17 Little Things That Indicate to Others You May Be a Selfish Person

Have you ever wondered if you’re selfish? How do others perceive your listening skills, empathy, compassion, and grace? Here are some common indications of selfish people. Do you demonstrate them?

1. You Hold One-Sided Conversations

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Conversations don’t feel like conversations when speaking to a selfish person. It’s a one-sided conversation that the person not holding it entertains but finds highly selfish. It is a common occurrence with trauma dumpers, people who unload all their trauma without any reciprocation for the person they dumped on.

2. You Don’t Reciprocate

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Reciprocation isn’t reserved for trauma dumping. Are you eager to accept favors from others but slow to return any? Yes, you don’t give to receive, but reciprocation is healthy.

It doesn’t make you a terrible person to expect reciprocation in a relationship with someone else, be it romantic or platonic. Healthy relationships are give and take. It’s not an entitlement to expect kindness if you extend it. If you’re the only one giving, you’re being taken advantage of; if you’re only taking, you’re selfish.

3. You Can Never be Wrong

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Do you feel the need to always be right? It is a clear sign of selfishness when you are incapable of shouldering any responsibility. Selfish people can’t recognize their mistakes. Therefore, they are never the problem.

4. You Have a Habit of One-Upping

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One-uppers are masterful at turning all attention back on themselves by inserting their better or worse stories into the middle of other people’s stories. Some people are indeed attempting to relate to the storyteller. However, there’s a fine line between trying to be relatable and drawing the attention back onto yourself.

5. You Always Talk About Yourself

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Do you have a bad habit of always talking about yourself? I did in my youth, and I can tell you it was selfish. It also got me into a lot of trouble. You never know who is around you, observing the ways they can manipulate you. Learning to talk less and listen more took me far too long, but it’s a welcomed change from the selfishness before.

6. You Don’t Bring Food to the Potluck

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Selfish people bring nothing to the potluck but are first in line. What’s worse? They brought Tupperware containers to the potluck to bring home leftovers. Don’t be that person.

7. You Don’t Return Your Shopping Cart

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Do you have the bare minimum decency of returning the shopping cart, or do you leave it pushed up on curbs and empty parking spots for the next guy? It is such a small thing, but it tells you if a person thinks small things that affect other people matter.

8. You Don’t Use Headphones in Public Spaces

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Do you have the common sense of understanding that everyone around you is not interested in hearing your phone conversations, music, or TikToks? Thank you for wearing headphones! If you are one of those folks who stroll around with your phone loudly playing, oblivious to all the other people around you, you’re the epitome of selfishness.

9. You Are Rude to People Working in Customer Service

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This one resonates with me as someone who worked in food service for years. If you treat people in customer service like garbage, you’re indeed a selfish human being. Unfortunately, several retail and food workers are accosted daily. Typically, for things outside of their control.

10. You Are Unaware or Feel No Remorse When You Hurt Others

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Another typical sign of selfishness is a lack of remorse when you hurt or offend others. Additionally, if someone wants to talk about things you’ve done to them and you somehow flip it around so they are apologizing for how they made you feel, calling you out on your nonsense, that’s not okay.

11. You Never Take Accountability

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Are you someone who always plays the victim card? Often, people like this only place themselves in the victim’s seat by ignoring all the effort or cost other people have to endure and only focus on what they go through themselves.

Do you turn every minor transgression into a public display of how bad others are and/or how horrible your personal life is? Selfish people view anything they do wrong to others as stemming from some horrific thing they can’t control. They refuse to take any accountability.

12. You Never Apologize

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Do you tend to withhold issuing any heartfelt apologies? If you don’t apologize to people, it’s time to take a good, hard look in the mirror. That’s selfishness 101 and coincides again with never taking any accountability.

13. You Use the Phrase “I’m Just Telling like It Is”

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Selfish people have a bluntness about them that they sometimes dismiss as “Just telling it like it is.” The problem is that it’s a way to dismiss hurtful and rude behavior. These people often state their opinions as indisputable facts that others must agree with.

14. You Use the Phrase “That’s Just How I Am”

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Another way selfish people dismiss taking accountability for poor behavior is to regard it as: “That’s just how I am.” Do you act as if your behavioral flaws are forces of nature that can’t be changed, regardless of how others are affected by them? Then, you might be a selfish person.

15. You Use the Phrase “No Offense But”

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If you find yourself saying, “No offense, but” it’s almost guaranteed the following words out of your mouth will be offensive. Hence the need to attempt dismissal before saying it.

It demonstrates that your validation is so important that you will say whatever you want and feel entitled to choose how others think and feel about it.

16. You Litter

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Are you a litterbug? Exactly, what are you thinking? Is someone else responsible for coming behind you and picking up your trash? If you litter, that’s precisely what your behavior is saying. There are garbage cans everywhere. Stop it!

And if you’re someone who takes entire bags of garbage to toss on the highway, you’re disgusting. I’m looking at you, Baltimore-Washington Parkway drivers.

17. You Are a Control Freak

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Are you a control freak? Selfish people are typically very picky control freaks because they always want things to be or go their way. Everything has to go as planned, according to them and their ideas.



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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and Jesus.