26 Signs of Self-Centered People

You’re talking, and boom, suddenly, it’s a one-person show starring them. There’s always that one person who turns a simple “What’s up?” into their own personal saga. Sometimes, you gotta laugh—it’s kinda impressive how they always bring it back to themselves.

But let’s hit pause for a second. It’s not always easy to tell if someone’s really self-centered or just having an off moment. Truth is, who doesn’t like a little attention?

Stick with me here, and we’ll figure out how to spot the real deal. And don’t worry, I’ll make sure the spotlight doesn’t just stay on them.

They Always Steer the Conversation Back to Themselves

When you’re having a talk with a self-centered person, it can feel a bit like you’re just there to listen to them go on about themselves. No matter what you start talking about, they somehow twist the chat until they’re the star of the show again.

You could be telling them about a funny thing your cat did, and before you know it, they’re telling you every single cute thing their pet has ever done.

What to do: Speak up when you can. You might say something like, “That’s a cool story! Let’s hear what others think about this.”

They Rarely Ask About Your Well-Being

So, you’ve probably noticed this, too—some people just don’t ask, “How are you?” And I mean really ask, not as a conversation starter but because they genuinely want to know. It sort of makes you wonder whether they care much about what’s happening with you.

In conversations with self-centered people, you might find yourself always being the listener, the one who nods and reacts. It’s not that you don’t enjoy hearing about their life; it’s just that a little balance would be nice. Like, “Hello, I exist too, you know?”

They Show Little Interest in Others’ Opinions

In a group with different ideas flying around, it’s fun to hear what everyone thinks. But there can be that one person who doesn’t really seem to listen. They might look like they’re paying attention, but their mind is elsewhere.

If you find yourself in a conversation with someone like this, keep sharing your ideas anyway. And invite them to join in more by asking for their point of view.

You can say something like, “That’s how I see it. What’s your take?” This encourages a back-and-forth, not just a one-sided talk.

They Have Difficulty Showing Genuine Empathy

Alright, so you know when you’re having a rough day and you just need someone to get where you’re coming from? That’s empathy. But with some people, it’s like their “understanding” switch is turned off.

They might hear you, but you don’t get that warm feeling that they really get it. Instead of offering a shoulder or an ear, they might just breeze past your feelings and talk about something totally unrelated.

What to do: Let them know how much you appreciate when people really get where you’re coming from. Sometimes, they might not realize they’re not showing empathy the way you need it.

They Demonstrate Minimal Interest in Learning About Others

You’ve probably met someone who never digs a little deeper into who you are or what you like. Beyond the usual “hi” and “bye,” they don’t ask much. It’s not like you want them to interrogate you, but hey, a “What’s your favorite movie?” or “Got any hobbies?” wouldn’t hurt.

It’s one of those things that can make you question, “Do they even care to know me?” When you share about your weekend plans, they might just give a quick “cool” and move on to their own plans—for the tenth time.

They Rarely Offer Genuine Compliments to Others

Compliments are little gifts of words that can make someone’s day. But some people are like they’ve never heard of them.

They might say, “Nice job” or “Looks great,” but it feels like they’re just checking a box rather than really meaning it. And you can tell when it’s genuine, right?

When a self-centered person does give a compliment, sometimes it feels more like it’s about making them look good, like they’re the kind of person who gives compliments, instead of actually appreciating something about you.

They Struggle to Celebrate Others’ Success

So, someone else gets a promotion, or nails a difficult project, and everyone’s cheering. But then there’s that one person who can barely crack a smile.

They’re the kind who might mumble a quick “Good for you” and then shift the talk back to their achievements or even downplay what you did. It’s a bit of a buzzkill when someone can’t share a high-five for your win, huh?

Believe it or not, it doesn’t always come from a bad place. Maybe they just feel a little left behind or overshadowed. Still, it would be nice to see them showing some genuine joy for the good things happening to the people around them.

They Crave Attention and Admiration Constantly

You know that person who loves to be loved? Yeah, they’re usually soaking up all the attention in the room. It’s like they’ve got this hunger for people to notice them, clap for them, tell them they’re awesome.

But the thing is, when someone always wants to be the center of the universe, it can get a bit much for everyone else.

Always wanting the limelight, they might do things just for the “Oohs” and “Ahhs”, not because they really love doing them. Makes you wonder if they do anything just for the joy of it, without an audience to applaud.

They Exploit Others to Get What They Want

Some people have a toolbox for getting things done, and their favorite tool? Other people. Yep, they can be smooth. Maybe they’ll butter you up when they need a favor but go silent when you could use a hand.

It’s not always so in-your-face either; sometimes, it’s just forgetting to mention you helped, or casually leaving you out of plans once they’ve got what they want.

What this looks like: If you notice they’re often asking for favors without giving much in return, it could be a sign. It’s important to set boundaries and not be afraid to say “No” if you feel taken advantage of.

They Are Overly Concerned With Their Image

You’ve seen them, right? People who spend more time checking their reflection than chatting at a party. We all like to look good, but for some, it’s like a full-time job. They’re all about the right clothes, the perfect hair, the flashy things.

It’s cool to care about how you look, but when it’s all someone can talk about, it gets old fast. Their image is like their brand, and they’re always selling it—on social media, at work, at the grocery store, you name it.

They Struggle With Admitting They’re Wrong

Nobody loves being wrong, but saying “Oops, my bad” and moving on can be cool, you know?

However, some people treat admitting a mistake like it’s worse than eating a bowl of nails. They might argue until they’re blue in the face or twist things around so it looks like they were right all along.

It’s not about being perfect with them; it’s that they can’t stand the thought of not being perfect. Even when everyone knows the score, they won’t just own up and say, “Yeah, I messed up there.”

They Show a Strong Sense of Entitlement

Then there’s that vibe some people give off—like they deserve the best of everything without having to lift a finger. They’re the ones cutting in line, expecting VIP treatment at the drop of a hat, or acting like the rules are for everyone else, not them.

This sense of “The world owes me” doesn’t do them any favors. They miss out on the satisfaction of earning their victories and let’s be real, it can drive the rest of us up the wall.

What to do: It’s okay to remind them, gently, that rules and courtesy apply to everyone. Setting some friendly boundaries can help keep things fair for everyone involved.

They Frequently Play the Victim in Various Situations

Some people have a way of always making things look like they’re the ones being treated unfairly. No matter what happens, they have a story about how it’s not their fault.

When something goes wrong, they don’t look at what they could’ve done differently. Instead, they’re quick to point out all the ways the world is against them. It’s more about getting sympathy than finding solutions.

They Prioritize Their Needs and Wants Above Others

There are folks who always seem to think their stuff is the most important. If they want something, it feels like they’ve got to have it right then, no matter what anyone else needs.

In group settings, they focus on what works best for them, not the team. If there’s a conflict, you’ll hear about what they’ve lost or missed out on. Their time, their comfort, their opinions—these always come before anyone else’s.

This could mean:

  • Skipping a friend’s event because something more interesting came up for them.
  • Choosing a movie they want to watch, even though it’s your turn to pick.
  • Eating the last slice of pizza without asking if anyone else wanted it.

They Showcase a Habit of Blaming Others

Even when it’s pretty clear they’ve slipped up, some just can’t say, “Yep, my mistake.” If a project flops or a plan falls apart, they’ve got their fingers pointing outward in no time.

It’s never a matter of what they could’ve done differently. Instead, they serve up a list of who else could be at fault. This habit can make working or living with them pretty tricky. Trust is hard to build when someone’s always looking for the next person to blame.

They Show Little Regard for Others’ Boundaries

It’s like personal space and private time just aren’t in their vocabulary. Some people can’t seem to understand that No” means no. Crossing lines seem to come naturally to them, whether it’s borrowing stuff without asking or expecting you to drop everything for them.

They might text late at night or show up uninvited, and when you say you’re busy, they still push. Respecting limits just isn’t their strong suit. They act surprised when you get upset as if it never crossed their mind that they might be overstepping.

They Dismiss Any Feedback That Doesn’t Praise Them

Everyone likes a compliment, but some people can’t handle the opposite. For them, unless it’s good news, it’s as if they didn’t hear it. Try to give them helpful advice, and they might brush it off or get defensive.

When they do a task, it’s got to be met with applause, or they might think it was a waste. They seem to have a filter that only picks up the good stuff. Anything that’s even slightly critical is ignored or frowned upon.

They Have a Tendency to Overlook Others’ Contributions

When something gets done, and it’s time to say thanks, they’re looking anywhere but at the people who helped. It’s pretty tough to get a ‘well done’ out of them. They tend to soak up success like they are the only ones in the room.

Even when a whole team pulled together, they might only talk about what they did. Acknowledging that they didn’t do it alone? Not likely. It’s as if the hard work of others just isn’t visible to them.

They Often Expect Special Treatment

Regular service? Nope, some people want the extra mile, even when it’s not on offer. They have this idea that they’re a VIP everywhere they go. The thing is, when you expect the royal treatment all the time, it can rub people the wrong way.

This could mean:

  • They don’t like to wait their turn.
  • They get upset if they don’t receive what they think they deserve.
  • They often ask for more than what’s fair or normal.

They Rarely Express Gratitude Towards Others

Saying “Thank you”— it’s not hard, right? But there are people who act like those words are hefty. They get help, they get kindness, and they take it like it’s just due process. They receive favors and won’t even nod a thanks.

From little things like holding the door to big stuff like helping them move, their gratitude gauge seems to be stuck on empty. Not getting a thanks can leave a sour taste, especially when you’ve gone out of your way.

Example: You give them a ride home, and instead of saying thanks, they just talk about how convenient it was for them.

They Sense an Exaggerated Self-Importance

They make plans that suit them and expect you to follow; no questions! They share their big dreams and expect a standing ovation, but when you share yours, it’s like a commercial break for them.

It’s tough when someone’s self-worth is so pumped up that there’s no room for anyone else’s.

This could mean:

  • Talking over others because they believe their point is more important.
  • Ignoring advice or feedback because they think they know best.
  • Expecting others to adjust their schedules to fit their plans, without compromise.

They Argue to ‘Win’ Rather Than Understand

Getting into a discussion with some people is less about chatting and more like a competition they want to win. They’re not really listening to get your point; they’re just waiting to jump in with their own.

This could mean:

  • They insist they’re right and don’t consider your views.
  • They interrupt you to get their point across.
  • They’re focused more on being seen as correct than actually solving a problem.

They View Some Tasks as Beneath Them

You notice how some people seem to dodge the boring stuff? They have a way of vanishing when it’s time to do the tasks nobody loves. Cleaning up after a party or doing mundane paperwork—they’re not there for that.

In their mind, some jobs are just not worth their time. They act like these tasks are just too small and unworthy of their effort. It’s like they’re saying, “Oh, that’s not for me to do.”

Example: After a group meal, they’ll leave their dirty dishes for someone else, expecting to be taken care of.

They Struggle to Maintain Deep and Meaningful Relationships

Some people find it hard to keep close friends for a long time. They can meet people and chat, sure, but the connections often stay on the surface. Really getting to know someone takes time and care, which they might not invest.

People start to feel more like acquaintances than friends to them. Time passes, and others just drift away because the roots aren’t deep. When it’s always about them, others may feel there’s not much space to grow a two-sided relationship.

They Have Short-Lived Friendships

You’ve probably seen this before: someone’s always hanging out with a new friend every few weeks. It’s easy for them to meet people and start hanging out. But then, those friendships don’t last. They’re good at making friends but not keeping them.

That’s because being friends with someone means you have to think about them, too, not just yourself. After a while, people get tired when it’s always about the other person. So they move on, trying to find friends who care about them, too.

They Are Blind to Their Own Faults

Some people just don’t notice when they’ve done something wrong. They could make a big mistake or upset someone, and it’s like they don’t see it.

When someone tries to tell them, “Hey, that wasn’t okay,” they just can’t see the problem. They might say, “That’s just how I am,” or deny they did anything bad.

If you can’t see what you need to work on, you can’t really fix it or get better. For the people around them, it’s tough because they feel like they’re not getting through.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is being self-centered the same as being selfish?

Not exactly. Being self-centered means you’re primarily focused on yourself and your needs, often overlooking those of others. Being selfish is a step further, where you not only focus on yourself but also knowingly take from others to benefit yourself without concern for their well-being.

Is being self-centered always a negative trait?

While self-centeredness is often viewed negatively, it’s normal for people to think about their own interests. Problems arise when it becomes excessive and impacts relationships negatively. A healthy balance is key.

Can self-centered people change?

Yes, self-centered people can change, but it requires self-awareness and a desire to grow. It often involves learning empathy and active listening skills, as well as understanding the importance of mutual respect in relationships.

What can I do if I realize I’m self-centered?

Realizing you’re self-centered is a big first step. The next is wanting to change. Reflect on your actions and their effects on others. Seeking feedback and being open to it can also help. Consider personal development practices or professional guidance to work on empathy and relational skills.

Final Thoughts

If someone’s always talking about themselves and not letting others in, it’s a sign to take note of. Being aware helps you avoid one-sided conversations. It’s healthier when everyone has a turn to share their stories.

So, what can you do with what you know now? Check out how you feel when you’re talking to people. If you usually end up feeling down or ignored, it might be time to think about who you’re spending time with.

And if you’re struggling with this, remember, there’s always help out there, whether from a friend or a pro!

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Jessa Claire is a registered healthcare provider. Music lover. Daydreamer. Thalassophile. Foodie. A hardworking Capricorn. Most days, an incurable empath. An old soul. Down-to-earth. Vibrant.

When she's not writing, she can be seen relaxing with headphones on or engrossed in her favorite fan fiction book.