagonist). And you, well, you were merely the understudy. 

It’s classic approval-seeking behavior. It’s also the reason they never apologize.

6) They’ll never admit that it was their fault 

It may not seem like it, but selfish people are people-pleasers at heart. But not for the reason you’d think!

No. They do it because they want praise, admiration, and something in return. 

As a result, they find it difficult to admit when they’re wrong or apologize sincerely. That would make them look (and feel) bad. 

So instead of saying “sorry” or taking accountability for their actions, they’ll often deflect and place blame onto something or someone else. 

That way, they never have to take responsibility or damage their precious image. 

What’s more – they’re so good at bending the truth, they believe the lie. 

At the end of the day, they only see how this issue inconveniences them and their goals. To them, “it wasn’t their fault” it’s somehow yours. 

After all, if you hadn’t asked them to help in the first place, none of this would be happening. They were doing a good deed – they don’t owe anyone anything and that includes you.

And if we’re being honest here, it’s hard for them to look past their own feelings and have empathy for you.

7) They don’t care if you’re struggling

Did you know, there’s a subtle difference between being selfish and being self-centered?

Don’t get me wrong – there’s a reason that these two behaviors are often lumped together. They share a lot of similarities. 

But there’s one key factor that sets the two apart – intention. 

Let me explain.

Yes, someone who’s self-centered shares most (if not all) of the behaviors listed in this article. 

However, when someone’s self-centered they are so preoccupied by their own self-interests, that they don’t register that they’re being inconsiderate. 

And if you point out to a self-centered person that they’re being selfish, along with the reason why, they may even apologize and show remorse. Because to them, they didn’t know any better. 

Simply put – they didn’t do it on purpose. 

On the flip side, a selfish person consciously prioritizes their own needs and feelings over anyone else’s. Even if it means hurting your feelings in the process. 

The reason? Well, firstly to benefit themselves. And secondly, they lack empathy for others. 

8) They make every conversation about them

Last but not least, they start every conversation with “me, myself, and I”.

And in true selfish style, if the discussion doesn’t center around them, they’ll quickly find a way to steer it back to their favorite topic – themselves. 

All in an effort to regain the spotlight and shift focus away from you.

The thing is – conversations with them (like their relationships) are only surface-level. They show little to no genuine interest in others’ lives or perspectives. Instead, they focus mainly on their own concerns and desires.

That’s right. Interactions with them are superficial at best. 

Come to think of it you can’t remember the last time you were able to share a story or anecdote without them interrupting and trying to one-up you every which way.

Sound familiar?

Well, if you observe someone exhibiting similar behavior, it’s a sign that they’re incredibly selfish. 

Picture of Leila El-Dean

Leila El-Dean

Leila is a passionate writer with a background in photography and art. She has over ten years of experience in branding, marketing, and building websites. She loves travelling and has lived in several countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, Spain, and Malta. When she’s not writing (or ogling cats), Leila loves trying new food and drinking copious amounts of Earl Grey tea.

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