Are You Self Focused Or Self Centred?

giifuhxuhpa-iswanto-arifWe may have heard of criticisms about people or from other people about you being self centred. This seems to be negative in nature, and people are saying you are selfish, vain or too involved with yourself .

There’s another type of behaviour which I personally define as ‘self focused’. This is not a criticism, but really an observation of the kind of people who are almost self centred, but they are not vain or selfish in any way. In fact, they can be quite generous people. But their challenge is they are too self focused. Too focused on their own problems, too focused on their own well being, too focused on everything about themselves, that they are not even able to see that the person next to them may be dying. (ok i’m being dramatic here..)
So if you have received this sort of criticisms from others, or if you have criticized someone for being too self centred, this is an article for you….People who are too self focused get very absorbed in their own problems. And sometimes they expect others to see and view the world through their perspective and can get angry or upset if they think others do not see it. Self focused people are also quite limited in their perspective of things around them, and they do not realize it, which makes matters worse when someone tries to point out to them about the limitations.
Self focused people because of their absorption with their problems, tend to get upset and depressed quite easily simply because they are too wrapped up in their problems and are thus in pain.

A lot of the times, they may take longer than most people to see the reality of the situation, and when they eventually do, they are very happy about it and perhaps other people may say to them, I told you so. But because they are quite happy with their new found perspective, they are not bugged by other people’s ‘i told you so’ comments. And they may in fact laugh about it.

Now, if you know any self focused people (you might want to share this article with them subtly) or if you think you are a self focused person, how then do you deal with this to make life a little more interesting and perhaps lighter?

Here are some tips:

  1. Be open and think of the possibility that you might be too self involved that you are excluding other people in your life, including their perspective which could be more accurate than how you are perceiving it.
  2. Taking into account that there is more to life than your own problems, or your own perspective of life, see how you can be of better service to others, through little gestures eg, helping an old neighbor buy their grocery.
  3. Think about other people’s good qualities and see how you can compliment them rather than expecting others to compliment you all the time. Do this especially for people who are always nice and good to you, who never fail to lift you up whenever you are down.
  4. Commit to an unselfish act a day, no matter how small, it will make a difference to your perspective and take you out of your self focused mode.
Shamala Tan 2013