4. If your date talks about him/herself constantly, you will know it:
- Donna does not bother to talk about her day when she meets Lou for dinner, because whatever she says will only redirect him to more war stories from his clearly more interesting career/life/experiences. She has become a superb listener, but does not feel particularly noticed.
A selfish person lacks basic curiosity about others. Your date may enjoy a funny anecdote and may even care if you are sad, happy, stressed but don’t spend too much time talking about it, or boredom will set in only to be alleviated when the conversation turns back to you guessed it, your date.
Finally, if your date has been known to accuse you of selfishness, take stock. It could mean that you are selfish (do any of the above scenarios sound like you?) but it may in fact be the classic projection that a lot of selfish people do, especially if confronted, directly or indirectly, about their selfishness.
If Maeve, in the above story, called Bart on his nonsense and said, “No, we are not stopping at the health food store or we’ll be late and I won’t get my suit out of the dry cleaners,” Bart likely would have been appalled at her “selfishness.” Or had Jim told Lisa point blank that her weekend plans were not as important as his friend’s crisis, Lisa may have accused Jim, or his grieving cousin, of selfish behavior! This kind of defensive deflection of any responsibility for selfish actions is common.
Selfish people think they’re okay. No need to change or improve. They have been raised to believe that they are entitled to getting what they want, full stop. To some degree, modern American culture cultivates a certain amount of self-involvement.
Some of the things that make us a great nation can backfire on the personal level. Our focus on achievement, individuality, and personal success leaves the idea of “other” out of the equation a little. (To tell the difference between a selfish person and a narcissist, check out my blog Too Good to be True: Some Facts about Narcissistic Personality Disorder.)
If you fear you are involved with someone who is essentially selfish, it’s not too late. If you recognize the signs, chances are he or she won’t change. There are plenty of thoughtful, kind, loving people in this world who can be supportive and interested while also staying true to themselves – the two are not mutually exclusive.
Find someone who is not blinded by self-absorption – someone who can see your beautiful self and invite you in.
Written by Betty Russell, BCC
Originally appeared in Relationship Elements
You may also like:
- 4 Signs That Indicate You Are In A Selfish Relationship
- Why Narcissists Act the Way They Do
- 8 Dangers of Dating an Emotionally Unavailable Person
- How To Spot Manipulation
- 7 Signs Your Partner Is Feeding Your Self-Doubt on Purpose