Your parents and teachers always taught you that it was wrong to be selfish or egoistic. However, you need a healthy dose of self-esteem and love for yourself to survive and thrive. If this personality aspect is unbalanced, you may become an egoist or an egotist.
Egoistic Versus Egotist
These words sound so similar that many people think they are interchangeable. They do involve your ego, but they have different meanings. The traits may seem to overlap a bit.
An egoistic person, also called an egoist, thinks highly of themselves. However, they don’t put it so much into a conversation as they do actions. A prime example of an egotist is the blowhard at work who’s constantly bragging about his possessions and accomplishments, real or invented.
The egotist may be the loudest in the room, but they aren’t always selfish. In contrast, egoists are cunning and take care of number one. Both personalities want the limelight and everything they desire.
Thirteen Traits of an Egoistic Person
At least you know where you stand with an egotist. They want all the attention, and they want everyone to know. Egotists are the people in your circle who are obsessed with sharing prices and other personal details. They’ll flaunt their designer outfits, accessories, and other assets, as well as the price tags.
While you won’t hear such vain babble from egoists, they hide their prideful thoughts well. They have selfish goals, and they will step on everyone’s back to get to the top. Here are 13 characteristics of egoists that you can’t ignore.
In about every class you attended in school and college, you had at least one smug know-it-all. They assume that they are class geniuses, and it’s a classic sign of an egoistic person. While they won’t come out and say their ideas are superior to yours, their body language and condescending tone say it all.
2. They Joke at Other’s Expense
You love cheerful people with a lovely sense of humor, but not when it hurts others. An egoistic person looks down their nose at people by laughing and mocking them. Their antics often go beyond good-natured teasing and can be cruel and bullying.
After they’ve had their mean-spirited fun, they may say, “just joking,” in a lame attempt to lighten the blow. This person might even insinuate that you can’t take a joke. Egoists put their feelings above yours, and if you’re offended, then it’s your problem.
3. They Have No Scruples
Have you ever met someone so selfish that they’d do anything to get what they want? It’s a quintessential egoistic trait that isn’t always as subtle as they think. While an egotist’s selfish operatives are more pronounced, egoists work undercover and exploit friends or family.
According to one article, such manipulation and exploitation are red flags of a toxic personality. They may also use tactics like gaslighting and blame-shifting. The people in their lives are means to their desired results.
4. An Egoistic Person May Plot Against Other People
Few of the egoistic person’s actions are left to chance. They relish a challenge and will plan every step of their crooked schemes. While they are smiling and offering suave conversation, they could be plotting against you the whole time.
For example, maybe you know somebody at work who is constantly after brownie points, even though they despise the boss. They might act like they’re your chum until the boss offers a promotion. Don’t be surprised if this egoist tries their best to make you look bad or even lie to you.
5. They are Vain
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the most egoist of them all? The reflection looks back with the same arrogant grin. Egoistic people require constant reminders that they are the best-looking person in the room. They spend an unreasonable amount of time and money on their appearance and wardrobe.
According to her article published by Psychology Today, Dr. Susan Krause Whitbourne explains that egoism can lead to narcissism. At first, you can’t see other points of view, and then you see them and don’t care, says Whitbourne. They make every attempt to elicit compliments without doing it themselves.
6. They’re Mostly Talk
Overly confident people often make brilliant speeches full of lofty ideas. However, their rhetoric falls flat when it comes to acting on it. Egoist people create a call to action and then go their way.
Regardless of their apparent strength and determination, it’s usually an act. These folks are the first to lecture everybody else while ignoring their own shortcomings. These people only give the illusion of being a team member because they’re out for themselves.
Not only are self-absorbed people cruel teasers, but they use their unwilling subjects as a shield. They are quick to call attention to other people’s shortcomings to protect their façade. It’s often behind the pretense of being helpful or concerned.
They use harmful speech to discredit the opinions and accomplishments of others. One of their favorite interruptive phrases is “yeah, but.” Regardless of the positive points you offer, they cut you off with a “yeah, but” and their adverse reaction.
8. They Use Denial
It’s often difficult to help an egoist person because they refuse to admit any problems. No matter their mistakes or shortcomings, they have a patent excuse. Their inflated ego compels them to deny fault, and they have convenient amnesia concerning past transgressions.
Rather than own their mistakes, apologize, and make amends, they like to shift the blame. When you confront them about an offense or character flaw, they’ll quickly make it your fault. Self-centered mates usually create toxic relationships.
9. Egoistic People are Users
What could be more frustrating than having someone take advantage of you? People with an oversized ego have no qualms about using others for their gain. Such abuse is common in personal and professional relationships.
They are often expert manipulators and can schmooze with the best. At first, they’ll be charming and accommodating. They say all the right things and act like they’re your best friend.
Once you’ve taken the bait, they continue the ruse until they get what they want. Then, they drop you in the trashcan like a used tissue. For these selfish personalities, friends are disposable.
10. They Lack Empathy
Egocentric people don’t have a problem showing sympathy. While they are selfish to the core, they can still feel sorry for somebody in their circle who’s hurting. However, they won’t usually go out of their way to express their feelings.
Even more difficult for them is to be empathetic. It would require complex emotions and the ability to walk in another’s shoes. They just can’t put their ego aside and make their hurting friend a priority.
11. They Have Strong Opinions
Some individuals are so self-absorbed that they can’t see past their noses. They have an exaggerated sense of importance and value their opinions above all others. It won’t be pretty if you ever try to challenge their views or methods.
Nothing brings out the worst in a selfish person than such a challenge. They quickly become defensive, argumentative, and loud. In extreme cases, their temper may result in violence.
These are the ones who thrive on contention and divisive subjects. Since their strong opinions are part of them, they’ll fight to defend them. It can be a challenge to diffuse them once they are on a soapbox.
12. They Hold Grudges
Have you been unfortunate enough to be in a southbound conversation with an egoistic person? If you disagree with them and tell them no, the ensuing temper flare is just the beginning. You’re now in the crosshairs of their wrath.
These people consider your challenge as a threat to their ego. Even if you didn’t say or do anything wrong, they would hold a grudge indefinitely. Plus, they are apt to plan revenge.
Their paybacks may not be evident to others. Egocentric people often use mental and psychological abuse in their toxic relationships. Such abuse doesn’t show bruises, but it can cause severe psychological damage to the targeted person.
13. An Egoistic Person Feels Entitled to Special Treatment
Of course, everybody is unique, and you should celebrate the differences that make you an individual. A critical flaw in the egoistic person is that they believe they are better than anyone in the world. Such a lofty attitude can create delusions of grandeur.
These skewed attitudes can make personal and professional relationships difficult or non-existent. They believe that they are so perfect that nobody can understand them. So, they think the best company to keep is with themselves.
Whether a relationship is personal or professional, both people need equal standing for it to last. Egocentric personalities not only ruin their relationships, but they can ultimately self-destruct. It’s all about striking a balance between self-esteem and selfishness and keeping that egoistic tendency in check.