19 Traits of People Who Always Put Themselves First

Photo of author

By Jonathan Trent

Unfortunately, the world isn’t full of completely selfless people, so it always helps to know what to look for if you want to avoid those who constantly prioritize their own needs. To assist you, here are 19 traits to spot in self-centered people who always prioritize their own needs.

They’ll Dominate Conversations

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

If a person always puts themselves first, they always want their voice to be the loudest in conversations. They’ll want to make sure the focus is on them and will likely try to steer the conversation back to themselves by interrupting. It’s super frustrating.

They’ll Have a Sense of Entitlement

Photo Credit: Nicoleta Ionescu/Shutterstock

Verywell Mind reveals that a sense of entitlement is based on a belief that you deserve special treatment or recognition. Those who always put themselves first will commonly believe that others should put them first, too. They often feel like rules don’t apply to them, but of course they do!

Lack of Empathy

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Because they are their own priority, it’s also common for self-centered people to have a very low level of empathy. Empathy means considering other people’s feelings. Not only will they dismiss the perspectives of others, but they’ll also find it very difficult to understand where the other individual is coming from.

Selfish Decision Making

Image credit: Shutterstock

It’s likely no surprise that every decision a selfish person makes is going to be focused on their own needs, making it likely that any choice will be for their own benefit instead of others. They’ll often take it one step further by ignoring how a decision could negatively impact someone else.”

Their Behavior is Manipulative

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Another trait of people who prioritize themselves is manipulative behavior, a tool they use to get what they want. They’ll often use or exploit other people to gain an advantage, or they can even emotionally manipulate by playing the victim. It’s pretty messed up.

Lack of Accountability

Photo Credit: Kaewmanee jiangsihui/Shutterstock

Selfish people rarely take responsibility for their actions; therefore, they always seek to blame others for their own failures. Because they put themselves first, they don’t want to admit that they make mistakes because that can make them appear less successful. How insincere is that!?

They Have a Constant Need for Validation

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Psych Central outlines that internal validation is acknowledging your positive attributes to yourself, while external validation is acknowledgment from others regarding your strengths. Selfish people will always require the latter, relying on praise to feel good about themselves, which often leads to boasting.

A Competitive Nature

Photo Credit: PeopleImages.com – Yuri A/Shutterstock

It’s also likely that someone who puts themselves first will be highly competitive, as they’ll always view other people as rivals rather than individuals to care about. Their own self-worth can often come from whether they “win” against other people, which is pretty childish.

Finding it Difficult to Form Deep Connections

Photo credit: Lucky Business/Shutterstock

A history of short-term friendships or romantic relationships is also likely with people who put themselves first, as they’re never going to be able to form lasting, deep connections if they’re their own number one priority. Superficial relationships which serve their needs are far more to their taste.

They’ll Show Reluctance About Helping Others

Photo Credit: Nicoleta Ionescu/Shutterstock

You might also notice that self-absorbed people rarely offer to help or volunteer for important causes, as they think their time is wasted if it’s not focused on their own needs. If they’re directly asked to help, they’ll inevitably make an excuse to wriggle out of it.


Photo Credit: baranq/Shutterstock

Selfish people are never going to compromise or adjust their routines to suit others; why would they when they insist on having things their way? Not only will they show very little wiggle room, but they’ll also likely react negatively to any sort of disruptive change.

Other People Are Mere Stepping Stones to Them

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

When you think so highly of yourself, you’re never going to see other people as anything other than tools to get what you want, which is why using people and frequently discarding them is another trait. Any relationship has to be seen as worthy to get ahead, which is awfully inhumane.

They’ll Reveal Narcissistic Tendencies

Photo Credit: Pheelings media/Shutterstock

Britannica reveals that narcissists often have an inflated self-image and high self-esteem, and people who put themselves first often do so because they believe they’re the most important person in the room. Narcissistic tendencies can also manifest as a lack of interest in the lives of others; how boring is that!?

Poor Listening Skills

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

You can never hope to have a focused conversation with a selfish person because zoning out is their go-to. They aren’t interested enough in what you’re saying if it doesn’t pertain to them, and even then, they will seek to speak instead of listen.

Fits of Jealousy or Envy

Photo Credit: fizkes/Shutterstock

Despite the fact that those who put themselves first often have high self-esteem, they can also become very easily threatened, which means jealousy is commonplace. They won’t like it if other people are more successful than them, so they’ll seek to put others down.

They’re Emotionally Immature

Photo Credit: Kues/Shutterstock

Because they lack compassion and patience for other people, it’s no surprise that they also show signs of emotional immaturity. They’ll likely struggle to regulate their own emotions, react irrationally to certain situations, or even sulk if they don’t get their way. Boo hoo!

Taking Others for Granted

Photo Credit: Jihan Nafiaa Zahri/Shutterstock

It’s very rare to get a “thank you” from someone who puts themselves first because they believe the support of other people is a given. They’ll likely take advantage of other people’s kindness, rarely express any sort of appreciation, and also focus on what they don’t have rather than what they do.

They’ll Never Respect Boundaries

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Why would someone who believes they’re better than others and entitled to whatever they want ever respect a boundary? This can be a common trait because they’re always willing to impose on others if it’s regarding something they themselves need or want.

Unrealistic Expectations

Photo Credit: Prostock-studio/Shutterstock

A final trait to watch out for in a self-absorbed person is setting unrealistic expectations for themselves and others. Failing to meet an expectation can set you up for frustrations, explains Healthline, which is why unrealistic expectations can be problematic. That won’t stop selfish people from seeking perfection, though.

Up Next: 18 Things Most People Are Too Cheap To Buy That Can Drastically Improve Their Quality Of Life

Photo Credit: Ollyy/Shutterstock

What people choose to spend their money on can have significant impacts on their health and happiness. Here we’ll go through 18 things that most people are too cheap to buy, even though they could make long-term positive changes to their lives.


18 Odd Hobbies from the ‘60s That Only Boomers Will Remember

Photo Credit: shurkin_son/Shutterstock

The 1960s was a decade of experimentation, and this extended to the hobbies that people enjoyed. While some hobbies from the ‘60s have remained popular to this day, others are a distant memory. Here are 18 odd hobbies from the ‘60s that only boomers will remember.


17 Habits You Probably Developed if You Weren’t Loved as a Child

Photo Credit: Forewer/Shutterstock

Being neglected as a child can have a long-lasting impact. In fact, unloved children may develop a range of habits that reflect deeper emotional patterns as a response to the neglect. Here are 17 habits you probably have developed if you weren’t loved as a child.