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The degree to which one is selfish is an inherent characteristic that cannot be altered

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I'm a pretty selfish person. It took me a while to come to terms with it due to the negative connotations the word has but recently it's something that I've accepted to be a part of my self-identity.

It's not a positive thing to have in the realm of social relationships but I do think it has beneficial effects in more technical and introverted fields, if you will.

Having said that, there are times when I am rebuked for my almost total disregard for the other party and in certain situations where I do (I think) care for the person, it hurts. It hurts because I don't want to hurt the person but inadvertently do so due to not being able to perceive their point of view, at that moment at least.

And this isn't something new that I have developed either but have heard stories about this sort of selfishness displayed since I was a very young kid, say of age 2 or so.

And I wonder if it's possible to change at all given how I've been trying to do so for the past 6 or 7 years at least since I've come to terms with it.

You don't want to hurt people but because you can only focus very narrowly on one singular thing, you end up missing their perspective entirely.

In case anyone jumps in with this: I'm not on the autistic spectrum either, I think or if I am it's to a mild extent that any random technically inclined person might be. I think it's something else here. I am able to focus very narrowly on one single thing, ignoring all other distractions. It's great for work but bad for social relationships. So you see, it's not that I don't understand later on that what I did was selfish, it's that at that point in time I'm so consumed by this singular point of view that nothing else really matters.

This is turning out to be more of a personal rant than anything else. So yes, what are your thoughts? Can one change this nature and if so how to go about it and if not, then how does one learn to live with other people without hurting them too much or getting people to like them in the first place?
 

Hadoblado

think again losers
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People do all the time. That doesn't mean you can.

Childhood is almost necessarily a state of selfishness. Adulthood and the responsibility that comes with it usually means an adjustment.

Also, a lot of the time when people are acting selfish it just means they've got other shit going on. If you're unable to see other people's view in the moment, but later think about it and realise how your actions affected them (and you care), then I'd argue you're not that selfish, there's something else that's making you act this way in the moment.

I personally move from high caring to low caring and back with regularity . If I'm anxious or depressed I don't care whats going on for you I'm struggling just to function. I give what I can freely, but if people demand more than I feel I'm capable of extending at the time they can take it from my cold dead hands.
 

higs

Omg wow imo
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You don't sound too selfish to me. I mean, everyone is a bit etc. but selfish people don't really notice their behavior is selfish, and don't characterize it as such, because they don't assign negative value to their behavior and 'selfish' is a term loaded with negative value.

I guess maybe an example would help me better understand what you mean ? It doesn't have to be a real thing that happened if you're uncomfortable with sharing, even an imaginary situation that resembles this "selfish" behavior you identify.
 

Adaire

Dreadful as the Storm
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@higs
There are willfully and consciously selfish people. Some aren't conscious of it all the time, but have flashes or periods of self awareness and others are fully aware. The latter is usually narcissistic or abusive to some degree.
 

Serac

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Selfishness as it manifests in your life is about principles and ethics, not psychology. Everyone is born selfish to various degrees, but we have the option to base our actions on other things than pure instict and emotion.
 

Cognisant

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I tend to see selfishness as a motivation for altruism, like if there's a friend of mine with whom I don't have a history of exchanging gifts (birthdays, xmas, etc) my motivation for giving them a gift on such an occasion is my desire to reinforce my friendship with them. Or I might do something that benefits someone indirectly like proof-reading a resume because if they get a better job that benefits them and them being part of my life means it indirectly benefits me.

It's hard to think of a situation where being selfish to the detriment of others actually pays off, unless it's a zero sum game in which case I don't consider it selfish as I believe I'm entitled to put my interests first in such circumstances.

If I'm in a relationship with someone who is attractive but not 10/10 and my circumstances radically change, say I win the lottery so I can quit my job and spend hours in the gym every day which means I'm now rich and I've got a Hugh Jackman as Wolverine body, would I be faithful to them? After much consideration if the relationship is intellectually stimulating I probably wouldn't, that's rare and attractive people are common, only if my physical needs weren't being satisfied at all would I consider risking it.
 

Serac

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If were to get the Hugh Jackman body, I would spit in every 7/10's face!
 

Cognisant

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After much consideration if the relationship is intellectually stimulating I probably wouldn't, that's rare and attractive people are common, only if my physical needs weren't being satisfied at all would I consider risking it.
Haha I should have proof-read that, change "wouldn't" to "would" and it makes sense.
 

Pizzabeak

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You don't sound too selfish to me. I mean, everyone is a bit etc. but selfish people don't really notice their behavior is selfish, and don't characterize it as such, because they don't assign negative value to their behavior and 'selfish' is a term loaded with negative value.

I guess maybe an example would help me better understand what you mean ? It doesn't have to be a real thing that happened if you're uncomfortable with sharing, even an imaginary situation that resembles this "selfish" behavior you identify.
No, some people can’t perform multi step thinking (“critical thinking”), didn’t go to school, so don’t know what plagiarism is and why it’s bad. They were not enrolled in classes and thus were not forced to write essays and papers for a grade, so that must be why people demand as much information in text as posts as possible. You don’t get that much for it so people are mad, and want to bridge concepts so it doesn’t seem as worse. So it’s not selfishness as much as it is opportunism, meaning one is the topic for further exploration. It can be guised under empathy or social interaction, when it’s all just “Lord of the Flies” techniques for subliminal survival in surreptitious warfare, out of mostly insecurity and to seemingly level out the playing field so it’s even.
 

higs

Omg wow imo
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You don't sound too selfish to me. I mean, everyone is a bit etc. but selfish people don't really notice their behavior is selfish, and don't characterize it as such, because they don't assign negative value to their behavior and 'selfish' is a term loaded with negative value.

I guess maybe an example would help me better understand what you mean ? It doesn't have to be a real thing that happened if you're uncomfortable with sharing, even an imaginary situation that resembles this "selfish" behavior you identify.
No, some people can’t perform multi step thinking (“critical thinking”), didn’t go to school, so don’t know what plagiarism is and why it’s bad. They were not enrolled in classes and thus were not forced to write essays and papers for a grade, so that must be why people demand as much information in text as posts as possible. You don’t get that much for it so people are mad, and want to bridge concepts so it doesn’t seem as worse. So it’s not selfishness as much as it is opportunism, meaning one is the topic for further exploration. It can be guised under empathy or social interaction, when it’s all just “Lord of the Flies” techniques for subliminal survival in surreptitious warfare, out of mostly insecurity and to seemingly level out the playing field so it’s even.
Pizzabeak, I don't understand what you're talking about and you seem off topic ?
 

QuickTwist

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I think the propensity for selfishness can change depending on circumstances.

My brother has told me several times that I am a selfish argumentative person. That's his perspective of me and it's quite difficult to change but I find if I focus on trying to be there for him when he needs me, I do better at this.

And, as stated, a lot of our selfish behaviors are ingrained into us since we are young. Not saying its all up to parenting, but I'm not saying its all personality either. For example, I don't really consider myself selfish because I generally care for others well being. That said, my brother thinks I am very argumentative. As an example of this, on special occasions, my dad set up a routine where we all honor that person and say kind things about them. Well, I just had my B-Day and my brother said as a kinda sorta compliment (I don't see it as a complement, but I understand his perspective) in that he said I was, "very good at picking apart arguments." Now, you might think, "Yeah, if your brother tells you that on your B-Day, you are probably pretty argumentative." Well, here's the thing... My brother is an ISTJ and very strong in all dimensions except maybe Introversion. Anyways, I am an NiFi Dom so I am always trying to get him to see an alternate perspective since I generally see his thinking as very black and white. So my motivation is coming from a good place because I want him to grow as a person, but he doesn't see it the same way I do. That's an example of how I am perceived as being selfish.

So now the goal for me with my brother is to just simply try and listen to him more and not try and get him to see anything because that's not what he wants even though I am trying to do what is good for him.
 

washti

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in public eye you are always selfish when you don't dilute your personality during idiotic social rituals.
If were to get the Hugh Jackman body, I would spit in every 7/10's face!
even concrete turns into tightes vagines under his spit. pussy pavements man.
 

Minuend

pat pat
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The degree to whether you think the degree to which one is selfish is an inherent characteristic that cannot be altered determines to what degree your selfishness can not be altered
 

lightfire

._.
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im going to have to draw that out to enter into my brain map
 

ZenRaiden

One atom of me
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Every psychologist worth a penny will tell you that introspection is dead end. You can think about stuff all day and nothing will change. Its really not a matter of what you think its a matter of what you are like. It will always be like that. People should stop introspecting. They should work on developing themselves. Which in it self is kind of selfish. But you really cant give much if you got nothing anyway. As much as people like to think they arent selfish many cannot sacrifice much since they got nothing to give.

All this social anxiety is triggered with social expectations, but society is a jungle. Its not a system. Its a kind of game where you either play by the rules and yet you can make your rules just as well and on top of that everybody else is making rules. Its chaos. Religion is just a certain obsessive attempt to put a stamp on it all and give people a unified compass on everything.

In the end your mind will never give a single damn about stuff if it has no inclination about it.

The best a person can do is accept his or her own motivations and essential priorities and work on them. Thats where you are rooted in and thats where you draw all the energy from.
 
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