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Paul Moschetta, D.S.W. | Article

Are You Selfish? 6 Ways to Know By Drs. Evelyn and Paul Moschetta

9/11/2012
Healthy, happy relationships are based on caring, cooperation, and commitment. Your partner and relationship must be a top priority for you. Being selfish, being overly concerned with just your needs, wants and feelings prevents you from holding up your end of a mutually satisfying relationship.
Many people don’t recognize when they’re being selfish because they operate inside a bubble of “me first” thoughts and beliefs. Putting yourself first becomes a habit, a taken for granted way of being. For example with friends and colleagues you look for opportunities to put yourself center stage. You spend very little time listening because your focus is on pulling attention back to you. Eventually this way of being pushes others away from you. In your intimate relationship it creates hurt and resentment.
It’s important to see that being selfish is not the same as being hostile or mean spirited. Selfishness is not directed against others, it’s a misguided way of making yourself feel more adequate or worthy. Here are 6 ways to tell if you’re selfish:
1. You like being in control and find it difficult to compromise.
2. Giving and sharing does not come easily to you.
3. Putting your partner’s need first, before your own, is very difficult.
4. You hear criticism as personal attacks.
5. You become moody when others have the spotlight.
6. Forgiving others is difficult.
6. You become moody when others have the spotlight.
Remember there is no gene for selfishness; it’s a learned behavior. That means like any other bad habit it can be changed. Your relationships, intimate or otherwise, are the perfect place to practice changing. Use the everyday interactions that go on in your relationship as opportunities to be
less selfish. Make a conscious effort to shift your focus from “me first” to “us first.”