Definition of SELFISH

SELFISH Adjective

Selfish is an adjective describing individuals who prioritize their own interests, needs, or desires above those of others, often at the expense of empathy, consideration, or cooperation. It denotes a lack of concern for the well-being or perspectives of others and a propensity to act in ways that benefit oneself without regard for the impact on others.

Prioritizing Personal Interests: At its core, selfish behavior involves a primary focus on one’s own interests, needs, or desires, often at the expense of considering or valuing the perspectives and experiences of others. Selfish individuals may prioritize personal gain, gratification, or success without regard for the needs or rights of others.

Lack of Empathy: One of the defining characteristics of selfish individuals is a lack of empathy or consideration for others. They may disregard the feelings, needs, or well-being of others in pursuit of their own goals or desires, showing little regard for the impact of their actions on others’ happiness or welfare.

Self-Centeredness: Selfish behavior is often associated with a self-centered mindset, where individuals prioritize their own needs or desires above the needs of others in social interactions, relationships, or decision-making processes. They may exhibit a sense of entitlement or disregard for the rights and boundaries of others.

Conflict in Relationships: In interpersonal relationships, selfish behavior can lead to conflicts, resentment, or strained connections with others. Selfish individuals may struggle to maintain healthy, mutually supportive relationships due to their focus on personal gain or satisfaction, which can undermine trust and cooperation.

Impact on Cooperation: Selfish behavior can hinder cooperation, collaboration, and collective efforts towards shared goals or objectives. Individuals who prioritize their own interests over the common good may disrupt group dynamics, impede problem-solving, or create divisions within teams or communities.

Cultivating Empathy and Altruism: Addressing selfish tendencies requires cultivating empathy, altruism, and a willingness to consider the perspectives and needs of others. This may involve practicing generosity, empathy, and ethical decision-making to foster a more compassionate and inclusive approach to interactions and relationships.

Selfish behavior involves prioritizing one’s own interests, needs, or desires above those of others, often at the expense of empathy, cooperation, or ethical considerations. While some degree of self-interest is natural and necessary for personal well-being, excessive selfishness can hinder genuine connections, undermine trust, and contribute to social discord. Cultivating empathy, altruism, and ethical awareness can help individuals strike a balance between personal fulfillment and consideration for others in their interactions and pursuits.

Examples of SELFISH in a sentence

  • His selfish behavior made it difficult for others to work with him on group projects.
  • She refused to share her notes with classmates, displaying a selfish attitude.
  • The politician’s decisions were driven by selfish interests rather than the well-being of the constituents.
  • He always puts his own needs above others’, which is why many consider him to be selfish.
  • Her selfish actions resulted in strained relationships with friends and family members.
  • It’s important to consider others’ feelings and not act in a selfish manner.
  • The CEO’s selfish decisions led to layoffs and discontent among employees.
  • He was labeled as selfish for taking the last piece of cake without offering to share it.

Etymology Origin of SELFISH

The term selfish delves into the domain of individualism, self-interest, and interpersonal relationships, embodying qualities of prioritizing one’s own needs, desires, or interests over those of others. Rooted in human psychology and social interaction, it has evolved into a concept that describes behaviors, attitudes, or actions that disregard or diminish the well-being of others in favor of personal gain or gratification.

  • Prioritization of Self-Interest: Selfishness entails a prioritization of one’s own interests, needs, or desires above those of others. Individuals who exhibit selfish behavior may prioritize their own comfort, success, or happiness without considering the impact on others or the broader community.
  • Lack of Empathy and Consideration: Selfish behavior is often characterized by a lack of empathy or consideration for the feelings, needs, or perspectives of others. Individuals focused on their own needs may disregard or minimize the needs of others, prioritizing their own desires or goals above the well-being of others.
  • Manipulation and Exploitation: Selfish individuals may engage in manipulation or exploitation to further their own agenda or achieve their goals. They may use deception, coercion, or influence tactics to manipulate others into serving their interests or meeting their needs, often without regard for ethical or moral considerations.
  • Failure to Reciprocate: Selfish behavior may involve a failure to reciprocate or contribute to the well-being of others in social exchanges or relationships. Individuals who exhibit selfish tendencies may take more than they give, failing to share resources, provide support, or reciprocate kindness or generosity.
  • Short-Term Gratification: Selfish behavior is often driven by a desire for short-term gratification or personal gain, rather than long-term considerations or the well-being of others. Individuals may prioritize immediate rewards or benefits, even if they come at the expense of long-term relationships or mutual cooperation.
  • Conflict in Relationships: Selfish behavior can lead to conflict and strain in interpersonal relationships, as individuals may prioritize their own needs or desires at the expense of the relationship or the feelings of their partner, family members, or friends. Selfish actions may erode trust, communication, and mutual respect in relationships.
  • Social Perception and Reputation: Selfish behavior may be perceived negatively by others, who may view it as egocentric, inconsiderate, or untrustworthy. Individuals who consistently prioritize their own interests above those of others may struggle to build and maintain positive relationships or earn the respect and trust of their peers.

Selfishness encapsulates the essence of individualism, self-interest, and disregard for others in human interactions and relationships. From its roots in human psychology to its broader implications for social dynamics and ethical decision-making, selfish behavior reflects complex interplays of motivation, morality, and social influence in human behavior.


  • Self-centered
  • Egocentric
  • Self-absorbed
  • Self-serving
  • Self-indulgent
  • Narcissistic
  • Inconsiderate
  • Greedy


  • Selfless
  • Altruistic
  • Generous
  • Considerate
  • Empathetic
  • Thoughtful
  • Charitable
  • Unselfish


  • Self-serving
  • Selfishness
  • Self-obsessed
  • Self-interest
  • Self-regarding
  • Self-absorption
  • Me-centered
  • Egotistical

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