Selfishness: The ultimate character flaw

If there's one trait that blemishes a person's character like no other, it would arguably be selfishness.

I come across people every day -- at work, in the gym, at the grocery store -- who exude a palpable air of selfishness. You can just tell they put themselves before everyone else; they're constantly looking out for their best interest, even if they have to step on others' toes or rip them apart in the process. I'm sure you've met many a person who falls under this category.

Here are a few words that typically describe selfish people:

  • Manipulative
  • Scheming
  • Opportunistic
  • Calculating
  • Insensitive
  • Self-centered
  • Self-absorbed
  • Greedy
  • Contemptuous 
  • Difficult
  • Egotistical
  • Stubborn 
  • Dishonest
Selfish people can be quite unpleasant to be around, especially when they can't manipulate you to get their way.

They also tend to be quite unreliable, expecting you to be at their beck and call but refusing to be there for you when you need them. 

While many of us want to do everything we can to be nice to and help others, we need to remain vigilant of selfish people, who will stop at nothing to exploit our generosity for personal gain.

It's true we can all be a tad selfish at times -- it's only human nature. But some people take selfishness to a whole new level: they make it a hallmark of their personality. Thinking about anyone else but -- or before -- themselves is out of the question. Their ultimate goal is to capitalize on every and any situation to benefit themselves. 

Ultimately, these individuals end up sabotaging relationships with those around them. Some of the most selfish people I've met tend to be divorced, bitter, and with a small circle of friends to boot. 

As I've often stated on this blog, what comes around goes around. Karma spares no one. One's behavior toward those around them doesn't go unnoticed. 

If you make a habit of disrespecting people, of never lending a hand when it's needed, of putting yourself first at all costs -- people will not hold you in high esteem. 

The key is to balance your personal needs and wants with those of the people around you. You don't want to say "yes" to everything, but you don't want to say "no" all the time either, as that will quickly paint you as a self-centered individual. In other words, neither extreme is good. 

The Golden Rule or law of reciprocity -- treat others as you would want to be treated yourself -- should be the guiding principle we all live by. 

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