Life is a journey, and we manage to meet pretty much all kinds of people in it. Kind, Smart, Cunning, Happy-go-lucky. But, the toughest is the self-centered lot. Extremely self-involved in their life, they can be easily spotted in a crowd, boasting about their achievements. Quite often, they are pretty tough to handle.
So how do we deal with this lot? Avoid them? Runaway? But before that, let's see how certain people turn up so self-obsessed with their lives, shunning everything else as trivial!
What causes a person to be self-centered?
The seeds of self-centeredness are mostly sown at an early age. It is majorly driven by pain and a sense of loneliness. When children face social rejection or emotional neglect and are not taught how to process these situations, it causes them to build a wall around themselves and shut others out. People see this wall as arrogance and selfishness, but this is simply a mechanism that the adult has used to cope with rejection and loneliness all her/his life.
They assume that since people don't need other people, we all have to look out for ourselves. This thinking creates a pattern of self-rumination, which leads to addiction and isolation. This leads to more self-rumination, and the pattern continues. But there are many ways to tackle such people and possibly even confront them about their self-obsessed behaviors compelling them to change.
1. Establish boundaries:
Egocentric people take others for granted and think it's acceptable to treat them poorly without consequences. If such people try to dominate and force you to do tasks or favors you cannot or will not do, it's good to clearly state it to them loud and clear.
● Early on, in relationships, let them know you won't be bullied into doing things only they like, and shared activates will involve your choices too.
● Make it very clear that you will not be available at their every beck and call. You have a life, family, and other friends too, and your time is as precious as theirs.
2. Starve them of attention:
A self-centered person craves attention more than anything else! So, by not giving them attention, you can take back the power in a relationship.
● When they cry about something to you, just reply blandly, "That's life, Move on," instead of paying much attention.
● Pay them less attention, and day by day, they will get the message and back off themselves.
3. No more favors:
Self-centered people always expect others to help them. But they will do nothing for others in return. It is important not to let them walk all over you. You must start speaking up and refusing to do favors for them all the time. They must understand that your time is precious. That they must also do things for you sometimes.
4. Find better friends:
The world is a vast place with many kinds of people. Remember the pain and anger you feel due to your selfish friend's behavior. Use this as a motivation to seek out new people to have in life. More positive, caring, and encouraging.
● Join hobby groups, treks, travel groups to find friends with similar interests.
● Interact more with friends of other friends you meet through mutual events.
5. Switch the topic:
If your self-obsessed friend has been ranting about her problems for a long time, try changing the topic. You can try to talk about your day or your problems for them to listen. If the friend refuses to budge, you might have to be more aggressive. When you distract your friend, it comes as a relief to you also from hearing about them all the time. In fact, they can now console you for a change.
6. Identifying the problem:
Selfish people were not born selfish. There may have been incidents in life that made them so. Maybe some childhood trauma or bad experiences with other self-centered people.
● Try getting them to open up about any incident or eventful experiences in their past.
● Help them by providing solutions or even getting them to talk to a therapist. The counselors can show them how to deal and cope with these experiences.
7. Distance yourself from them:
Self-centered people can drain your energy fast. They also take advantage of you and don't give anything in return. It's a one-sided relationship. So it's sometimes best to stay away from such people.
● When you start keeping your distance from them, they may start thinking about what went wrong. This would force them to evaluate their friendships and relationships with loved ones.
● Spending time away from them would be good for you too. You will have plenty of free time to follow your interests instead of listening to their problems or doing their work.
8. End the relationship:
This may seem like a drastic step. But, if everything else fails, there is little much to be done. Being with selfish people can start affecting our mental health too. So before this happens, it's best to break the friendship and go your separate ways. Always keep your mental, emotional and physical health first.
9. Don't fall to their level:
When selfish people play their constant mind games, it can be very frustrating. Make yourself aware of such times and stop reacting. Don't let them push your buttons. Always remember that you are a loving and kind person. It is the behavior of such people that is compelling you to behave negatively and lose your temper sometimes.
10. Increase dose of self-love:
Spending too much time with your selfish friend is exhausting. Instead, you can spend this time taking care of yourself. Your friend will not give you their time to listen to your problems in return.
● Go to the spa or the hairdressers to treat yourself to a makeover. It will make you feel good and boost your confidence.
● Fill your day with activities you love to do. This way, you can tell your selfish friend your day is packed and avoid them.
11. Let go:
Slowly begin to ignore their behaviors and rants. Pretend you aren't paying attention and be extra involved in your life. Avoid meeting them and reduce the frequency of your meets. The relationship will fade away with time.
12. Stand up for yourself:
Whenever you feel any abusive behavior coming on, prepare to be firm. Many times, selfish people say or do things that hurt other people. In their selfishness, they don't see how badly it affects the other person. In such times you must stand up and defend yourself. Walkout if required.
13. Don't feed their ego:
Reduce the number of times you praise them. Only limit it to genuine times. When they say something wrong or spread rumors, stop them. Try and talk to them about how such behavior is bad refuse to be a part of it.
14. Learn from experience:
Now that you have met a self-centered person in your life learn from them. Understand how to deal with or avoid them. Make sure to look for any signs of self-obsession while meeting new people. You do not want to fall into the same pattern again.
15. Call their behavior out:
When you feel they are going overboard with their talks and problems, reign them in. Explain to them how it affects others and to stop.
Self-obsessed people can be very difficult to deal with. The important thing is not to be a doormat. Be strong and face them and call them out on their negative points. Offer them help if they need to work on themselves and past trauma. If nothing works out, don't feel guilty to walk away.