What makes people selfish? Selfishness is when someone thinks of him or herself while disregarding others. Why do some people give of themselves more than others? Why people take advantage of others? Does it have anything to do with how people view themselves or is it because of fear? This article will try to explain the underlying cause of selfishness.
Why are people selfish?
People are selfish because of fear. According to research by Psychological Science, “One reason individuals may not feel satisfied with self-interest is that they feel uneasy about sacrificing the needs of others for their gain.” For example, some people do not donate money because they are afraid they may not have enough left over to take care of self. They keep postponing, hoping to get more money one day so they can help others.
Another example is people who are busy are afraid to donate their time to others. They fear they may not have enough time to take care of their needs if they use that time to help others. A common saying among people who are selfish goes like this, “I do not have enough time for myself much less for others.” So, fear makes people selfish.
Selfishness and Manipulation
To further explain what makes people selfish, let us view varying levels of selfishness. One person will take advantage of someone else’s good graces. For example, some individuals are generous and will give or lend their time without asking questions. Then, you have people who will exploit others because of their generosity. These types of people are Machiavellians. They only care about self and will do what it takes to satisfy their needs.
According to a research study, Machiavellians cannot have an emotional connection with others. So, they exploit individuals for their gain. Machiavellians will take the time to devise a plot to figure out the best way to get over on people. They have no empathy, so it is easy to manipulate others.
Selfishness and Failure
Selfish people may have goals they want to carry out but are afraid of failure. Their rationale is if they spend the time to help others, they may not have the opportunity to reach an attainable goal. Most of these people feel insecure. It goes like this, “If I help this individual accomplish his or her goal, I may never get to achieve mine.”
So, fear of failure make people selfish? This behavior goes back to childhood. Growing up, a child may not have felt valued. According to a research study, the individual will have an unmet emotional need. Here is an example: If a person owns a business, and she is not making enough money (unmet need), she will do what it takes to turn a profit. Her entire thought process is to make money, so nothing else matters. Until the individual’s business turn a profit, she will have an unmet emotional need. Living a life via an unmet emotional need will make people selfish.
How to stop selfish behavior
Selfishness is a sign of weakness, so the individual has to have self-confidence. It makes a person feel more secure about self. A trust factor is present when a person has confidence. When a person trusts his or her thoughts and feelings, she or he feels more sure of self.
Listen more and talk less
When someone is speaking, people tend to predict the next thing to say. How can one listen while planning the next move? It is best to pay attention to whoever is speaking, so nothing gets lost in communication.
Think of the other person’s need
More often than not, putting someone else’s need ahead of your own may work well in your favor. For example, if you promote another person’s business, resulting in profit, the individual may end up helping your business by buying your products.
When dealing with others, try to get their point of view or step in their shoes for a moment. Everything is not about you.
Not appearing superior
Everyone is significant, meaning you are not more relevant than the person down the street. It does not matter if you are good at what you do. Someone else may be just as good or even better.
Refrain from being rude
People will not forget how you treat them. While you are busy getting your way, people will avoid you. They will remember the bad behavior and share their experience with others.
No need to dwell on the problem
Every day is a new day. What happened two or three months ago is in the past. Focus on what is going on now and figure out a way to move forward.
Everyone has a little selfishness in her or him, but some people are more selfish than others. Self-centeredness stems from fear and the desire to fulfill an unmet need. You can break the cycle by having more confidence in self. Listen more and talk less. Put someone else’s needs above your own. Try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and resist the temptation to be rude. Put the past behind you and do not dwell on the problem.