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What is the name of a person who only thinks of himself?

A person who only thinks of himself can be described as self-centered or egotistical. This type of person tends to put their own interests and desires above those of others. Some key characteristics of a self-centered person include:

  • Lack of empathy – They struggle to understand or relate to other people’s perspectives or feelings.
  • Sense of entitlement – They believe they deserve special treatment and privileges.
  • Arrogance – They have an inflated sense of self-importance.
  • Selfishness – Their decisions are mostly motivated by what benefits them rather than others.
  • Narcissism – They have an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves.

While a small degree of self-interest is normal, extreme self-centeredness can be problematic and hurt relationships. Though the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, being self-centered is not the same thing as being selfish. Selfishness implies knowingly hurting others to benefit oneself, while self-centered people may be so focused on themselves that they are oblivious to harm caused.

Common Names and Terms

There are several common names and terms used to describe a self-centered person:

  • Egotist – Someone concerned mostly with their own self-importance.
  • Narcissist – Someone with an inflated sense of self and a need for constant admiration.
  • Egocentric – Thinking only of oneself; self-centered.
  • Self-absorbed – Preoccupied with one’s own thoughts, feelings, desires.
  • Self-obsessed – Excessively interested in or concerned about oneself.
  • Self-seeking – Doing things for one’s own benefit.
  • Selfish – Lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own profit or pleasure.

While these terms have slightly different connotations, they all refer to someone focused predominantly on their own interests, often at the expense of others.

Potential Causes

There are various potential causes and risk factors that can lead someone to become self-centered, including:

  • Childhood experiences – Being spoiled or over-indulged as a child can instill a sense of entitlement. Having parents who lacked warmth or were neglectful can also drive self-focus.
  • Trauma – Suffering abuse, neglect or other childhood trauma may lead to emotional walls that impair empathy.
  • Insecurity – Deep down, some self-centered people have low self-esteem and use boastfulness or arrogance to mask insecurity.
  • Personality disorders – Egotism and lack of empathy are hallmark traits of narcissistic, antisocial and other personality disorders.
  • Substance abuse – Addictions can fuel self-absorption and neglect of loved ones.
  • Brain differences – Less gray matter in brain regions linked to empathy and emotional regulation correlate with narcissism.

Both nature (biology and genetics) as well as nurture (upbringing and environment) likely combine to determine someone’s level of self-focus.

Potential Problems

While someone who thinks mostly of themselves may not seem outwardly troubled, extreme self-centeredness can take a toll. Potential problems associated with excessive egotism include:

  • Difficulty maintaining healthy relationships – Lack of reciprocation and empathy can strain even close relationships.
  • Prone to interpersonal conflict – Self-centered people’s tendency to disregard others’ needs makes conflict more common.
  • Vulnerable to addiction – Seeking pleasure for oneself makes addictive tendencies more likely.
  • Increased stress and depression – Lack of meaningful connections and fulfillment can lead to emotional distress.
  • Limited professional success – Success in most careers requires working cooperatively with colleagues.
  • Feelings of emptiness – Pursuing self-gain exclusively often leaves people unhappy and unfulfilled.

For people close to an extremely self-centered individual, their tendency to manipulate, exploit and disregard others can be especially damaging. Narcissistic or sociopathic levels of egocentrism may even cross over into emotional or physical abuse.

Overcoming Unhealthy Self-Focus

If someone recognizes that they have an unhealthy level of self-absorption, steps that may help include:

  • Seeking counseling or therapy – This provides tools for developing greater self-awareness, empathy and coping skills.
  • Volunteering and community service – Helping others fosters compassion and purpose beyond the self.
  • Making amends – Apologizing and making right past wrongs can help repair damaged relationships.
  • Encouraging honesty – Asking others for honest feedback signals willingness to improve.
  • Practicing gratitude – Appreciating all one has helps counter a sense of entitlement.
  • Expanding perspective – Putting oneself in others’ shoes helps increase understanding.

With consistent effort and willingness to change, even very self-centered individuals can become more balanced and thoughtful. But progress takes time and ongoing commitment.

When Self-Focus Becomes Problematic

Most individuals display some situational self-centeredness depending on circumstances. Focusing on our own needs is an important component of self-care. But in some cases, extreme egoism can signify underlying mental health issues:

Level of Self-Focus Potential Psychological Issue
Occasional self-focus related to grief, stress, life changes, etc. Within normal range
Frequent self-centered behavior; lack of care for how actions impact others Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Extreme inability to empathize with others’ perspectives or feelings Antisocial Personality Disorder
Distorted, grandiose view of oneself along with need for excessive admiration Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Willingness to exploit or manipulate others for personal gain Antisocial Personality Disorder

When self-absorption is pervasive across contexts and persists over time causing interpersonal issues, seeking evaluation by a psychologist may be prudent. With professional help, ingrained thought and behavior patterns contributing to extreme egoism can improve.


Self-centeredness exists on a spectrum from healthy self-interest to narcissism and egoism that impair relationships and wellbeing. Though often used interchangeably, the many terms like egotist, narcissist, and egocentric have nuances in meaning. Causes of extreme self-focus range from childhood experiences to biology and trauma. While modest self-centeredness is normal, pervasive self-absorption can signal mental health issues warranting professional attention. With self-awareness, willingness to change and commitment to understanding others’ perspectives, even highly self-focused individuals can become more balanced.