Definition of SELFISHNESS


Selfishness is a noun referring to the quality or behavior of prioritizing one’s 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, selfishness 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. Individuals characterized by selfishness 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 selfishness is a lack of empathy or consideration for others. It manifests as a disregard for the feelings, needs, or well-being of others in pursuit of one’s own goals or desires, showing little regard for the impact of one’s actions on others’ happiness or welfare.

Self-Centeredness: Selfishness often stems from 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, selfishness 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: Selfishness 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 selfishness 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.

Selfishness refers to the quality or behavior of 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 SELFISHNESS in a sentence

  • Her selfishness was evident when she refused to help her friend in need.
  • The team’s failure was attributed to the selfishness of some members who prioritized personal glory over teamwork.
  • His selfishness prevented him from considering the needs of others, leading to strained relationships.
  • Overcoming selfishness requires a shift in perspective towards empathy and compassion for others.
  • The company culture suffered due to the pervasive selfishness of upper management.
  • Teaching children about the consequences of selfishness is crucial for fostering empathy and cooperation.
  • She realized the detrimental impact of her selfishness on her friendships and vowed to change her behavior.
  • Addressing societal issues like poverty and inequality often requires combating individual selfishness on a larger scale.


The term selfishness is a noun formed by adding the suffix “-ness” to the adjective “selfish.” Here’s the breakdown:

  • Selfish (Old English): Referring to someone primarily concerned with their own interests or welfare.
  • -ness (Old English): Denoting a state or quality.

Therefore, selfishness describes the state or quality of being primarily concerned with one’s own interests or welfare, often at the expense of others. It emphasizes a lack of consideration or empathy for others’ needs, desires, or well-being. The term is used to describe behavior characterized by a focus on personal gain, gratification, or advantage, without regard for the impact on others. Selfishness underscores the importance of empathy, compassion, and reciprocity in fostering healthy relationships and promoting social harmony.


  • Egotism
  • Egocentrism
  • Self-centeredness
  • Narcissism
  • Self-seeking
  • Self-interest
  • Self-absorption
  • Self-serving


  • Altruism
  • Generosity
  • Selflessness
  • Consideration
  • Empathy
  • Benevolence
  • Compassion
  • Cooperation


  • Selfish
  • Selfish behavior
  • Egocentricity
  • Narcissistic tendencies
  • Self-centered
  • Self-absorbed
  • Self-serving
  • Selfish act

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