How To Deal With Self Centered People In The 10 Best Ways

Self centered people have a way of stealing the show and making everyone else around them feel less important. If you are in a relationship with a self centered person, you may have noticed that the relationship has gotten a bit toxic over time. Such people portray behaviors that are similar to a narcissist.

So how do you deal with a self-centered person if they are your friend, family member, or spouse? Continue reading to understand how.

What Are The Signs Of Self-Centered And Self Absorbed People?

A self-centered person is always quite defensive. They see the world through their own eyes and have a hard time seeing anything from the point of view of others. They would rather see the world in their eyes to protect their own flaws and image.

Self-absorbed people live life immersed in their endeavors. They can be inconsistent in supporting others. They want to talk to you when they need something or are excited and want to share the good news with you. They may become interested in you if they sense that you can help them with a goal but distant themselves if it doesn’t pan out or if something else catches their attention.

Self-absorbed people focus on their own well being and have a hard time considering others. They don’t see the bigger picture, for example, how others view the world. They also frequently use the words “should” and “must” and want to dominate the relationship because they view relationships as a way of getting exactly what they want.

Other Signs Of Self Centered People:

1. They Think They Are Superior To Others

Their self-image and life so consume them that it’s near impossible for others to measure up to their standards. They have a superiority complex that makes them devalue others.

2. They View Friendship As A Tool For Getting What They Want

Don’t think for a second that they are genuinely concerned about the friendship they have with you. That’s why they have so few friends and show little concern about their friendships with others. To them, friends are tools for getting what they want.

3. They Are Strongly Opinionated

Self-centered people tend to be strongly opinionated people. They rarely consider the opinions of others due to their self absorption. Their point of view, self image, desires and preference are the most important thing to them.

4. They Generally Don’t Have Long-Lasting Relationships

Since they view people as tools to get what they want, they don’t have many healthy relationships or long-lasting ones.

5. They Don’t Have A Real Sense Of Empathy

Since their focus is on themself, they have a hard time understanding the depth of true empathy or what this concept truly means when it comes to having empathy for others.

6. They Hide Their Insecurities Behind Their Cloak of Success

Self absorbed people always feel inadequate no matter what success they have obtained. Although they appear successful or confident based on appearances and external achievements, they have self-esteem issues. 

7. They Can Be Arrogant

They can be arrogant because they feel more important than everybody else. A self-absorbed individual can also be egotistical.

8. They Devalue Others

Whereas other people may take constructive criticism well, a self absorbed person takes it too far and can use it as a weapon to devalue others.

9. They Hide Who They Truly Are

They tend to present the most appealing parts of their personality while they hide their inner personality. As a result, they often come across as pretentious and can fail to show their vulnerable side in a relationship.

self centered people

10. They Are Extremely Selfish

Naturally, every one of us has a bit of selfishness. However, there are certain occasions where you have to be selfless and expect nothing in return. This is not the case for the self-absorbed person, they tend to be extremely selfish.

11. They Think They Are Great And Everyone Else Is Wrong

A Self-centered individual rarely acknowledges their mistakes and work towards self-healing. Rather, they rebuke the world and everyone else for their problems. When dealing with a self absorbed individual, you’ll notice that the problem is either “you,” “other,” but “never them.” Most of the time, it appears that no form of self-healing or therapy would suit them, as they are focused on all the wrongs done to them but never accept any responsibility.

12. Some Can Go As Far As Lying or Manipulating To Get What They Want

Some self absorbed people go as far as lying or manipulating others to get their way or make things work in their favor. An article titled “fixed total sacrifice effect” illustrates what it means to be completely self centered. Subjects who had previously been diagnosed as self centered were given something that other people in the room needed, but they wanted.

The article concluded that those who were self centered, engaged in a process known as “two-stage reasoning” this is where they figured out the amount they wanted to keep for themselves and then they distributed the rest, if any, to those who needed it.

What Causes A Person To Be Self-Centered?

Self absorbed people suffer from low emotional intelligence. Whereas, other people have a way of showing empathy or being considerate towards others, the self absorbed person exists in a spectrum where their emotional intelligence is lower than others and they lack empathy.

Yet, the reality is that we all have flaws and personal growth is an individual responsibility. If you are the one who is self absorbed, you can make specific plans of how you’ll change your own behavior.

If you notice the flaw in others, you can take a compassionate view on why they act that way. Psychologists indicate that in some instances, self absorbed people were often raised in homes where their feelings, thoughts, and their own needs weren’t valued or recognized. In contrast, highly empathetic people had their feelings reflected back to them from childhood or at a minimum respected. It is in nurturing and supportive environments that compassionate people are made and not born.

Likewise, people who have little regard for the wellbeing of others are most likely products of their environment.

It is important to note that there are also other causes for the behavior such as personality disorders. For instance, people with autism spectrum disorder may have intense interests or a limited range of topics that they feel they can talk to others about. As such, they can struggle when the topic changes outside of their conversation. A socially anxious person can also experience social difficulties and may come out as rude. However, this is not necessarily because they are self-centered but because they have a personality disorder.

Is Self-Centered The Same As A Narcissistic?

There’s a fine line between self-centeredness and narcissistic personality disorder. The latter is a personality disorder and a mental illness. Think of self-absorbed, as a subtle version of narcissism.

The self-centered person can afford some sympathy, but people are just pawns in the egocentric universe of the narcissist. Many people throw around the word narcissist loosely to describe people who seem obsessed with themselves. However, this disorder has distinct traits, and understanding these traits can help you better navigate the relationship you have with the person who seems too self-involved.

What Are The 10 Best Ways To Deal With Selfish People

At some point in life, we are bound to interact with self-absorbed people. So how do you improve your relationship with them?

1. Accept That They Have No Regard For Others

The first piece of advice when dealing with self absorbed people is to be real with yourself. Accept that the person may never put your needs first. You should be aware that although that person means a lot to you, they have little regard for your feelings or wellbeing. They can have moments of generosity and charm, but most of the time, they lack the skill or willingness to be thoughtful and considerate. This knowledge helps you understand where you stand in their lives.

2. Give Yourself The Attention You Deserve

Dealing with self absorbed people can harm your mental health. They crave attention but will never give you any. To avoid being drained of all emotion, give yourself the emotional attention you’ve been giving the emotional hog.

Work on your self and shift your focus from the other person. Focus your attention on meeting your own needs and ignore the needs of the self absorbed individual. This is not only good for your emotional health but also helps your ego.

Related: Self Care Sunday: 28 Best Tips For Focusing On Yourself

3. Stay True To Yourself And Don’t Stoop To Their Level

Self-absorbed people can make you reactive. They will push your buttons and make you feel like you want to eat them alive. However, don’t engage in their games by reacting or taking part in behavior that’s beneath you. Choose to be true to yourself. This can be difficult if the person is unkind or brutish to you. What makes it worse is if you are romantically involved with them or if they are a family member.

But, becoming like them and mirroring their behavior doesn’t solve anything. Get rid of any feelings of anger you have towards them by focusing on the person you are and resolving to continue being that kind, loving, and considerate person you know you are. Don’t let their self-centered needs dissuade you from your path.

4. Remind Them That The World Doesn’t Revolve Around Them

As indicated earlier, self-absorbed people are so caught up in their own world and emotions that they fail to consider your thoughts and feelings. The best way to help them is to remind them that the world doesn’t revolve around them. You can talk to them and carefully share your concerns without coming across as attacking them. For instance, instead of throwing a tantrum and shouting, ” You always think about yourself,” you can try saying, “I really need to talk to you about an issue that’s bothering me. Are you willing to hear me out?”

5. Starve Them Of The Attention They Crave

This is a powerful strategy for dealing with extremely self absorbed people. The secret is to be civil but not give them the attention that they crave. You start by limiting your words to noncommittal comments with them. For instance, instead of saying, “Oh my gosh! They did that to you? I’m so sorry.” You can say, “Yeah, unfortunately that’s a part of life.” Such a response will baffle them and throw them off. Remember that they crave attention. So, if you don’t give it to them, they won’t stick around for long.

self absorbed person

6. Bring Up Topics That Interest You

Instead of pouring all of your attention onto the self-absorbed person, you should bring up topics that interest you. This could be anything. Such as, carpentry, cooking, politics; you name it. For example, if they say, “You won’t believe what my partner said to me!” Reply with something like, “Hey, do you know that you can create space in your kitchen by making your own shelves?”

Go for a random topic that’s unrelated to what they are talking about. Keep the focus on your real interest regardless of what they say. This will send the signal that you’re not interested in their self-absorbed conversations.

7. Stop Doing Favors For Them

Self-absorbed people always ask for favors, but they come up with excuses when it’s your turn to ask them for favors. That’s their nature. Whereas, it’s important to be tolerant and give your friend or partner a chance to change. It’s also important not to let their behavior keep hurting you.

So when a self-centered person asks for too many favors, free yourself by saying no. The idea here is to remind them that a relationship is two-fold. They need to realize that you don’t appreciate feeling constantly used, unimportant or as if you are of a lower status than they are.

If you end up in a position where you have to defend your stance, make it short and to the point since self absorbed people are not good listeners and are likely to ignore most of what you say.

8. Limit The Time You Spend Together

Once you notice that someone is too self absorbed, it would be best to stay away from them. Take control of your life by limiting the time you spend together. If you used to hang out every weekend, space the hangouts further apart and reduce the time that you chat with them on your phone. This action may surprise them, and you may be met with unexpected reactions. But hold firm and choose to focus on your personal growth instead. You are better off spending your time alone than with that individual. Alternatively, you can begin spending more time pursing healthy relationships.

9. Actively Seek Better Friends

Remember the emotional drain, and harm that your association with a self absorbed person has done to your mental health. After that, decide to purposely disconnect from the person. Instead, focus on your happiness by seeking new companions who value your interests as much as you do theirs. You will notice that in the long run, you will be happier and emotionally healthy.

10. End The Relationship

So you’ve tried speaking to them, you’ve given them the chance to change but are still putting up with their self centered ways, then you are better off ending the relationship. The path to healing may be difficult, especially if you were romantically involved with the person. In that case, you can reach out to a professional for help.

You should be aware that staying and hoping they will change doesn’t normally work. You can try talking to your partner and encourage them to visit a professional with you. But if that doesn’t work, then it is important to free yourself from the bond that’s sucking the energy and happiness out of you.

A self centered person will unfortunately not meet your expectations. Therefore, this is the moment for you to face the truth and forge your path towards healing and freedom. In the long run, you will be grateful that you did and find true mutual friendships that will last long term.

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