One of the pillars of every successful relationship is the ability to compromise and to meet each other halfway. A firm relationship is a two-way street and both partners need to put their egos and selfishness aside for it to work out. It is quite difficult to have a healthy relationship if one of the partners thinks only about his needs and his well-being.
Some people are simply not cut out to be compassionate and selfless but selfishness is one of the things you shouldn’t tolerate in your relationship, under any circumstances. But if you have already found yourself dealing with a selfish partner, there are some steps you can take for him to reconsider his behavior. Here are 9 of them.
1. Stop justifying his behavior
If you are in a relationship with a man who doesn’t match the effort you put in, who never takes care of your needs and always puts his own well-being and interests first, without ever thinking about how some things might affect you, you are definitely dealing with a selfish partner.
However, when you have a selfish boyfriend, his selfishness is usually hard to accept. If you really want to make some changes in your relationship and if you want to handle this situation the best way possible, the first thing you need to do is face the harsh truth that your boyfriend has been inconsiderate and selfish and that he isn’t treating you right.
It’s time to stop justifying his behavior. You can’t expect things to change on their own if you run away from the truth, always making excuses for the way he treats you.
2. Think about what made him act this way
When you’ve finally accepted that your boyfriend is selfish, it’s time to ask yourself what made him act this way. Was he like this from the start but you just failed to notice it? Or did something happen that caused him to completely change his behavior? Does he act like this toward everyone or just when he is with you?
The answers to these questions may seem irrelevant to you but they will actually reveal much more than you’d think. It is one thing if selfishness is simply his personality trait which he hid for some time and which you tried to overlook in the beginning but it is totally different if something happened in your relationship which made him become this way.
Although selfishness in a relationship cannot be justified under any circumstances, maybe you should think about whether there is something behind his behavior.
3. Try to explain to him how his behavior makes you feel
Sometimes, people behave in a certain way without even being aware of it. Your boyfriend’s selfishness is something that is causing you a lot of pain and you should make sure he knows how bad it makes you feel. Before making any radical decisions, you should try and have a sincere conversation with him regarding this problem.
Confront him about everything he’s been doing to you! You should also try your best to express your feelings, for him to realize how his behavior has been affecting you and your relationship. This doesn’t mean you should attack him right away, it only means that you should tell him that he’s been causing you pain and that you don’t feel happy around him anymore.
This is something that might snap him back to reality, causing him to think his selfishness through and to take some responsibility for his actions.
4. Face him with the facts
When you confront selfish people, they will usually deny everything and they may even be shocked by your accusations. In most cases, they will even try to accuse you of overreacting and putting all the blame on them.
Either way, they will do whatever it takes to justify their behavior because they usually refuse to accept selfishness as a part of their personality. If you want to avoid this from happening, you need to arm yourself with the facts before talking to your boyfriend about this issue.
Tell him about all the times he talked about himself without ever asking how you were and about all the times he ignored or downplayed your emotions. Mention the situations in which he made everything about himself and the situations in which he expected you to be there for him but that you could never count on his support.
Don’t just talk about things in general—present him with concrete examples of his selfish behavior. He can’t argue with the facts, no matter how hard he tries and that will help you prove your point.
5. Set some conditions
If you want your partner to stop being selfish, you need to establish some terms and conditions. You need to decide what kind of behavior is acceptable for you and what it is that you will not tolerate.
You need to be clear with your partner about these conditions—tell him exactly what you expect from the relationship and set some ground rules. Of course, he will probably try to continue with his behavior but this is where you need to show him that you are serious and that you don’t plan on letting him get his way.
If you want his selfishness to end, you need to set firm boundaries and your boyfriend needs to learn to respect them. You need to determine what the things are that you can let slide and what the things are that you are not ready to compromise on.
6. Put yourself first
When you love someone, it is perfectly natural that you want to make this person happy. But giving all of your energy and attention to someone who doesn’t appreciate it and doesn’t give you anything in return is not a sign of your love for them; it is only a sign of the lack of love and care you have for yourself.
No matter how important someone is to you, you shouldn’t forget about your happiness either. This is especially the case when you are dealing with a selfish guy who doesn’t match your efforts.
When you have a selfish boyfriend who never prioritizes you, that means it’s time to stop being the only one who thinks about what is best for your relationship and to start thinking about what is best for you. It is obvious that this person doesn’t have any intention of meeting your needs, so why would you waste your energy and patience on someone who clearly doesn’t deserve them, when you can give them to someone who’ll appreciate them?
For a change, instead of making time for him, focus on yourself. You have been giving more than enough attention to this guy and now you should redirect this attention to yourself. Stop ignoring your needs and devote to yourself completely. If you don’t appreciate yourself enough, you can’t expect others to.
7. Show him that he can’t take you for granted
One of the reasons some men stop paying attention to their girlfriends and start acting selfishly is because they take them for granted. Is it possible that your boyfriend always counts on your presence and that he thinks there is nothing he could do to make you stop loving him?
If so, he thinks he will get away with his selfish behavior. If this is the case, it’s about time you show him that he can’t take you for granted and that you can live your life without him in it. You are a complete individual and you had a life before this selfish person crossed your path.
Remember, you should never allow a man to give complete meaning to your existence because he can use it against you, thinking that he can act as he pleases. But if you show him that you might walk away from him if he doesn’t change, there is a possibility that he will think his behavior through.
You shouldn’t threaten him that you’ll leave because that would be emotional blackmail; you should just show him that he doesn’t have any power over you and that he will have to try harder if he wants to keep you.
8. Give him a taste of his own medicine
Sometimes people don’t realize how destructive their behavior is until they feel it on their own skin. If you have a selfish man by your side, maybe it’s time to give him a taste of his own medicine.
Selfish people tend to get offended once you start treating them the way they have been treating you all along but there are times when you have no other option left. I am not saying that you should stoop down to his level and that you should change the essence of your personality by becoming a self-centered, narcissistic person just to prove a point. What I am saying is that you ought to show your partner that he can’t always count on your support.
Start with little things—stop asking him how his day was, stop doing things for him, stop giving him your full attention and stop prioritizing him over everyone else. In the beginning, he’ll be offended but later on, he’ll probably start appreciating the sacrifices you were making for the relationship and it will make him understand how it feels to have a selfish partner.
9. Walk away
If nothing provides you with any results, maybe it’s time to reconsider your relationship in general. If your boyfriend is being too selfish and nothing you do makes him change, does he really love you? Or you are just good for his ego? Is this the person you want to spend any more time with? Is he worthy of your time and patience? Is he worthy of all the sacrifices you’ve been making for his sake? Is he worthy of you?
There are times when you know you’ve tried everything in your power to change the way someone’s been treating you but nothing has helped. The only thing you can do in this situation is to walk away before it’s too late. You need to understand how worthy you are and that this is not the treatment you deserve. What you don’t deserve is a selfish boyfriend who will expect everything and won’t give you anything in return.
A teacher. A dreamer. A writer. A woman who’s been through all of the things you are going through. A woman who’s learned on her mistakes and whose advice you can trust. A woman who is trying to find her place under the stars. A woman just like you.