Nobody wants to be labeled as selfish, but if you were, how would you know? Our opinions of ourselves are (obviously) pretty biased. If you are guilty of selfishness, the signs that you are selfish may be hidden in plain sight.
But, wait! Before you rush off and demand a character evaluation from your nearest and dearest—first, you might want to check out these 10 telltale clues and signs that you are selfish.
1. People Are Always Nagging You
Ugh, people are annoying, right?! They are always asking you to do things. Clean this, tidy that, help with this, put that away, buy this, remember that.
Well, as it turns out, being nagged is often a warning sign that you are a selfish person. When your loved ones ask you to do things to help them, perhaps it's time to think about why they need to ask you. Why are you not helping out in the first place?
Next time you are being nagged, take a moment to be mindful. Could this be one of the signs that you are selfish?
2. You Do Not Clean Up After Yourself
By not cleaning up your own mess, you send a loud and clear message to other people. That message goes something like this: "I think you should clean up my mess for me," or, "I don't have any respect for this environment or anyone in it." Both sentiments are incredibly selfish.
Whether at home, at work, in someone else's house, or a public place—it's a basic sign of respect and maturity to clean up behind yourself. Otherwise, you will quickly find yourself alienating and, quite frankly, disgusting people.
Being unclean may be one of the most obvious signs that you are selfish.
3. You Whine About Everything
The third clue on our list of signs that you are selfish is concerned with your whinging habits.
Do your friends often roll their eyes at you? Do you find yourself spending most of the cocktail night complaining about your week, your boss, your partner, the service, that rude man in the grocery store, the slow driver on your way here?
Okay, we all have bad days. Sometimes we have bad weeks, too, and that is fine. We all deserve to get things off our chest, and who is better to do that with than your buddies? However, if you find complaining to be a regular feature of your conversations, beware: it could be a sign of selfishness.
Constant complaining is a symptom of self-centeredness. If you whine about everything and everyone else, it shows that you expect things always to go your way. It's time to realize that the world does not revolve around you and let go of that entitlement.
This is one of the signs that you are selfish that is easy enough to spot. Next time you're being wined and dined by your beau, or you are catching up with a friend, just listen to how vocal you are about the insignificant negative things in life. We all know someone who does it. If you don't have that friend... well, then, it is probably you.
4. You Rarely Say Sorry
If you have been accused of not saying sorry when perhaps you should have, this may be one of the glaring signs that you are selfish. In a similar vein, if you don't say sorry because you don't ever feel you need to apologize, you may be an egotistical person.
Always thinking that you are right is a dangerous state of mind to be in. Feelings of superiority and other narcissistic personality traits should not be left untreated. You can end up causing serious trauma to those around you.
Take a step back and give it some thought. When did you last give a heartfelt apology? Perhaps you never do anything wrong. Or, maybe, it is just another of the signs that you are selfish.
5. You Do Not Compromise
The fifth of our signs that you are selfish could easily be hidden under the guise of being "decisive." On the contrary, decisiveness and your acceptance to meet people in the middle are two very different characteristics.
An intrinsic part of being unselfish is, sometimes, doing things that you do not want to do. Compromising does not have to be some grand gesture. Your ability to compromise includes the little things, like choosing which movie to watch or where to go for dinner.
If you refuse to budge, despite pleas from others in your group, then you could very well be a selfish person. Standing up for what you want should not be at the expense of other people, especially those you are close to.
If you are looking for signs that you are selfish, being unnecessarily stubborn is one to watch out for.
6. You Get Upset When Things Do Not Go Your Way
Have you ever been accused of having a tantrum despite being a fully grown adult? Uh oh. Chances are, this is one of those signs that you are selfish.
The world is a complex place, and everyone in it acts according to their individual motivations. Although it is normal to want to exert a certain amount of control over what happens in your life, wanting to control every element is unrealistic—and selfish.
Sometimes we must accept that things do not go our way. Learn to remove those feelings of self-importance and when life throws a curveball, try not to throw your toys out of the pram. This is a wailing alarm to everyone around you of the various signs that you are selfish.
7. The People Around You Are Often Upset Or Embarrased
How often have you seen your significant other crying? Is it usually because you have done or said something to upset them? Even if you think it was not your fault or that they are overly sensitive, you should take a moment to consider how responsible you are.
Likewise, when you are out and about, do people often ask you not to behave in a certain way for fear of embarrassment? This could be a sign that your words and actions cause distress to other people. Acting without caring about the consequences is a typical example of selfish behavior.
Keeping an eye out for signs that you are selfish doesn't only involve introspection. Take more notice of those around you, too. Try to understand why they respond to you in a particular way, and listen to what feedback they give you. These could be valuable hints concerning your level of selfishness.
8. You Are Stingy
As we near the end of our list of signs that you are selfish, do not be fooled into thinking number 8 is any less relevant than number 1. Being ungiving is a trait that doesn't look good from any angle.
Being stingy is not just about being tight with money. Sharing, in general, is an essential element of a well-functioning human society.
Think about it: how many favors do you do for other people? Do you often lend people things, pay for your fair share, offer people a ride? And when you do something for someone, do you expect something in return? If so, try to practice a little altruism. Do something kind for the sake of kindness, without wanting to receive anything back. If that's hard for you, unfortunately, you are probably selfish.
Of all of the signs that you are selfish, this one is easy to remember. Sharing is caring!
9. You Never Return The Shopping Cart
The Shopping Cart Theory is a simple yet effective argument, often referred to as the litmus test for being a decent human being. It states that the task of returning a shopping cart to the corral is something that we all recognize as the "right" and most appropriate thing to do. However, not returning the cart is not a crime: it is totally legal.
You will not get in trouble for not returning the cart, nor will anyone find you. But you also don't stand to gain anything from doing it. You must do it out of the goodness of your own heart.
Interestingly, there are varying degrees of selfishness that the test can determine. For example, if you rocket-launch the cart into the corral (although not 'properly' or neatly), you still get points for bringing it that far. It seems that the general consensus is that the worst kind of people on the planet is the ones who throw shopping carts into rivers, ponds, or other bodies of water. That gets you right to the top of the A-hole scale and some seriously bad karma.
Of course, there are exceptions when it comes to returning the cart to its rightful place. For example, those with disabilities for whom returning the cart would be difficult cannot be held to the same standards. These signs that you are selfish are not applicable to every situation.
Generally, though, the test stands. So go ahead and ask yourself: how often do you return the shopping cart? The answer may be quite enlightening.
10. You Find Teamwork Difficult And See Yourself More As A Leader
Working as part of a team means that you need to relinquish some control and accept the validity of other people's ideas. If you are a selfish person, you will find that process hard.
If being open-minded and collaborating with others is a struggle for you, this could be cause for alarm.
However, this is one of the signs that you are selfish that should be taken with a pinch of salt. Just because you are an introvert or prefer to work independently does not mean you are self-centered (it could, though).
Do you find yourself unable to listen to your team's ideas, convinced that your own is always better? Have you assigned yourself the leadership role and discounted other people's opinions as irrelevant? Take a good long look in the mirror and consider whether you have been unaware and acting selfishly.