How to Deal With a Selfish Friend

Coping with a selfish person in a relationship, at work, or in school can be quite frustrating. Selfish people expect a lot from you, but give nothing in return. They are self-centered and only care about what is going on in their lives. I recently studied traits of selfish people and I stopped excusing ill-treatment in the name of “they are family members or friends”.

The most effective way to deal with selfish people is self-love. Channel that love and attention you were giving them to yourself. The reason you get hurt is that you want them to pay attention to you but they are too self–engrossed to give it to you. They don’t listen to you and if they do, they will form an opinion and use it to criticize you. Don’t allow their opinions to bring you down, love yourself.

Before we delve into this, realize that it’s not your fault that your friend is selfish. Regardless of who they are, whether a spouse, your child, your sibling, or friend, their character is not your responsibility. You are only making an effort to see you have a balanced relationship.

I have prepared a list of 10 ways to deal with the selfish people in your life. Read through it and implement it.

A Step by Step Guide How to Deal With Selfish Friends

1. Create good communication channels

It should be a two-way conversation that allows both of you to talk about your interests. The self-absorbed friend only wants to talk about themselves, and care less about listening to you. Break up such monotonous conversations by bringing up other interesting random stories.

2. Be honest and talk about it

Take courage and speak up about the situation. Your friend may not be aware that they act selfishly, or that you feel this way. They may not take it well, because you are accusing them of taking advantage of you and may appear shocked or offended. However, this shouldn’t stop you from talking about the issue. 

Explain to them well, by citing specific examples of when they were selfish. It shouldn’t be an attack, but a homely one-on-one conversation that offers suggestions on what they can do to help improve the situation.

3. Healthy selfishness

Don’t focus on your friend too much. Most selfish friends want to grab your attention 100% of the time. Instead of spending most of your time, energy, and attention on your friend, let the focus be on yourself. It will help you feel much better.

4. Learn to say No

It’s not advisable to do everything that your friend asks you to, especially when they don’t return the favor. Take a stand and say no if you don’t want to offer a hand. They may not like your approach, but it’s a good way to set boundaries. You can help out whenever you can, but don’t make their needs your number one priority all day long. You have your rights too, and if you feel they are being violated, put a stop to it.

5. Spend less time with them

If you notice that the friendship is becoming toxic, it’s better to limit the amounts of time you spend together. Create more “me” time that allows you to focus on yourself. You can still see each other once in a while, but not as much. That way, you’ll always have your friendship and not become a victim of toxic energy.

7. Do not retaliate

Tit for tat is a fair game but may not work in this situation. Just because your friend takes advantage of you doesn’t give you the right to be selfish too. Don’t stoop too low, and instead remove any emotional attachment to the selfish behavior. You shouldn’t allow the negative energy to make you angry.

8. Don’t allow them to control you

Most selfish people value their own goals and have no time for other people’s plans. They need other people and will always find a way of benefiting from them. Such a friend will still expect you to do things for them. However, you shouldn’t let them take control and have what they want.

9. Accept you can’t change their behavior

You will always feel frustrated with your friend if you don’t accept that this is their nature. They will always put their needs first. They are usually inconsiderate and only care about their interest. Once you accept this about your friend, it will be easy to ignore them when they act selfishly rather than get annoyed.

10. Call it quits

When all your attempts to save the friendship fail, why not put an end to it? Better be happier without your friend than become a victim of toxic energy. Take care of your emotional health by eliminating any lousy relationship that can damage you.

If you forget everything else remember their character is not about you and you don’t have to revenge and be like them.

How to Deal With a Selfish Person in a Relationship

A selfish person in a relationship often becomes a narcissist and only wants to use you. They just don’t care. Such negative energy can affect your emotional well-being. It can make your life miserable because it’s your partner.

Selfish partners are problematic and can cause anger, frustration, and annoyance. Even though it is not easy to change their behavior, taking a stand, and showing them that they are wrong helps stop emotional control. 

If a selfish person in a relationship can’t change, your best option is to walk away.

Why walk away? Because you need to, it is said we are an average of the five people we spend time with. Is this a character you would like to pick? You can either take action while you still have a chance or you will soon fall victim.

Find out How To Deal With Ungrateful People

What To Say and do When Someone Is Being Rude


Am a graduate sociologist and a regular contributor to national publications such as the American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Journal of Applied Social Science and the Annual Review of Sociology.

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