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Do selfish people realise that they are selfish?

(20 Posts)
greenandyellowandpinkandblue Sat 12-Sep-20 07:49:11

I'm having a hard time dealing with a friend who can be a good laugh but is also very self-absorbed and seems to have no consideration for my time. Every time she doesn't ask how I am because she's too full of her own stories, or she cancels at short notice for some trivial excuse, it chips away at my self-esteem and I'm about to let the friendship fade out. But i'd also like to understand her behaviour better because I've never met anyone with her level of selfishness before. I'm just wondering whether people who are selfish / self-absorbed / only think about themselves etc are aware that they are doing it?

OP’s posts: |
Sparklfairy Sat 12-Sep-20 07:53:09

Does it really matter? Even if they do they're selfish enough to not care iyswim.

Being aware that you're being selfish/a selfish person and doing it anyway vs lacking self awareness to know you're selfish, because you always put yourself first... I don't really see a difference tbh.

SayakaMurata Sat 12-Sep-20 07:58:37

I suspect that people like that are too self absorbed to realize or care about the effect of their behaviour on others.

shesgonebatshitagain Sat 12-Sep-20 08:00:11

It’s not just about whether they realise it’s whether they do anything about it otherwise it’s Orrell’s t.

My experience is a mixture of yes and no the your question. Not a realisation though but rather a tacit knowledge of it.
The latter no, I have never known a selfish person to change

pumpkinpie01 Sat 12-Sep-20 08:07:04

My sister can be very selfish , I think so , her kids think so as do my family and friends however she can't see it. She will justify her behaviour and thinks there is nothing wrong with it. Never once has she thought ' ah yea that's selfish I better not do that ' .

Codexdivinchi Sat 12-Sep-20 08:18:15

It depends on the quality of your past relationship.

By best friend of 30 years started doing this when she had family issues. Because I was so close to her I was able to point out what she was doing, she seen her arse for a bit bit were totally fine now and doesn’t do it any more.

I have a school mum friend who was similar and kept me waiting for an hour on the rain with my two kids where there wasn’t much shelter. Apparently she’d had a lazy morning hmm I won’t be meeting up with her again or booking anything for us.

Some people can get wrapped up in their own life they don’t realise what they are doing. Other people don’t give a toss.

If you can speak to friend about it - do. If it’s not that kind of relationship let it fade out

Apple31419 Sat 12-Sep-20 12:45:31

People interact differently, I have noticed that there is a sub culture of Brits in the UK who talk like that, IE they talk I've each other and everyone shares their own stories.
She might have just grown up not being asked, and that's just how people communicate - she might expect you to only share how you are if you want to rather than wait to be asked.
Theres also huge differences in how people perceive time. If you've grown up with it not being a big deal then cancelling and working on a casual basis might just be normal, especially if everyone else she interacts with does that.
I struggle with some of my family who are like this. They are very laid back and can't understand why I'm annoyed when they don't show up /are very late. They literally said they don't want me piling on the pressure and if I need to stick to a schedule, not to meet! I now only see them in an ad-hoc WY if I'm passing by, or very occasionally they will promise to stick to a time for me.
At the end of the day, different things are different priorities for different people, and just because it's you priority and not theirs, then it doesn't mean they are selfish. Especially if you've not said anything yet.
If you have said something and you can't work it out - then you can't work it out and it doesn't sound like it's worth bothering with.

honeylulu Sat 12-Sep-20 13:33:32

I think it's a mixture. Some people are so self absorbed it doesn't occur to them to think about how their actions and attitudes affect others, or whether it's "fair and reasonable". I have a friend like this and she's actually lovely in person and we're still friends, but her head is so far in the clouds it really doesn't seem to register that when she's flaky it inconveniences me. She will get very upset and tearful if someone else lets her down though.

Then there's the people who do it because they genuinely believe they are special and others should be grateful for being "allowed" to help facilitate their lives. They know they are selfish but feel entitled to be. My father and sister are like this.

MsKeats Sat 12-Sep-20 13:35:43

I would say something. At times I have had a rough time and been self absorbed. However, my ex is selfish and knows he is and doesn't care -I think he actually finds it amusing to have others run in circles.

Schoolsout2 Sat 12-Sep-20 13:50:45

It depends. But unless pointed out to them no I would say they do not realise that they are being selfish.

user1471538283 Sat 12-Sep-20 14:13:06

I don't think they know or care. I know they hate being pulled up on it. I just cant be doing with it

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Sat 12-Sep-20 14:23:48

A lot of selfish people seem to lack any insight. They are the centre of their own universe and expect to be at the centre of yours, too.

And then they express bafflement when it becomes obvious you never want to have anything to do with them.

VickySunshine Sat 12-Sep-20 14:45:10

Sometimes it pays to be a little bit selfish ; it won't get you anywhere being a door mat, thats for sure.

GingerBeverage Sat 12-Sep-20 14:50:35

This would describe 70% of the people I know.
IMO it's only a minority of people who know how to hold a mutually engaging and beneficial conversation, and how to show concern and ask for empathy back.
Selfish is one way of describing it, I suppose.

I don't think it's done on purpose. But after a while I've worked out that having one-way relationships where only I remember the birthdays, ask the questions, applaud the life progressions, or generally act as a sidekick instead of a peer - well they just don't fulfill me at all.

There is also a subset of people who will realise they've been talking non-stop about themselves for hours and then add "But how are you?" so you can watch their interest disengage and wait for the "Look at the time" 5min later. grin

SeaEagleFeather Sun 13-Sep-20 19:48:27

where I live, being late is seen as extraordinarily rude because you're wasting other people's time. Serious lack of courtesy and real self-centredness not to understand that other peopel have their lives.

Result is, that if you're late you accept that you might miss out of events and it's the consequence of you being late. And if that means other people lose out financially, you have to make the shortfall up.

Sssloou Sun 13-Sep-20 20:14:43

I expect “selfish” people behave differently with different people. They will do whatever they can get away with - always pushing boundaries and taking liberties - but only up to the point of being told ‘No’ with clear consequences if not adhered to.

Every RS is a negotiation. Most people fall within expected “norms”.

So the onus is on us the “givers” to enforce limits / declare boundaries if the “takers” over step - because they will never do.

I expect she is on time for others who assertively call it out but will let it slip for you.

If they adapt when called out - and the rest of the RS makes the interactions worth while then that’s all good - if you are concerned they will “flounce” - then you are being manipulated and controlled if you keep quiet and the RS is imbalance of power.

Fantasisa Tue 15-Sep-20 17:21:00

@Codexdivinchi I had a similar experience recently, friend was running late and I was waiting outdoors for half an hour for her, she turned up with a latte in hand that she had stopped off for. I actually couldn't believe it!

nibdedibble Tue 15-Sep-20 17:29:05

I’ve just ditched a friend like that. Everything was about her, her life, her challenges (she had some), her head and where it was at, and she’d cancel if she was too down to move/get out of the house.

I accepted this for a decade: what kind of a friend wouldn’t? Then I realised that it never once occurred to her that my own head might be done in and that a kind word could flow the other way. I suspect over the years I’ve been taken for a bit of a mug in a way.

I’m a firm believer that if there’s a disconnect, it probably goes both ways, and it’s fine to withdraw.

Heatherjayne1972 Tue 15-Sep-20 17:43:41

I suppose if you’ve always been that way it’s your ‘normal’
They know no different
Depends on the person but often they don’t have any awareness of it or they do and don’t care

BloodyMiserable Tue 15-Sep-20 19:55:03

Selfishness is a manifestation of the rot underneath, which permeates someone's whole personality. It seeps out in to every action. IME, it's a fixed personality trait.

Having put up it before, I never will again.

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