Are you looking for ways how to deal with a selfish person in a relationship?
It’s horrible being in a relationship with someone who is inherently selfish. Sometimes it feels like no matter how much you do for them, they don’t appreciate it or do anything back?
It feels like that because that’s exactly what’s happening.
You don’t have to feel like you’re banging your head against a wall though. You have two major options;
- Help your partner realize they’re being selfish and how they can change
- Leave them and find happiness if they won’t change
If either of these sound like the answer to your unhappiness, read on:
Let Them Know How You Feel
One of the problems with a selfish person is that they’re not aware they’re being selfish. Or, at least they don’t see the harm it’s doing and feel the need to change.
Unless it’s clearly spelled out to them and you also tell them exactly what you’re going to do if they don’t change.
Despite how badly you’re being treated, it’s almost not fair to do something before speaking with them first.
If you tell them exactly how you feel and what you want to change, and they can’t change – then you need to do something about it for best interests.
Start Putting Yourself First
A selfish partner isn’t going to give you the love, attention, and emotional support you need. That’s the inherent problem with someone being selfish.
So you’re going to have to do it yourself for the time being.
There are two good reasons for switching your focus off your partner, and on to yourself. The first is that it might give them the wake-up call they need to see how they’re neglecting you.
The second is that you need to look after yourself, emotionally and physically. Your health is only going to deteriorate if you’re giving more to your partner than you’re getting back.
Try to Understand Before Judging
You’re in a relationship with the person in question, and you’re here looking for advice, so you obviously care about them.
Try and find out if there is a reason why they’re acting why they are. Sometimes, it’s due to past experiences. Often it’s due to their own insecurities.
I’m not saying their behavior is justified, but I am saying that one of you needs to take the lead and try to get to the root of the selfishness. And it’s rarely the selfish person that will, for obvious reasons.
Be Willing to Help Them If the Relationship Is Worth It
You are probably already at a crossroads in the relationship. As you follow these steps and figure out more about your partner, it’s going to require effort to change them and save the relationship.
I’m going to be brutally honest here, most aren’t willing to do what it takes to change their partner’s selfish behavior.
Even worse, most people just put up with it. They moan about it, it depresses them, yet they don’t improve their situation.
Don’t be one of those people. Please. If you love the person and value the relationship but can’t stand their selfish ways, do something about it.
Related – 14 signs a man is done with a relationship.
Set Some Conditions
Talking to your partner is the first step and I explained above. Having them see how their actions are affecting you is the next step. The third step is to set some conditions for things to change.
The problem with selfish people is that;
- It’s hard for them to change, very hard.
- It’s even harder for them to realize when they’re being selfish.
- It’s up to you to help them by setting some conditions and point out when they’re being unreasonable.
If they react well to this and demonstrate they care about your feelings and want to change, you’re on the track to a happier relationship.
Show Them You’re Serious
A problem I see all too often is that one person in a relationship just doesn’t take the other seriously, until it’s too late.
If you’re telling them their behavior has to change and that they’re upsetting you, you need to let them know you’re really not going to put up with it for much longer.
I’m not suggesting you threaten them or hold anything over them, that’s not nice. You can show them you’re serious by how you start focusing on yourself, and less on them when they’re being selfish.
Walk Away If They Can’t Change
I hate to say it, but some people just cannot change. They really can’t.
And nobody – this includes you – deserves to be in a one-sided selfish relationship forever. If you’ve tried everything and your partner just isn’t changing, you have to be strong enough to walk away.
Don’t threaten it unless you really mean it; that’s just emotional blackmail.
Put a plan in place to leave, set conditions for them changing as discussed above, and do it if you have to.
Why? Because you’ll be happier, that’s why.
I appreciate this article is covering a negative topic for most people.
But I hope it has helped you understand that you deserve to be treated better, and there are things you can do to make sure you are.
No one should put up with a selfish partner making their life miserable. Anyone who thinks it’s ok to keep on taking and giving nothing back in return deserves a wake-up call.
Remember, you deserve to be happy and it’s not on you to fix them. I wish you good luck!
Image credits – Header image by Sean Do, in-body images by Joshua Ness & Christopher Alvarenga on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.