17 Everyday Actions That Are Actually Selfish

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By Darryl Henderson

The majority of people display selfish behaviors every day without even noticing it. What do they do? You’ll find 17 everyday selfish behaviors in this article.

Not Saying Thank You

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How often do you say thank you? U.S. News & World Report says, “English speakers express thanks the most at 14.5 percent of the time a request is successfully completed.” Yes, that’s right; not showing gratitude is more common than we thought. But being ungrateful is selfish.


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Interrupting someone while they are speaking is something that many of us do every day. We’ve got something quick to say, and we just want to say it and then leave. But this is actually a selfish action that shows we think we are more important than others.

Treating Yourself

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It’s good to treat yourself to nice things every once in a while. But how often do you treat those who are closest to you? If you can’t remember the last time you treated your friends or family members to something they wanted, you are showing you are a selfish person.

Talking Too Much

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The figures from WordsRated show that “the average person speaks around 16,000 words in a day, with females (16,215 words) speaking slightly more than males (15,699).” But when we talk too much, we show that we are not interested in what other people have to say.


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Lying is something that most people do every day. We tell white lies and even more serious lies. Some people have to live a lie because they have created a false persona that they have to maintain. Lies deceive others and selfishly rob them of the truth.

Pushing In Line

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According to The Fact Site, “the average person throughout their lifetime spends five years waiting in lines and queues, where roughly six months of that is waiting at traffic lights.” That is a long time to spend waiting, but we will make others wait even longer if we selfishly push in front of them.


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Many people flirt outside of their relationships. Some people view this as harmless fun, but it is selfish behavior. Flirting makes the other person think that you are interested in them when you’re not. It also undermines the relationship you have with your partner.

Being Late

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Are you habitually late? “Americans place great importance on time management and punctuality. Delays and lateness often reflect poorly on people, interpreted as disrespectful or rude,” says the Cultural Atlas. If you are always late, it is as if you are saying that your time is more important than everyone else’s.


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Do you ignore others while they speak to you? If your mind often wanders or you begin daydreaming during meetings or phone calls, you are being disrespectful to the person who is speaking to you. Ignoring them while they are talking is selfish and robs them of their time.

Not Holding Doors

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Holding the door open for someone else is common etiquette. When we do so, we show that we are thinking about others and that they are important to us. When you let a door slam behind you, you show you are very absorbed in your own world.


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CNN says that the average person spends around 52 minutes a day gossiping. While not all gossip is negative, it is still selfish. It is rude to talk about others behind their backs. When people gossip about us, we are normally quick to take offense.

Talking Too Loudly

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We all like to use our cell phones when we are in public, but we must be considerate of how we use them. Talking too loudly on the phone while in public is selfish and shows that we think that our conversation is more important than everyone else’s comfort.

Selective Listening

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Did you only partially listen to the work meeting you were just in? Selective listening is something that we think we are good at, but we’re not. Selective listeners end up wasting everyone else’s time as they have to ask questions that were already answered.

Going First

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Do you always try to be the first to get off the subway on the way to or from work? Not allowing others to go in front of you shows that you are being selfish. Someone who lets others, especially the elderly or women and children, go in front of them shows that they are considerate.

Talking About Ourselves

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Do you find yourself always steering conversations back to you? Doing so is selfish behavior. It gives the impression that you think you are the most important and interesting person to talk about. Instead, we should allow people to speak freely about the topics that interest them.


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Do you always have to make the final decision? Not allowing others to decide instead of you is selfish. When you are always the one who decides for others, you show yourself to be a very controlling person who doesn’t like it when others are in charge.

Taking the Best

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We all want to enjoy the best things that life has to offer, but we should be considerate of others. The best piece of cake, the nicest-looking slice of pizza, the hottest cup of coffee—these things don’t always have to be for us. Show you care about others by letting them have the best things.

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