Selfishness is a focus on personal gain, while being self-centered involves an excessive preoccupation with oneself. Both are egocentric but differ in degree.

TL;DR Selfish Vs. Self-centered

Selfishness refers to a mindset or behavior where one prioritizes their own needs, desires, and interests above those of others. It often involves a lack of consideration for others’ well-being and can lead to actions that solely benefit oneself at the expense of others.

Being selfish is generally seen as negative because it disregards the feelings and welfare of those around us.

Being self-centered means having an excessive focus on oneself, often accompanied by a sense of superiority or entitlement. A self-centered individual tends to view themselves as more important than others and expects constant attention or admiration from those around them.

This preoccupation with oneself can lead to a lack of empathy towards others’ perspectives or experiences.

The definition of selfish

When we talk about being selfish, we refer to a person who primarily focuses on their own needs, desires, and interests without considering the impact it may have on others. It’s an inherent trait that stems from a deep sense of self-preservation and putting oneself before anyone else.

Selfishness can manifest in various ways. It can be seen in someone who consistently prioritizes their wants over the needs of those around them. Whether it’s refusing to share resources or constantly seeking personal gain at the expense of others, selfish individuals tend to prioritize their own happiness above all else.

At its core, selfishness is driven by a limited perspective that fails to recognize or empathize with the feelings and well-being of others. This mindset often leads to strained relationships as people feel neglected or taken advantage of by someone solely focused on themselves.

The definition of self-centered

picture of a self-centered man

A self-centered individual is someone who prioritizes their own needs and desires above those of others. They have a tendency to constantly seek attention and validation from others, often at the expense of people around them. In other words, their world revolves solely around themselves.

Being self-centered can manifest in various ways – always steering conversations back to themselves, displaying a lack of empathy towards others’ problems or feelings, or expecting special treatment without reciprocating.

Selfish Vs. Self-centered – Key differences

FocusPrimarily on personal gainExcessive focus on oneself
ActionsOften prioritizes own needsMay not always act on needs
Consideration for othersUsually disregards othersMay consider others at times
MotivationDesire for personal benefitDesire for self-recognition
ExtremesCan vary in degreeGenerally extreme in focus

Examples of being selfish and self-centered

Examples of being selfish

  1. Not Sharing: Refusing to share something you have when it’s reasonable to do so, like refusing to share food with someone who’s hungry.
  2. Taking Credit: Taking credit for someone else’s work or ideas to advance your own career or reputation.
  3. Ignoring Others’ Needs: Continuously putting your own needs and desires ahead of others, without considering their feelings or well-being.
  4. Hoarding Resources: Accumulating wealth or resources excessively while others struggle to meet their basic needs.
  5. Manipulating for Gain: Manipulating or deceiving others to get what you want, even if it harms them.

Examples of being Self-centered

  1. Constantly Talking About Yourself: Dominating conversations by only discussing your own interests, experiences, and problems.
  2. Lacking Empathy: Failing to understand or care about others’ feelings, even when they’re going through difficult times.
  3. Ignoring Others’ Perspectives: Believing your viewpoint is the only valid one and dismissing others’ opinions or experiences.
  4. Expecting Special Treatment: Always expecting to be the center of attention or receive preferential treatment in social or professional situations.
  5. Not Acknowledging Others: Failing to acknowledge or appreciate the contributions and efforts of others, especially in group settings.

Image Credits

Featured Image By – gstudioimagen1 on Freepik

Image 1 By – kues1 on Freepik


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