Ever wondered why there are so many selfish people walking around?
Relationships with other people represent empowering sources of confidence and happiness in life. Good times spent with people we care about recharge and energize us, so we readily dedicate ourselves to creating meaningful connections with others.
Unfortunately, not all relationships are built on healthy foundations. Ben Stahl, full-time content contributor devoted to understanding and analyzing relationships we create during our lifespan, advises caution when it comes to the so-called “toxic relationships.”
With selfish people, there is no give-and-take dynamic every successful interpersonal connection should have. They seem to take a lot more than they give, and interaction with such people may leave you feeling run-down and apathetic.
What can you do when everyone around you seems focused on their well-being only, completely disregarding your needs in the process? Here is how to approach the matter and make the best out of the given situations.
Step 1: Observe and analyze
In this time and day, self-interest is highly praised and recommended. “Think of yourself first” is a mantra we hear over and over again, and although it’s meant to do good, sometimes it does quite the opposite instead. We need to think about our own well-being, as we are the ones responsible for our happiness. However, what happens when this principle is taken too far?
When one’s needs are their full-time priority, it inevitably affects their relationships in a negative way.
Selfish people will often act as if their opinion is the only one that matters.
They cannot handle any type of teamwork, and they are often manipulative and controlling of everyone around them. They are always asking for favors, and yet, when you need assistance, they’re rarely the ones to offer it. And usually, they are unwilling to hear how their behavior affects others, and are very resistant to change.
If a person in your life does all these things, chances are you are stuck in a toxic relationship with a selfish person. Luckily, there is a cure for this malady.
Step 2: Set your boundaries
Here is the tricky part. You know you should speak up, but you feel discouraged every time you try to do so. You either feel uncomfortable with pointing out other people’s imperfections in a serious setting, or you are afraid how a selfish person will react.
It’s not uncommon to find yourself “under fire” when you suggest a selfish person a thing or two about their behavior. Quite often, a selfish person will start accusing you of being selfish for hurting their feelings by telling them things they don’t want to hear.
It’s crucial to stay calm and not fall prey to their negativity and judgment. Nobody likes criticism, but selfish people are the champions of not taking it well. Take a deep breath and set your boundaries confidently and calmly.
Step 3: It’s time for the talk
After you’ve set your boundaries for the first time, one of two things is most likely to happen. Scenario number one: A selfish person you confront is furious, and they’re out of your life.
Don’t be too surprised if they’ve got nothing nice to say about you after the fallout; this is the way they need to behave to “mend” their hurt pride. Such a turn of event is hardly what you wanted to accomplish, but at least now there’s one toxic relationship less in your life.
However, there is also a second possibility. Some people aren’t selfish because they’re inherently bad; sometimes, they lack the social skills needed to make healthy relationships. Your critique will hurt them or make them angry, but it will also make them think. If they are willing to mend fences and be a better friend, colleague, or partner, perhaps it’s a relationship worth working on.
Unlike your first conversation, “the talk” you’re about to have with a selfish person willing to improve themselves should make a meaningful difference in your lives. They won’t change overnight, but if their heart is in the right place, you will notice small improvements in their behavior from that talk onward.
Step 4: Be honest with yourself
After all is said and done, it’s time for some introspection. Take the time to make a recap of the situation and think about what you’ve learned from it. How can you avoid letting selfish people in your life? How to recognize the “red flags”? Are you endorsing selfish behavior in others by never standing up for yourself?
Here is what a Best Essay Tips, domywriting review contributor Selena Clark has to say about relationships: “The responsibility for what happens inside a relationship of any kind is never on one side alone. Think about your values, relationship goals, and, last but not least, your own behavior as well.”
To create long-lasting, healthy relationships with others, you must be an active, attentive, introspective participant in the process.
When it comes to dealing with selfish people, there are a few steps you can take to ensure your peace of mind: recognize the selfish person, set your boundaries (the sooner the better), and let them go. Most of them will never come back, but the ones who do might be worth a second chance.
Every relationship is a two-way street. When both sides are willing to become better, a lot can be done to improve the status quo.