People who are self-centered and lack empathy usually display these 8 behaviors

There’s a fine line between being confident and being self-centered. And it can be quite tricky to recognize the difference, especially when empathy is missing from the equation.

Being self-centered means that a person’s world revolves around themselves, often ignoring others’ feelings and needs.

On the other hand, lacking empathy means they struggle to understand or share the feelings of others.

And guess what? People who are self-centered and lack empathy frequently exhibit certain behaviors that give them away.

Let’s dive into these 9 behaviors typically displayed by those who are self-centered and lack empathy. 

1) Lack of interest in others

Being self-centered means that your world primarily revolves around you. This often translates into a noticeable lack of interest in other people’s lives, feelings, and experiences.

People who are self-centered tend to dominate conversations, making it about their achievements, their problems, and their interests. They seldom show a genuine interest in what others are going through.

On the flip side, empathy requires an understanding and sharing of other people’s feelings. A lack of empathy means they struggle to put themselves in someone else’s shoes, making it hard for them to relate to others on a deeper level.

So if you find someone consistently turning the conversation back to themselves and showing little interest in your feelings or experiences, it could be a sign of self-centeredness and a lack of empathy..

2) Lack of empathy towards others’ feelings

For someone lacking empathy, understanding and sharing the feelings of others can be a real challenge. This inability to feel for others can manifest in various ways, including dismissive attitudes or indifference to others’ emotions.

Interestingly, a study found that people who display narcissistic tendencies – often associated with being self-centered – are less likely to use empathetic reasoning.

In other words, when someone else is experiencing a feeling, they struggle to understand and share that emotion. This disconnect can make it difficult for them to form genuine, deep relationships with others.

It’s not that they don’t want to connect; they just may not understand how to.

3) Frequent interruptions in conversations

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone who constantly interrupts you? It can feel like they’re not really listening to what you’re saying, can’t it? This is another behavior often displayed by self-centered individuals.

Rather than actively listening and responding thoughtfully to what you’re saying, they may be more interested in getting their own point across. This can be particularly evident in group discussions where they may cut others off mid-sentence to steer the conversation back to themselves.

This lack of conversational etiquette not only reflects their self-centeredness but also shows a disregard for others’ thoughts and feelings – a classic sign of lacking empathy.

4) A strong sense of entitlement

A strong sense of entitlement is another common trait among those who are self-centered and lack empathy. They often believe they deserve special treatment and have a right to certain things without earning them.

Whether it’s expecting special favors, disregarding rules that others must follow, or assuming that others should automatically meet their needs, this sense of entitlement can be quite evident. It’s as if the world should revolve around them, and their needs and desires should always come first.

This behavior doesn’t leave much room for understanding or considering the needs and feelings of others, further highlighting their lack of empathy.

5) Difficulty in forming meaningful relationships

Being self-centered and lacking empathy can be a real hurdle when it comes to forming meaningful, lasting relationships. It’s difficult to create a deep bond with someone who seems more interested in themselves than in you.

When the focus is always on their needs, their desires, their stories, it leaves little room for you to feel seen, heard, and valued in the relationship. Over time, this can lead to feelings of disconnect and loneliness, even when you’re together.

Moreover, without empathy, they may struggle to understand your feelings or show genuine care when you’re going through a rough patch. This lack of emotional support can make it challenging to build a strong emotional connection with them.

6) Inability to celebrate others’ successes

There was a time when I had just landed a new job that I was really excited about. It was a big step forward in my career, and naturally, I wanted to share the news with my friends. While most were genuinely happy for me, there was one friend who reacted quite differently.

Instead of sharing in my joy, this friend seemed to downplay my achievement and quickly shifted the conversation back to their own career. It felt as if my success was somehow threatening to them, and they weren’t able to celebrate with me.

This is another behavior often exhibited by self-centered individuals. Their focus is so much on themselves that they struggle to genuinely rejoice in others’ accomplishments. It’s as if every success someone else achieves is a slight against them, highlighting their own perceived inadequacies.

This inability to be happy for others not only affects their relationships but also can leave those around them feeling unsupported and undervalued.

7) Often play the victim

Another behavior often displayed by self-centered individuals is their tendency to play the victim. They have a knack for twisting situations to make themselves appear as the innocent party, often at the expense of others.

When things go wrong, instead of taking responsibility, they are more likely to blame others or external circumstances. This way, they maintain their image and avoid facing the consequences of their actions.

This victim mentality not only absolves them of responsibility but also seeks to gain sympathy and attention from others.

However, this constant need for validation and attention can be draining for those around them and can strain relationships.

8) Lack of genuine apologies

At the heart of every sincere apology is a recognition of the hurt we’ve caused and a desire to make things right. It requires empathy to understand the impact of our actions on others and humility to admit when we’re wrong.

However, for those who are self-centered and lack empathy, offering a genuine apology can be a rare occurrence. Instead, you might encounter apologies that seem hollow or insincere, or they might avoid apologizing altogether.

Remember, an apology isn’t just about saying “I’m sorry.” It’s about acknowledging the hurt, taking responsibility, and demonstrating change. Without these elements, it’s just empty words.

And without genuine apologies, it’s hard to mend fences and build trust in any relationship.

Final thoughts: Empathy is a skill

The complexities of human behavior are indeed fascinating. When it comes to self-centeredness and lack of empathy, it’s crucial to remember that empathy is not a fixed trait; it’s a skill that can be learned and nurtured.

Dealing with self-centered individuals who lack empathy can be challenging. But understanding these behaviors can help us navigate our interactions with them more effectively.

And for those who find themselves exhibiting these behaviors, remember, it’s never too late to cultivate empathy and shift your focus from ‘me’ to ‘we’. It might require conscious effort and patience, but the rewards – deeper connections, strengthened relationships, and personal growth – are truly worth it.

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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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