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Are You Selfish in the Relationship? 19 Signs You’re Being a User

Self-awareness is easier said than done, which applies even to our selfish actions. If you’re looking for the signs you’re being selfish, keep reading.

It’s never easy to know if you’re being selfish or giving in a relationship. After all, you have to understand that selfishness is more of a perspective than a matter of fact. How do you decipher the signs you’re being selfish, and how do you differentiate that from setting boundaries?

In the middle of a discussion with your lover, do you ever feel like you could give in but choose not to give in only because you think it makes you appear weak?

Do you believe your partner would take you lightly or tread all over you if you constantly give in, even if the consequences of giving in make no difference to you?

You might’ve heard this before, but there’s absolutely no room for selfishness in a relationship. So if you’re asking yourself, am I selfish, you’ll soon find out by the end of this feature.

After all, selfishness isn’t really a tolerable trait, so knowing if you’re selfish or not can help you improve yourself and become better. 

[Read: How to stop a selfish person from hurting you and breaking you]

Aren’t we all just a little selfish?

All of us can be selfish at times, especially when we want something badly. And it’s definitely not a bad thing. But if your selfish streak is less of an occasional occurrence and more of a behavioral trait, that’s something you need to pay attention to.

A balance of powers exists in every relationship. A happy relationship hinges on a perfect balance, and even a slight change in the balance changes the way one or both partners look at the relationship.

If your partner ever feels like they’re the one who’s doing all the giving, while you’re the one who’s doing all the taking, it’s only a matter of time before the relationship starts to go downhill.

While relationships are never 50/50, there should always be give and take in a relationship. Otherwise, it will be easy for the relationship to crumble and fall apart. Selfishness can cause so many problems in a relationship, so it’s a significant first step to know the signs you’re being selfish in a relationship. [Read: 18 critical signs your relationship is starting to go bad]

Why is being aware you’re being selfish important?

When you’re selfish, everything in your relationship will be affected. If you’re really serious about making your relationship work, it’s essential to be aware of your selfishness. While miscommunication is the most common aspect that makes a relationship fall apart, selfishness is next on the list.

So it really is that important to ask yourself, am I selfish. By knowing your selfish tendencies, you can gradually improve in becoming a better partner. Nobody feels taken for granted or neglected when there’s an equal amount of giving and receiving in a relationship.

We’re not even the slightest bit exaggerating when we say it’s essential to know if you’re being selfish or not. For all you know, you’re already being selfish, but you’re not aware that your behavior and actions are showing it. [Read: Selfishness in relationships and 15 tips to do the right thing]

Your needs and your selfishness

Firstly, don’t ever neglect your own needs. After all, you can give your lover more happiness only when you’re full of happiness yourself. Being selfless in a relationship is a sign of unconditional love, but being too selfless can make even the nicest and most empathetic people take your niceness for granted!

And at times, your selfless nature could be the catalyst to an abusive relationship where you’d be controlled all the time by someone who didn’t even want to control you in the first place. [Read: 16 reasons why you’re always being taken for granted by the people you love]

There’s a perfect balance between being neglecting your needs and boundaries and being selfish. You shouldn’t be a doormat for others, but you shouldn’t be highly selfish either. Find the perfect balance if you genuinely want your relationship to keep thriving and flourishing.

You can easily get stuck in a toxic relationship if you neglect your own needs, but all your relationships won’t work if you’re too selfish either. So find the perfect middle that allows you to be a giving partner while still prioritizing your needs in the process.

How can you tell if you’re being selfish in the relationship?

Selfishness is a sign of self-gratification. If you’re too self-centered and believe your needs are more important than everyone else’s needs, you’re probably a selfish person even if you don’t think so. The first step to stop being selfish is realization.

You need to realize that as big or difficult as your problems may seem to you, to someone else, their own problems may appear just as demanding or difficult. If you don’t identify your actions as selfish, you can’t change for the better. So self-awareness is the key.

By really asking yourself, am I selfish, you’re on the right path to being a better partner in your relationship. Has your partner ever told you you’re being selfish in the middle of a discussion? It takes a lot of effort and repeated occurrences of selfishness for your lover to make such a statement.

It’s not something people say easily, so if your lover ever tells you that you’re selfish, think very hard about it. No one would say such a thing unless some part of them believes it to be true deep within. Maybe they’ve been seeing your actions repeatedly, which made them come to the conclusion you’re selfish. [Read: The problems of making someone a priority when you’re only an option to them]

Communication and selfishness

If your partner ever accuses you of being selfish in the relationship, don’t hate them for it or get angry in return. Complete the discussion, and when the flaring tempers cool down, talk to your partner and try to find out why they believe you’re being selfish.

Prod your partner calmly and reassuringly even if they apologize or tell you that they didn’t really mean it.

If your partner could blurt out an accusation like that, there’s a good chance that some part of them believes you’re a selfish person. Again, they probably had a reasonable explanation for calling you selfish, so you need to determine why they think the way they do.

[Read: How to stop being selfish – 20 empathetic ways to stop hurting or using others]

Selfishness and attention seeking partners

Sometimes, when a partner accuses you of being selfish, all they may be trying to tell you is that they want more of your attention. In all probability, they’ve been trying to get your attention by texting you goodnight and good morning texts, or buying you gifts, or taking you out often.

And in response, they’re hoping you’d do something nice for them too. You, on the other hand, may not realize this. And this simple confusion could lead to your partner believing you’re selfish or too self-centered. If your partner calls you selfish and can’t really explain themselves to you, chances are, they’re just craving for your attention!

All you need to do here is reciprocate their romantic gestures with your own gestures of love. Basically, you need to reciprocate their efforts and try to show them simple acts of love. Maybe your partner just wants to feel loved! [Read: 25 sweet romantic things to do to melt your lover’s heart]

19 signs you’re being selfish in your relationship and need to fix it

Recognizing your selfish side isn’t the easiest thing to do, but there are a few clues that can help you see the traits and reflect on them. Use these signs and find out if you’re being selfish in your relationship.

1. Laziness

Are you usually excited to do something you enjoy? And if it’s something your partner wants to do *that you’re not particularly excited about*, do you get bored or restless quickly and try to squirm out of it? It could be something as simple as a chore or shopping for clothes together.

If only the things you enjoy excite you, but sharing your partner’s happiness from the things they enjoy doesn’t matter to you, that’s a good sign that you’re a rather selfish person.

When your partner always does accommodates your interests and requests, but you never do the same for them, this is one of the signs you’re being selfish. You shouldn’t be complacent in your relationship if you want both of you to work out. [Read: Is your boyfriend getting lazy and boring?]

2. You’re selfish if your partner usually gives in

Every time there’s a discussion about something to do or someplace to go to, do you usually end up getting things your way, even if that means leaving your partner sad or less-than-happy? Your partner may give in each time because they love you unconditionally and want to see you happy.

But it’s only a matter of time before they start to feel like their wants and desires are not addressed in the relationship. Your partner’s patience isn’t going to last forever so in asking yourself, am I selfish, observe if they always let you do what you want.

Remember that a relationship is about give and take, so if they’re the only ones giving, this will lead to neglect eventually. Don’t wait for that day to come. [Read: 15 signs of a taker in a relationship – Are you a giver or a taker?]

3. You believe your partner nags you

Do you ever find your partner repeating the same things to you several times, little seemingly insignificant lines like “can you pick up the towel?” or “did you forget that…?”

It could be irritating to hear your partner nag you all the time, but each time they nag, you need to realize that they’re not trying to annoy you; they’re only doing it because you aren’t listening to them.

There are no naggers in happy relationships because both lovers try to keep each other happy, even if it means going out of the way once in a while.

So before you come up with the assumption your partner is trying to nag you, think if you’re doing your part and meeting them halfway. Because if not, it will always seem like nagging for you. [Read: How to stop nagging your partner and let go of the partner-pestering]

4. You believe what YOU do in life is more meaningful and worthwhile

If you’re wondering about the signs you’re being selfish, this is one of them. You may have a better job or get a bigger paycheck, but that doesn’t mean you should get preferential treatment in the relationship. If you genuinely believe that you’re more important and your opinions matter more, you’re being conceited and selfish.

There’s evident inequality in the relationship just because you get a bigger paycheck, and that’s where your selfishness is most apparent. A relationship is a partnership, so one shouldn’t be above the other, no matter what. That’s just plain selfish behavior. [Read: 13 powerful rules of life for a happy, positive & meaningful life]

5. Your partner is flawed

You see your partner as flawed and expect them to change for you *probably because you believe they aren’t good enough for you*. Even if you have the same flaws yourself, you feel those flaws aren’t so significant in your case. All you see are their flaws, even when you’re not so perfect yourself.

A good example here is weight gain. You may want your partner to lose weight because you believe they look less-than-appealing right now. On the other hand, you may be obese, yet you may not think you need to change or look better for your partner.

This isn’t just unfair for your partner, but it also shows glaring double standards in your relationship. If you want to become a better partner, accept their flaws, and accept yours too. If it bothers you so much, fix yourself up, and chances are, you’ll be an inspiration for your partner as well. [Read: 15 real-life tips to look a lot sexier naked!]

6. You want it your way

You always like doing something your way or going to places you like, even if your partner wants to do something different. If your partner coaxes you to do something else or go to another place, you sulk or pout the whole while.

And as soon as your partner gives in to your bidding and does what you say, you cheer up instantly and cozy up with your partner. You always want things to go your way and only your way. Anything other than that, you feel uneasy, and you become passive-aggressive towards your partner.

When did your needs become above theirs? Your partner may feel good at that moment when you display your affection to them, but on the inside, all they’d be thinking is just how much of a spoilt brat you are! [Read: How your self-respect affects you & the relationships in your life]

7. Your huge ego is a sign you’re being selfish

You believe that losing an argument is a sign of weakness. And you just don’t like losing a fight or ending a discussion that goes against your way. This is something you do, not just in your relationship, but in every part of your life. If you’re asking, am I selfish, assess your ego to know the answer to this question.

If you always want to win the argument each time and you never apologize first because you want to be above them, there’s your answer. This is one of the big signs you’re being selfish in the relationship.

If your ego is constantly showing, ask yourself why you always need to win every argument or you like being in control. There should be no room for ego in a thriving relationship. [Read: 14 things you say or do that emasculates your man!]

8. You can’t trust your partner easily

You love your partner, but you’re always cautious about trusting them entirely because you sincerely believe that you’re the only one you can rely on for happiness.

Even if you’re dating a great guy or girl, you always look out for yourself first before looking out for your lover’s needs because you think that’s what your partner would do anyway! No matter your reason for not trusting them, the fact you don’t trust them speaks volumes in being a selfish lover.

Without trust, you’ll always be keeping them at arm’s length, even if you don’t mean to. You always think your partner will betray your trust and abandon you, which is why you never let yourself trust them. [Read: How to build trust in a relationship and make it last]

9. You can’t be unselfish

You may try to put your partner’s needs before yours or try to be nice to them and love them unconditionally, but you just can’t bring yourself to it.

You constantly find yourself trying to sneak in a better deal for yourself in everything you do with your lover, be it about the better piece of chicken or the bigger slice of pizza, or even something more significant like planning the itinerary for a vacation. You always need to be above them.

If you do make a really small selfless gesture, you do it in a very obvious way so your partner can see just how “selfless” you are! This is obviously one of the signs you’re being selfish. You’re putting yourself above your partner all the time, and there’s going to come a day where your partner can’t tolerate it any longer. [Read: The 80 20 rule in relationships and your love life]

10. Competitiveness can answer your question – Am I selfish?

Being competitive is good, but there’s a thin line between healthy competition and unhealthy sacrifices. Would you put your own partner down or walk all over their plans just to win something for yourself? Being competitive means you feel threatened in the relationship, and you’re bound to be selfish if you think this way.

There should be no room for pointless competition in your relationship. Competition gives room for selfishness, which is precisely what we’re talking about in this feature. Why do you always feel the need to put your partner down? Really, you’re both partners for a reason. [Read: How to have a good relationship that gets better with each day]

11. You don’t apologize

Do you get a hard lump in your throat each time you have to apologize to your partner?

You may say you’re sorry very often when you don’t mean it, or for trivial things. But when it’s something that really matters, do you hold yourself back or defend yourself even though you know you’re in the wrong?

We’ve mentioned it earlier, and we’ll say it again. If you don’t apologize, that’s one of the signs you’re being selfish. Both your pride and ego are getting in the way of being a good partner in the relationship. You feel like you’re weak the moment you apologize first, and that’s where you’re so wrong.

You may not think much of your behavior, but your partner would definitely believe you are selfish and conceited. Don’t wait for the day you lose your partner just because you don’t apologize. [Read: How to fight fair in a relationship and grow closer]

12. Emotional blackmail is a selfish tool

Emotional manipulation is always a selfish low blow, however you look at it. Do you withhold sex, give the silent treatment or just ignore your partner when your partner doesn’t do something your way? Your partner may eventually accept defeat and come your way, but not without resentment and annoyance at the back of their mind.

If you want something, communicate with your lover. Hurting your lover emotionally and manipulating them into giving in is a selfish way of winning arguments.

This is not the way relationships are supposed to go. So if you’re asking, am I selfish, the answer is yes if you constantly blackmail them. [Read: 30 meaningful and naughty questions for couples to bring the spark back instantly!]

13. Control freak

Selfish people are picky control freaks because they always want things their way. Everything has to go as planned according to them. If you generally try to control your partner and even certain situations or outcomes, it’s because of your selfishness in a relationship.

So if you’re asking, am I selfish, this is one of the answers to that question. You need to stop being a control freak, as this is not helping your relationship! Your partner might even be secretly resenting you because of it. [Read: 20 glaring signs you have a control freak in you]

14. Incapable of compromise

If you’re incapable of compromise, this is one of the signs you’re being selfish you should know about. If anything, this is the most apparent sign of selfishness. Relationships will always require some give and take, so you’re selfish if that isn’t something you can do.

Without compromise, a relationship quickly builds up feelings of resentment, anger, and even remorse. Your partner needs to feel like you’re meeting them halfway, and it isn’t just you who gets what they want constantly. [Read: How to compromise in a relationship & not feel like you lost out]

15. You are only looking out for yourself

One of the most toxic traits in a relationship is when you’re only looking out for yourself. Maybe you don’t trust your partner enough or fear them leaving you, so you pretend to be caring. But in reality, every suggestion you make is a veiled plan to get what you want.

This is one of the evident signs of selfishness that you can’t ignore. Remember, trust is one of the core foundations of any relationship. So without it, it’ll be easy for your relationship to crumble and fall apart. [Read: Selfish people – 20 ways to spot and stop them from emptying you]

16. Their successes hurt you

Just like being overly competitive in your relationship, you struggle to be happy for your partner’s accomplishments and successes. If you can’t be happy and you always feel the need to be better than your partner, there’s your answer for – am I selfish?

In comparison to NOT being selfish, you’re supposed to take pride in, and genuinely celebrate, your partner’s accomplishments and successes. [Read: The signs of low self-esteem in a man that reveal his dark side]

17. Expectations to change

If you expect your partner to change for you constantly, this is one of the signs you’re being selfish. You want them to adjust for you, and it’s never the other way around.

If you always expect your partner to change and put that much pressure on them, ask yourself why. You’re probably selfish, and you don’t even realize it yourself. Remember that you got in a relationship not to see them as a personal project but to love them, flaws, warts, insecurities, and all. [Read: 20 healthy expectations in a relationship that define a good love life]

18. Lack of empathy

If you’re asking the question, am I selfish, ask yourself whether you’re empathetic enough for your partner and relationship. Empathy is such an essential trait in a relationship because without it, it’s easy to invalidate your partner’s feelings and they won’t feel understood.

Your partner probably resents you because of your inability to empathize with their emotions, which is why they feel so far away from you. [Read: 20 signs of lack of empathy that show they don’t care what you think]

19. Impulsivity

An impulsive person is quite often a selfish person since they make decisions without the consideration of others. So one of the signs you’re being selfish is if you tend to be impulsive with your choices and actions, not realizing *or caring* that it hurts your partner.

Maybe you’ve made big decisions without consulting them first or you just do whatever you feel like doing, both of which are signs of selfishness. [Read: How to recognize emotionally unstable people for less drama in your life]

So, what are the signs you’re being selfish?

Selfishness is never attractive in a relationship. It might be the very thing that causes you to lose them altogether, so you need to find a way to work on this awful tendency before it ends your relationship.

Start by admitting you’re a selfish partner, and only then can you improve your habits.

We don’t always see our selfishness until our partner repeatedly points them out. So if you see these signs you’re being selfish, chances are, you might be sabotaging your relationship without knowing it!

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Preeti Tewari
A true believer in the beauty of life and the world we live in, Preeti Tewari finds every excuse to lose herself in nature, be it smelling flowers on a street c...