The Selfish vs. The Self-Centered: Know the Difference

Are you tired of dealing with people who seem to only care about themselves? Do you find yourself avoiding certain individuals because they just don’t seem to give a darn about anyone else? Well, my friend, it’s time to dive into the world of selfishness and self-centeredness, and learn how these two are not exactly interchangeable.

Selfishness: It’s All About Me!

When we think of someone being selfish, we can’t help but picture an individual solely focused on their own needs, wants and desires. And while that may be true for some cases, there is actually more to it than meets the eye.

What is Selfishness?

Selfish behavior involves putting one’s personal interests above those of others without any regard or consideration for them (after all no one cares about you like you do right?) A truly selfish person lacks empathy and sees others as a means to an end rather than actual human beings. They prioritize their own happiness at any cost and believe that other people should too.

How To Identify A Selfish Person

Spotting a selfish person in your life might not require much effort at all – chances are they’re already making it obvious through their actions:

  • Refuse to share
  • Constantly demand attention from others
  • Rarely consider the feelings or opinions of others
  • Obsess over their physical appearance
  • Always prioritize their needs even when doing so harms another Shotguns in group photos (yup seriously)

The Flip Side: Being Self-Centered

Whereas being self-centered could easily be interpreted as having similar characteristics as being selfish but let me explain what I discovered; It has completely different connotations depending on context.

Ok..So what Is Being “Self-Centered” Then?

Being self-centered doesn’t automatically mean neglecting others’ feelings, it’s actually more of being aware but prioritising one’s thoughts and feelings in a given scenario. It involves being very aware of one self without exactly excluding the awareness and consideration for others.

How Do You Identify A Self-centered Person?

Being self-centered is not always easy to pick up on, as they tend to work well with others (they’re not monsters!).

  • They vocalize opinions without really listening or paying attention to comments made by others.
  • Constantly seek validation from other people
  • Overthink how conversations /situations relate back to them selves rather than the bigger picture.

Why The Difference Matters

The distinction between these two traits may seem like nothing much at first glance , yet it can prove disastrous when overlooked (and we wouldn’t want disaster now would we?).

Failure to differentiate between selfishness,self-centredness,and narcissism often leads us into throwing all three concepts under same umbrella; which isn’t conducive to flipping your hair dramatically in slow motion as you exit an office setting looking cool AF…stay focused dear reader stay focused

Knowing This Difference Can Help Your Interaction With People In Multiple Areas;

Professional Life

Does this sound familiar? Your boss/colleague never seems interested in what you have got going on,talks over you during meetings and blatantly disregards everyone else’ input/suggestions?.Nope that’s just a plain case of selfish behavior.You’d be able then create strategies knowing it’s not entirely about you,and react accordingly.

In similar vein, en employee who is self centred might not necessarily steal credit for team projects,but will make pointed efforts towards promoting their achievements/advancements above those serveying a greater purpose such as company goals/values .


Selfish individuals are hard-wired only think about themselves.Putting aside minor quirks,no amount of love,dollars,rubber ducks,or persuasion, is going change that fact.

On the other hand , if you’re in a relationship with someone self-centered, it’s possible to work on their communication style and make sure everyone involved feels heard.

Handle Them In Different Ways

Once you can tell apart between selfish individuals and those who are self-centered,you might be able to tailor your response . For instance,straight up ignoring an attention seeking drama queen could quickly ostracize them from relationships whereas approaching them calmly but directly would encourage growth. Our main aim should always be about recognizing these traits in order to help us create boundaries where necessary .

Final Verdict: Know The Difference!

Being selfish may seem innocent enough – after all, everyone deserves me-time every once in a while,right? But it really doesn’t have place for immature,petulant behavior such as chaos/ordering pizza without sharing with colleagues or snapping at people showing some sense of vulnerability.

However,don’t get got; being self centered isn’t necessarily always negative ( so don’t go locking yourself up thinking you’re suddenly transformed into George Costanza ).
It’s just a mindset that requires balance and respect for others’ input while prioritizing personal needs instead of acting out maliciously (Naw mean?)

So next time you find yourself questioning someone’s intentions cracks knuckles remember what we learned today;and ensure badassery prevails one step at a time!