If someone displays these 12 behaviors, they’re incredibly self-absorbed

There are some people who are so self-absorbed that simply being near them is torture.

These are the people who believe that the universe revolves around them… and that we should be thankful that they’re in our lives.

Wondering if someone you know is self-absorbed—and not just mildly but incredibly self-absorbed?

Pay attention to these behaviors!

1) Listening isn’t their forte

Self-absorbed people simply don’t like hearing about other people’s lives. They’re simply not interested.

So when they have to endure someone else talking about themselves, they’ll be thinking “when will this person stop talking?”

They’re impatient to know when THEY can put themselves in the spotlight again.

The most they can probably bring themselves to care about others is to figure out how to one-up them and come out as being the most interesting person in the room.

2) They say “I”, “me”, and “mine” a lot

Sit back and listen to them speak long enough, and you’ll notice that they use words like “I”, “me”, and “mine” a lot. 

“Your mother treats you well? I’M jealous—I hate MINE! Let ME tell you about my childhood…”

“Oh, I love animals, too. I have four cats and they all love ME. They Wanna see their photos?”

Self-absorbed people like to say things like these. 

But contrary to popular belief, they also talk about others—but those that serve as extensions of themselves. 

They’d also talk about their parents, their pets, their girlfriend, their favorite band, and their work. 

“MY coworker…”, “MY boyfriend…”, you get the drift.

3) They love hanging out with people who adore them

Self-absorbed people love the company of those people who worship the ground they walk on.

It doesn’t even matter if they don’t have that much in common. They simply want to have their egos stroked!

That is to say, their main criteria for relationships—both romantic and platonic—are not compatibility or maturity, but the way people make them feel.

This is also the main reason why they often end up getting into bad relationships back to back.

4) Praise makes them giddy

You can tell them a simple praise like “You make the best omelets” and they’ll hold on to that compliment until their dying day.

It doesn’t matter if people are simply being polite, or even if it’s obvious that people are pulling their leg—they’ll make themselves believe every single word of praise they get.

Praise and adoration is something that makes them giddy, and in fact it might just be one of the things they want the most in life.

5) They tell others about the praises they get

Self-absorbed people love praises so much that they’re not content with just getting them.

They will also take every opportunity they get to share it with anyone who’s willing to listen.

So, let’s say they get praises for their omelet cooking skills. They’ll cook omelets for other people again when they say “Mmmm. It’s good.”, they’d automatically reply “Thanks. My friend said I make the BEST omelets.”

And oh, they aren’t always going to care to check if people are willing to listen or not. They’ll happily share away even if people aren’t in the mood.

And if you ever react positively in any way—even as simple as a nod, they’d take it that you’re praising them, too.

6) They make decisions without consulting others


Ask them to water your garden, and you might just come home to see half your plants replaced and your planters completely rearranged.

Bring them along for a trip and you might just end up seeing them buying alcohol for the party without telling anybody about it first.

Self-absorbed people feel like they’re doing others a “favor” by “doing the right thing.”

This goes back to their inflated sense of self-worth and them being convinced that they always know the best.

Of course, we all do these things from time to time but what makes someone incredibly self-absorbed is when they do it so often it’s become their personality.

7) They always ask “What’s in it for me?”

A self-absorbed person will never commit to anything if they have nothing to gain from it. 

They’re their own number one priority, and true altruism is something that’s simply beyond them.

Sure, they might act “selfless” every now and then, but in their heads they do it because they have something to gain— be it reputation or adoration or loyalty.

When they meet someone new, they will immediately wonder if befriending or courting that person will be of any use to them, and how much they can squeeze out of that relationship.

And if they can’t think of any way that that person would elevate their life, they’d disengage.

So if you suspect that someone in your life is self-absorbed, take a step back. Ask yourself what they possibly want from you other than friendship.

8) Empathy doesn’t come naturally for them

They care a lot for their own feelings, but couldn’t care less for others.

They take “self-love” and “boundaries” to the extreme.

When they hear someone expressing sadness, anger, or hurt from what they’ve experienced in life, for example, they would distance themself and tell themselves that it’s their duty to themself to stay away from “toxic” people.

Or they’d listen and give comfort only because it makes them feel good about themself. They’re thinking “Thank god I’m not in their shoes!”

They’re also a little judgmental.

Perhaps they might talk about how people who are having a hard time keeping themselves fed should just “eat cake”, and think poor people are simply “lazy.”

But of course, when it’s THEM who are suffering, self-absorbed people will act like it’s a big tragedy and that everyone should drop whatever it is they’re doing so they can rescue them.

9) It’s either you’re their loyal friend or you’re their enemy

Self-absorbed people want loyalty, and they want ABSOLUTE loyalty.

They would treat you splendidly so long as they know that you’re “on their side”, and that you have their back.

But the moment they feel like you’re against them in any way—say, by disagreeing with them on something—they’ll treat you like you’re their enemy.

So it doesn’t matter even if the person they’re arguing with is the one in the right, because if you’re loyal, you’ll defend them and refuse to entertain that they might ever be wrong.

10) They believe they’re great

They believe that they’re born great—they have GREAT talents, they have a GREAT mind, they are GREAT at what they do.

While self-confidence is essential, they’re mostly delusional.

And this inflated sense of self-worth can sometimes be dangerous.

It can make them pursue risky endeavors, make decisions for others, and do selfish things which they’ll later justify as helping themselves pursue their (great) life purpose.

11) They can’t just be on the sidelines

They can’t ever accept it when there are people doing better than them, and they’ll do whatever they can to rise to the top.

It doesn’t matter whether that means elevating themselves, tearing others down… or doing both.

Hell, invite them to be a guest speaker at your wedding and you’ll be sure that their speech is going to be about THEM, and not you.

And it doesn’t matter that you’ve just been through hell—they’re not going to ask about how you’ve been, and instead make you feel rotten if you act aloof towards them.

They might even accuse you of being a bad friend if you won’t pay attention to THEM while you’re crying at your family’s funeral!

12) They never ask themself “How can I do good to others?”

Selfishness defines the self-absorbed person.

And to that end, you can expect that they’ll be the lousiest people you can ever have in your life.

They don’t stop to ask “how can I be a good partner?”, and instead they think “do they deserve to be dating me?” while enumerating their partner’s many flaws and shortcomings.

They don’t ask themselves “How can I help my friends?”, they ask “How come my friends are not helping me enough?”

They’re always the main character of their story. And everyone else is just there to support them on their journey.

Last words

People who are incredibly self-absorbed are often a pain to deal with, and one is by no means obligated to keep on interacting with them—especially if they also happen to be dangerous.

But at the same time, that doesn’t mean that one should give up on them, either.

It’s easy to mistake being self-absorbed with being a narcissist. But they’re different, and where narcissism is something of a life-long burden that’s hard to break free from… being self-absorbed is something a lot of people grow out of in time.

People can always change, and someone who you knew for being self-absorbed ten years ago might now be the most selfless person in town.

So, sure, don’t be BFFs with them if you can’t stand them, but be patient towards them. We all have our flaws and being self-absorbed is actually not the worst trait a person can have.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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