Being Overly Self-Focused

Without a doubt, there’s a level of self-focus we all need to have to be successful in whatever we are doing in our lives. However, you have to understand when your level of self-focus becomes so extreme that it causes you to misjudge others. When you are overly concerned with yourself, you can fail to put things and people in their proper contexts. Some people have a way of making everything about them. Everything is not about you! Many things go beyond how you view and feel about them. When you limit your thinking predominantly to how you view things and rarely critically consider the views of others, you will end up being perceived as overly dogmatic and not a person to be taken seriously. Most people don’t want to be around individuals who are excessively dogmatic and who make everything about themselves.

If you would consider the things others may possibly be going through, it can better inform your judgment about what they say and do. When you disagree with others, do you ever give any meaningful consideration to trying to understand their arguments and rationales? If you would do this, then you might find out what are the significant factors that contribute to their arguments and rationales. Even if you still disagree with their arguments and rationales, you might gain a better understanding of how they arrive at their arguments and rationales. You may learn more about their arguments and rationales, and you may also learn more about your own arguments and rationales through engaging them more about why they say what they say and do what they do. For many people, however, they have an unwillingness to take the time to do this and don’t have the predilection to do this either.

Overly self-focused people are not able to see the pain, frustration, pressure, and struggle of others. They simply turn a blind eye to other people, especially when they are successful or things are going well for them at a particular time. One of the things that can be most repugnant about overly self-focused people who are successful and/or who things are going good for them at a particular time is how they will look down upon and viciously critique you when you’re are experiencing some difficult times and circumstances. The only thing they want to be clear is that the focus should be on them. They have no true concern for you.

At their core, overly self-focused people are imbued and defined by an egregious all-consuming selfishness. Again, you should have a certain level of self-focus that is going to help you to become successful and stay successful. The problem with your self-focus emerges when it reaches a level that no longer allows you to see, hear, and understand anything or anyone but yourself.

There’s a healthy level of selfishness to have, but don’t make everything about you.

Always take a moment to self-critique yourself to make sure that your self-focus is not reaching an extreme level, a level where it’s becoming an egregious all-consuming selfishness.

Sometimes we can get a little busy with focusing on ourselves that we forget about the people around us who we love. The people who we love, however, should not be placing too much of an undue burden on us. If you’re overly self-focused, then you will think any request from a loved one is an undue burden. Moreover, if you are overly self-focused, you will think any request you make is an undue burden or will be perceived as an undue burden.

Even when overly self-focused people give to others, they find a way to make that giving all about them. They promulgate to everyone that they gave to you and what they gave to you. Many times, they disclose their giving to you to everyone in mean-spirited ways.

Revolutionary Paideia will continue to passionately advocate for people to not be consumed by selfishness. You should never let selfishness define you. Let love, compassion, generosity, and community define you. Plato says it best, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison

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17 comments

  1. I always feel like I’m not doing enough. That’s what drives my focus. Still I always feel like I’m not doing enough. I always make time to keep a balanced life. I’m blessed to be able to balance everything. I think I do a great job. Maybe I’m delusional. I think it’s much easier when everyone respects everyone’s time. Thanks Plato!

    P.S. I was always confused about the term dogmatic. Still today I’m not sure how to use it.

  2. How can you be aware of yourself if you are not aware of the people around you and they way they are effected. Some times we learn the most from observing the world around us not just our sphere

  3. Recently I have noticed a during conversations with someone that I am interested in, he gets easily distracted by another thought, or traffic, or the news on the radio. He makes a comment, while I am mid sentence, that is not related to anything I am saying, and somehow the conversation gets turned to him. So, I sit back and I listen to how many time he is saying “I’m doing.. What I need to do.. I, Me, My”….. It has made me realize just how selfish and self-consumed he really is. It’s a total turn off. Why am I wasting my time with someone that can only focus on what is important to him? If you are on the opposing end of someone that is so self consumed, why bother talking at all? Don’t waste your time with someone who doesn’t listen or care to what is going on with you and your world. If you can’t see past your own nose, you will never realize there is a world around you, and people that matter.

    1. Urrrgh! Re-directs the conversation back to himself?! I have a solution, when he does that, excuse yourself go to the bathroom and bring out the whole toilet roll and stuff it in his mouth. If it works, like a chain letter recommend it to someone else….good luck girl!

  4. Lifting as I climb. That has always been important to me. I try to take people up with me. It’s easy to get so caught up in our own stuff, that we can’t see what’s going on around us.

    This is a good thought for me to start off the week.

    1. I, too, have made a strong commitment to lifting people up with me. It’s such a rewarding thing to do. When one does this, his or her name may not show up on the big marquee or in the newspapers, but it gives him or her a feeling like none other. Thanks for reading and your response.

  5. This is a very interesting post. I personally believe that there needs to be a balance between selfishness and selflessness. It can be difficult at times, but it’s our responsibility to know which one we need to be and when.

    I really enjoyed this post. Feel free to swing by and check out my blog…or not. The choice is yours.

    JSin (up4dsn.wordpress.com)

    1. Thank you! Finding an appropriate balance between selfishness and selflessness is highly important. Yes, finding this balance is our responsibility and can be quite difficult at times. I’m really glad you enjoyed this piece. I’m on my way over to check out your blog. Thanks for reading and your response!

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