How to deal with selfish people
If you have a family member, a partner, a friend or a co-worker who completely ignores your needs and makes you feel invisible, you’re not alone. Certain people lack the ability to consider others and put themselves in somebody else’s shoes - they are just that self-centered. How do you deal with such a person?
Although knowing your worth and knowing how to ask for the things you need is healthy and crucial to living a balanced life, some people just go too far in the name of self-care and being around them might make you feel very uneasy. These tips will surely help you handle selfish people around you.
Try to understand their behavior
According to psychotherapist F. Diane Barth, understanding why people do certain things does not mean that we have to accept their behavior. Trying to understand a person and what motivates them is merely about learning that other person and trying to see why they behave the way they do. Understanding certain behaviors will help you be less judgemental and not to take it personally.
Don’t take it personally
It’s important to know how somebody else’s behavior makes you feel but getting involved in their games will not help you. Knowing that a person suffers from not getting the attention they desperately crave and seeing how it affects them is a valuable lesson for you. There are several life lessons you can learn from a selfish person: certain people are in our lives to teach us something we need to see. Maybe it’s time for you to learn that nobody’s life mission is to serve and please you all the time or to meet all your needs - you must learn that you alone are responsible for creating your own happiness. A selfish person is very good at helping you realize that.
Also, being around a self-centered person can be quite tiring and might make you feel angry, frustrated or sad - take the opportunity to learn to manage these feelings and improve yourself. Another great thing about selfish people is that they can motivate you to be more independent and focus on your happiness and not wait for others to do things for you.
Misconceptions about being selfish
There are so many misconceptions out there about what is selfish and what’s not… Barth, for example, reminds us that in our culture, having a baby is considered the right thing and those who decide to remain childless are very selfish. The truth is that having a baby is often times much more selfish choice than not having one: think about trying to save a relationship by getting pregnant or trying to be a parent because other areas of life are not going as planned or finally giving a grandchild to the grandparents. All these are supposed to make us rethink our ideas of being selfish and judging people for doing, or not doing, certain things. People can be selfish without realizing it.
Take part in conversations and do not feel inhibited
If being constantly interrupted is making you feel very uneasy, it’s time to take a stand. You deserve to be able to share your opinion on art, music, philosophy or whatever is being discussed so when others try to change the subject while you’re talking and are not listening to you, you can simply but respectfully say “Yes, I’ve heard that”. It serves as a little reminder that you’re there and you do have things to say.
Be mindful of how much time you’re spending with selfish people
Yes, it’s true that there’s a lot we can learn from selfish people but even if you are the most tolerant person on Earth, being around them is extremely tiring. You can be tolerant and accepting of others and there’s always a silver lining but that doesn’t change the fact that toxic relationships are called toxic for a reason. Trying to learn from others and about yourself is always good and it’s a wise thing to do but you need to know how far you can go when it comes to certain people. Spend more time with people who inspire you and help you grow and who love and respect you and who truly value your friendship.
Positive selfishness is a thing
There is such a thing as positive selfishness. Being selfish isn’t always bad. Think about things like being yourself and not changing who you are in order to please others. Unless you’re harming others, you have the right to take care of yourself and do the things you like. Selfish people, however, manipulate others and do not respect the needs of those around them. That is why you need to love yourself - we all need to be selfish enough to take care of ourselves emotionally, mentally and physically. You must be able to differentiate between the two for the sake of your own well-being.
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