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What is a person called who only thinks of themselves?

A person who only thinks of themselves and their own interests is typically called selfish or self-centered. These people tend to put their own desires, needs, and wants above those of others. They are often inconsiderate of how their actions may impact or hurt other people. There are several other terms that can be used to describe someone who is completely self-focused.


The most common term used is “selfish.” This refers to someone who is concerned chiefly or only with their own advantage, pleasure, or welfare without regard for others. A selfish person tends to think “I come first” in all situations. They put their own wishes and interests ahead of the needs, feelings, or well-being of others. Here are some examples of selfish behavior:

  • Taking the last slice of pizza without asking if anyone else wants it
  • Never offering friends a ride but expecting them to drive you places
  • Talking only about yourself and your life without showing interest in others
  • Always being late because your time is more valuable
  • Booking a vacation without asking your spouse’s opinion

These types of self-centered actions indicate that the person is mainly looking out for number one – themselves. They don’t stop to consider how their behavior might inconvenience or upset other people.


“Self-centered” is another common term with a similar meaning to selfish. A self-centered person is focused only on their own interests, needs, and wishes. They behave in a way that indicates the world revolves around them. Self-centered people tend to be conceited, egotistical, and inconsiderate of others. Here are some hallmark traits of self-centeredness:

  • Believing you are more important than other people
  • Turning every conversation back to yourself
  • Being unable to empathize with other people’s feelings
  • Feeling like rules don’t apply to you
  • Having little interest in learning about others
  • Disregarding others’ opinions or input

A self-centered person essentially believes “It’s all about me.” They are so focused on themselves that they don’t recognize or care about the needs of people around them. Their words and actions clearly communicate that they are the most important person.


“Egocentric” is a term very similar to self-centered. It means thinking only of yourself, your interests and needs, with little consideration for others. An egocentric person regards themselves and their own concerns as the most important thing in any situation. Their mission in life is to satisfy their own desires. Some key characteristics of egocentric people include:

  • Putting their own feelings, interests, and opinions first
  • Unable to view situations from other people’s perspectives
  • Overestimation of their own abilities or talents
  • Exaggeration of their own problems or difficulties
  • Viewing themselves as exceptional and entitled to special treatment

An egocentric person essentially has an inflated sense of self-importance. Their motto in life is “It’s all about me!” They are so focused on themselves that they are unable to consider how their self-serving actions may negatively impact others.


Taking self-centeredness to the extreme results in narcissistic behavior. A narcissist is someone with an excessive interest in or admiration for themselves. Their sense of self-importance and entitlement is taken to an unrealistic level. Narcissists exhibit selfishness on steroids. Here are some key narcissistic traits:

  • Excessive need for admiration and validation
  • Exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • Strong sense of entitlement and expectation of special treatment
  • Preoccupation with fantasies of success, power, and attractiveness
  • Exploitation of others for personal gain
  • Lack of empathy for others’ needs and feelings

A narcissist’s extreme selfishness means they feel superior to others. They believe they are so special that they can do and take whatever they want without regard for how it affects other people. Their grandiose view of themselves leads them to feel entitled to have their needs met above all others.


“Inconsiderate” is another term that applies to those who think only of themselves. Inconsiderate people lack thoughtfulness and awareness for how their behavior impacts others. An inconsiderate person is:

  • Disrespectful of others’ time, feelings, or property
  • Rude through action or lack of action
  • Self-absorbed and unaware of how their behavior affects people
  • Oblivious or indifferent to others’ needs or preferences

Inconsiderate people behave in thoughtless ways without any regard for courtesy or kindness. Their self-absorption prevents them from recognizing how their actions inconvenience or hurt other people.


If someone is described as “self-serving,” it means they are working to further their own interests often with little consideration for others. A self-serving person aims to benefit themselves, sometimes at the expense of others. Their actions are directed at personal gain. Some examples include:

  • Taking credit for others’ achievements
  • Blaming mistakes or failures on someone else
  • Sabotaging a coworker’s project to make themselves look better
  • Gossiping to advance their social standing

A self-serving person is willing to step on others in order to promote their own welfare and success. Their priority is “looking out for number one” even if it requires unethical behavior.


An “egotistical” person has an inflated sense of self-importance. They possess excessive pride in themselves and feel a strong sense of superiority over others. Key traits of egotistical people include:

  • Boastfulness or bragging about achievements
  • Feeling they deserve special treatment or privileges
  • Monopolizing conversations by only talking about themselves
  • Expecting constant praise and admiration
  • Unable to handle criticism or being wrong

An egotistical person’s excessive self-interest means they feel entitled to special attention and accolades. They are so focused on pumping up their own ego that they don’t stop to consider others’ perspectives or needs.


A “self-absorbed” person is wholly engaged in their own affairs, interests, feelings, and sensations. They are excessively focused on themselves and lack interest in external matters. Typical self-absorbed behavior includes:

  • Monopolizing conversations by only talking about yourself
  • Being unable to empathize with others’ problems
  • Believing your own problems are more important than anyone else’s
  • Thinking rules or etiquette don’t apply to you
  • Forgetting to do things you promised for others

A self-absorbed person is trapped in their own all-consuming inner world. Their excessive self-focus prevents them from recognizing or caring how their self-centered behavior impacts the people around them.

In summary…

There are many terms that can describe someone who thinks only of themselves – selfish, self-centered, egocentric, narcissistic, inconsiderate, self-serving, egotistical, and self-absorbed. While these labels have slightly different connotations, they all refer to people who constantly put their own needs, interests, and priorities first without regard for others.

Thinking primarily of yourself occasionally or in certain situations is normal human behavior. But consistently exhibiting selfishness and lack of concern for others reveals a deeper self-absorption that often stems from underlying emotional needs or desires not being met. In severe cases, extreme selfishness may signal a personality disorder that impairs relationships and causes distress.

The antidote to over-the-top self-focus is cultivating greater self-awareness, empathy, compassion, generosity, and consideration of others’ needs. Maintaining perspective on how your actions impact people outside yourself creates meaningful connections and fosters community.

Common Selfish Behaviors

Behavior Description
Taking without giving Benefitting from others without reciprocating
Attention-seeking Monopolizing conversations, showing off, constantly needing validation
Lack of consideration Disregard for others’ time, feelings, needs, preferences
Lack of generosity Unwillingness to share material possessions, time, credit
Lack of gratitude Failing to appreciate help and kindness from others
Lack of accountability Blaming others for mistakes, taking undue credit
Sense of entitlement Expecting special privileges and exceptions
Lack of empathy Inability to understand others’ perspectives or feelings

Why People Behave Selfishly

There are various reasons why an individual might develop selfish behaviors and self-centered tendencies:

  • Insecurity – Those with low self-esteem may act selfishly to overcompensate
  • Past trauma – Painful life events can cause people to put up walls
  • Learned behavior – Growing up around selfish role models normalize egocentric thinking
  • Personality disorders – Narcissistic, antisocial PDs are linked to extreme selfishness
  • Lack of accountability – People who never experience consequences continue acting self-centered
  • Cultural values – Cultures that prize individualism can foster self-focus
  • Lack of perspective – Some people lack exposure to how their actions impact others

In many cases, selfish tendencies arise from psychological and emotional factors. But with self-awareness, counseling, role models, and a change in mindset, people can learn to transcend self-absorption.

Signs of a Selfish Partner

Self-centered behaviors can strain romantic relationships. Here are signs your partner may be too selfish:

  • They frequently forget dates, events, and promises that are important to you
  • Conversations revolve around their job, hobbies, and life happenings
  • They expect you to accommodate their schedule but rarely compromise for you
  • They blame circumstances or other people when they let you down
  • Your feelings and needs play second fiddle to theirs
  • They take advantage of your kindness and generosity
  • They become annoyed if you ask for support, but expect you to support them

Partners who consistently ignore your wants, needs, and feelings in favor of their own require direct conversations to reset the balance and expectations of give-and-take.

Dealing with Selfish People

It’s frustrating when you must deal with inconsiderate and self-absorbed people. Here are tips for handling selfish behaviors from others:

  • Communicate your needs clearly and set firm boundaries
  • Don’t enable entitled behavior by continually giving in
  • Provide candid feedback when their actions affect you negatively
  • Avoid expecting or hoping they will notice how their behavior impacts you
  • Reduce contact when possible if the relationship feels one-sided
  • Have empathy that selfish people are often unhappy deep down
  • Focus on those in your life who are caring, supportive and giving

You may need to reset expectations and limit contact with consistently selfish people. Reduce the power their self-centeredness has over you by filling your life with generous, loving friends and family.


Thinking only of yourself and your needs, while disregarding how your behavior affects other people, leads to unhealthy relationships and isolation. Occasional self-focus is normal, but consistent self-centeredness reveals emotional deficiencies and immaturity. With self-awareness and conscious effort, we can catch ourselves when selfish instincts arise and redirect our thoughts to consider others’ feelings and needs as equally valid as our own.