Why are there selfish people

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Why are there selfish people

Why are there selfish people out there?
Why do some people only care about themselves?

In my previous article What causes selfishness i said that selfish people suffer from fear of loss of control and that's why they keep all of their resources to themselves.

In this article i will go deeper into the psychology of a selfish person and tell you what past experiences results in making a person become selfish.

Reasons there are selfish people

So what are the reasons that could make a child grow to be a selfish adult?
All kids are born thinking that they are the center of the world. This doesn't mean that they are selfish but at least they don't know yet how to think about others except themselves.

Some people fail to grow out of this stage and so remain selfish forever. Below are some reasons that will help you understand why there are selfish people:

  • 1)Selfishness and inferiority: Alfred Adler the father of individual psychology said that the more inferior the person feels the more selfish he becomes. People who manage to feel good about themselves develop social interest and thus have empathy towards others while those who feel inferior become stuck thinking about themselves only (see Inferiority complex)
  • 2)Birth order and selfishness: In my article how birth order affects personality i explained how each child develops different traits based on his birth order. Spoiled children and only children might become selfish adults if they weren't raised in a proper way. Both of those children become the center of the world at their home and thus learn how to take without giving anything. I am not saying that all spoiled children become selfish adults but certainly spoiling kids is one of the reasons there are selfish people in this world
  • 3)Selfishness and the relationship with parents: One of the reasons there are selfish people out there are the parenting mistakes parents make with their children. The first people the child comes in contact with in his life are his parents. If the child failed to develop empathy towards his parents or to identity with them then he will never be able to develop empathy towards others and he will become a selfish adult. Parents who abuse their children or neglect them are more likely to raise selfish adults who lack empathy

How to deal with selfish people

Many people think that communication skills are as superficial as being a good listener or learning the difference between hearing and listening while in fact communicating properly with people requires a deep understanding of their psychology and personality dynamics. (see How to understand people)

You can't blame a selfish person for his selfishness because he was raised in such a way that made him selfish. Instead you can help him develop empathy for others and become more interested in people after you understand him.

There are many selfish people out there and unless you understand them well you might not be able to communicate with them properly nor even help them get over their selfishness.

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Want to know more?

Why are there selfish people? part II

Why are some people Arrogant?

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