Ever had times in your relationship where you didn't feel heard? Like, you speak about your bad day with your girlfriend, but she just ignores it and rants on about how she has had it worse? Or you share about a promotion at work, but she compares it to her achievements and belittles your subtlety? Your girlfriend might just be a self-centered person.
There are a few ways you can deal with such behavior without affecting the relationship:
1. Communicate your needs:
'Self-centered people often don't realize how their actions affect others,' says MFT therapist MoAndra Johnson. So it's good to talk and let your girlfriend know when you feel ignored or hurt,
● You can tell them, "You did not ask me about my day" or " You did not pay attention to my promotion."
● Such conversations focus on their actions at the moment and not their nature. So, they have something to improve on and don't feel attacked at the same time.
2. Lookout for gaslighting:
When your girlfriend validates your feelings and accepts you as you are, it's a healthy, respectful relationship. But, when she constantly argues that you imagine things, then please look for red flags.
● Major signs of gaslighting are doubting your take on events or manipulating your mind constantly.
● Such people take a long while to change, and most never do. It's best to step back from such relationships before huge emotional damages.
3. Break it off:
This can be used as a last option. If you have been a good partner and have done everything you could to communicate and save the relationship with no change, it's best to break up.
There is a limit for every human to bear, and to preserve their self-respect, it's best to walk away from your selfish girlfriend. Maybe she will understand your worth after you are gone.
4. Reconnect with ourselves:
While being with self-absorbed people, we slowly forget our self-worth. We begin to look at ourselves through their lens.
● Spend time with yourself doing things you like to increase your self-worth.
● Go out and connect with people that value you.
Soon, you will be confident enough to call your girlfriend out on her self-obsessed behavior.
5. Speak up:
Self-centered women tend to shut out their partner's voices slowly. The partner, in turn, suffers in silence while they are mistreated or their opinions disregarded.
Instead, while they throw tantrums or boss around, speak up and call them out on their actions. But do it in a subtle kinder way. This ensures that fights are avoided.
6. Take breaks:
When your girlfriend becomes too demanding at any time, you can take a break from her for a few days. If she calls to find out what's wrong, you can let her know you are taking some time off from her.
● Initially, they may be puzzled by this and wonder what's wrong. Many may not even think they are the issue.
● However, in time they will realize how their demands affect you, and they can start to improve.
7. Start taking turns:
So, what this means is don't directly confront your girlfriend. Instead, sit her down and have a conversation with her while you both take turns talking.
So this will feel like a comfortable exchange of feelings instead of a shouting match. Your girlfriend will be more open to sharing with this exercise.
8. Be selfish:
Prioritize yourself and do things that please you. Take time out and suggest shared activities that you like with your girlfriend.
● Start saying no to things you don't like or are not comfortable doing.
● Remember to not be too selfish and keep a balance between caring for others and yourself equally.
9. Try to understand them:
A person isn't born self-absorbed. Most times, it's their traumatic past or bad childhood experiences that make them selfish. Getting your girlfriend to open up about her past will help you understand where she's coming from. You can then help her seek counseling to deal with it and better her actions.
10. Draw boundaries:
For the long haul, this is very important for your mental health. Let your girlfriend know you are there for her and care for her.
● Don't become a doormat and let her walk all over you.
● Let her know that she must respect your feelings, opinions, and time as much as you respect her. A relationship is a two-way street.
11. Discuss past successes:
While working with your girlfriend through a problem, it's good to bring up little wins you have had in the past. Any fights or disagreements that you agree to compromise and resolve with effort and patience can be an inspiring point to your both. You can work on better solutions and be together.
12. Encourage selflessness:
You can speak to your girlfriend about how being selfless has many rewards. How giving to the poor or spending time and appreciating people you love can be calming and make you feel good about your life.
Tell her how being grateful has made you feel and made you a better person. She might even consider picking up some of these traits.
13. Let her assume responsibility:
In the case of a live-in relationship, you might be handling everything on behalf of your girlfriend. This might add stress to your life and make her lazy and selfish.
● Give her responsibilities of specific tasks like paying bills, picking up groceries, etc.
● You can even make a chart dividing your responsibilities equally.
14. Speak wisely:
Instead of focusing on your girlfriend's nature while discussing issues, focus on the issue itself. Clinical psychologist Jennifer Rhodes says it's better to point out the issues that concern you rather than randomly criticize her.
● Use kind and constructive words to explain the issue to her. This helps them better accept and correct what's troubling you.
● Studies have shown that people are more receptive to constructive criticism of their actions than rather their character as it is easier to change the former.
15. seek couple's therapy:
If you are in a serious relationship or are engaged to be married, breaking up is not an easy option. Instead, you and your girlfriend can avail a therapy session to help you understand and work through your issues.
● It would be easier to discuss your problems in a professional setting.
● Counselors meet many couples who deal with similar things and can help you get through this.
Relationships are hard enough with two normal easy-tempered people. Add in a splash of self-absorption, and the issues top up a notch. It isn't easy being with a self-centered girlfriend. But, with the above methods, you can make things a bit simpler between you two.
Self-obsessed people aren't naturally that way. Traumatic circumstances or bad incidents may have turned her into a selfish person. It's important to understand and help her work through that. In the end, it's good if it all works out. If not, then walking away is always an option to be considered. After all, every person has a certain level of self-respect and dignity to maintain.