How to Address Self-Centered People


People of character treat people with respect and dignity. They look to influence people by making a significant difference in the lives of others.  However, a self-centered person is unresponsive to the interests and needs of others around them.

You can find such people in your home, the workplace, or the community. They only perceive the world as revolving around them. In stead of putting the interest of others first, (which is a key factor in both personal and business success), self-centered people possess many characteristics. For example, they:

Characteristics of the Self-centered

  • Thinks and talks only about themselves
  • Perceive a world centered around them
  • Desire to be first in everything
  • Ignores your needs and interest
  • Unresponsive to your conversations
  • Unable to empathize with others
  • Go overboard to get attention
  • Believe the world cannot function without them

Self-centered people are annoying. If you have no personal or professional relationship with them, then you can simply avoid or ignore them. However, if you must deal with such person every day, you need to confront them for the sake of peace and happiness.


For example, if the self-centered person is a co-worker or an employee, then you must be determined to address the behavior.

The Approach

First, discover what you need to say. Write it down on paper, organized. Writing it down helps you to stay focus on the message you desire to convey to the annoying individual.

Open a communication channel. Tell him or her you need to talk.  If you are an employer, establish a time to meet with the individual and stick to it.

Express your concern to the individual and explain how it is impacting the workplace in terms of morale, productivity, and relational quality. Introduce consequences for unchanged behavior.

Listen to what the individual has to say. Don’t stop the annoying person until he or she is finished. You may be able to detect some underlying problem the person may be dealing with. Recommend help if necessary.

Once the meeting is over. Disconnect and observe the outcome over several days to see if the behavior changes and the complaints stop. If conditions improve, then you have effectively influenced, and perhaps changed the individual for the better.

Preventing Self-Centered Behavior

The best way to prevent the tendency of a self-centered person, especially on a team, is to set togetherness rules and emphasize a team spirit. Drill this concept into the hearts and minds of the individual until there is no doubt what behavior is expected by all.

Self-centered people must be confronted if any change in the relationship is going to occur. Ignoring it may not be enough unless you can get far away from the individual. Otherwise, you must take responsibility and muster the courage to confront the problem.




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