10 Signs You are Being Selfish in Your Relationship


Summer 2024

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Selfishness can be a very hard thing to quantify. A lot of times a person can exhibit selfish actions without ever realizing it. Plus, we as individuals do have to be selfish to some extent, or we’ll over-exert ourselves, constantly putting everyone else’s needs before our own. So, when does selfishness become a problem?

It’s one thing to put yourself first occasionally in terms of making sure that your needs aren’t being neglected, it’s a whole other thing to consistently act superior to your partner resulting in their needs always coming second.

Many times, when someone acts selfishly in a relationship it can indicate a need for control. Perhaps you feel a loss of control in other aspects of your life, and so your relationship is where you are trying to take that control back. Take some time to reflect on your life outside of this relationship to see if this is indeed true. Pinpointing the actual problem causing your feelings of losing control will help your relationship tremendously.  

Regardless, being aware of these selfish behaviors means that you can grow and overcome them.


You’re quick to anger, and any kind of disagreement or accidental miscommunication turns into an argument. If you’re finding that every little thing your partner does upsets you, perhaps they are not actually the problem.


You always must one-up the other person. Sure, they may have achieved something recently, but whatever you achieved is better. Or your partner may try to discuss something negative that happened to them, and you have to point out that whatever happened to them is not nearly as bad as what you’ve been through.

Your Way is the Right Way 

The only way to do anything correctly is to do it your way, even down to the smallest household tasks. You can’t let your partner do anything without you needing to hover over their shoulder at all times to make sure they’re doing it right.

Critical of Your Partner’s Friends and Family

Nothing they do is good enough; you know better than them when it comes to everything, and you find yourself complaining about them often. You make mean remarks about them and very rarely have anything nice to say unless it directly benefits you.


You will not accept your partner’s opinion even when asking them for advice. Also, your partner’s preferences in terms of how they would like you to spend your leisure time together are often ignored, especially if this activity is not something you really want to do. 

Support Doesn’t Go Both Ways 

You have their shoulder to lean on but not the other way around. In addition, their achievements never receive the same level of recognition as yours, and their milestones are often overlooked in preference for yours.

No Regard to How Your Behavior Impacts Others

Many times, we make decisions that directly impact the lives of others. With selfish people, however, you have a habit of making unilateral decisions and frequently forego consulting your partner on things that impact both of you.


Acting in a manipulative way can come in many forms, but one of the most common is in the form of weaponized incompetence. This means that you find yourself often pretending to be bad at a task in order to get out of shared responsibilities. 

You Deflect Blame

You often find yourself deflecting blame onto your partner rather than taking the time to reflect upon your own actions and take responsibility. You also frequently twist your mistakes into somehow being your partner’s fault.

Always Setting Ultimatums 

Setting ultimatums means giving your partner a demand or list of demands usually with a timeline of when you want the demands finished by. This is usually accompanied by a threat to break up if the demands are not met. Now, there are times when your partner’s behavior may genuinely upset you and you need to speak with them about it. This is different. Here, you’re threatening to break up over everything. This behavior is intended to be punitive rather than constructive.

Lauren Schwartz | Staff Writer

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