The selfish ... is born or made?

17.08.2020

Moreover, the need to always seek their own benefit, is it something deliberate or do they do it unconsciously and without falling into it? We discuss all the questions below.

First my teeth than my relatives, says an old saying. Why are some people selfish? Is it a learned trait or are there those who come into the world with their ego already "raised" from the factory? This is a question that we ask ourselves very often, especially when we are forced to share time and space with someone who only cares about their own benefits.

Thus, something that we know well from the field of psychology is that all of us have certain touches of this dimension as criticized as negative. Within us, both the sense of cooperation and selfishness swing . And that this is so is perfectly normal and even necessary. Our sense of survival also turns from time to time to such basic self-protectionism.

After all, it is healthy to reserve a fair and adequate amount of that self-interest with which to prioritize when it comes to . However, if we fall into excess, when we choose in each situation and circumstance to place ourselves in front of others with deliberate pride, we will be sailing in the poisoned waters of the most harmful selfishness. The one in which coexistence is so difficult. Let us therefore understand what is behind this behavior and lifestyle.

Why are some people selfish? Causes that explain it

Jacinto Benavente used to say that the only acceptable selfishness was that of someone who tries to make sure everyone is well in order to be one better. Perhaps it was true, but in reality few personality profiles are as uncomfortable and even conflicting in daily life as the selfish. Moreover, although we are clear that most of us are motivated to pursue and protect our particular interests, there are those who take this fact to the extreme.

As indicated in an investigation carried out at the Ohio State University, by Dr. Jennifer Crockher, it is true that human beings can manifest both selfish and altruistic behaviors. However, as a social group, selfish behavior goes against our nature and comes at an obvious cost .

If the human being had limited himself from the beginning to protect his interests exclusively, we would not have survived as a species. So why are some people selfish? What is behind a behavior that, apparently, goes against our essence as a species?

The Tyrant Child and the Selfish Adult

In work done at the University of Michigan University of Psychology, something interesting was shown. When a child is 3 years old, he already fully understands the rules of fairness . He knows that sharing is the right thing to do and what is expected of him. Showing and demonstrating cooperative behaviors is decisive in the social development of the little ones.

However, many choose not to. If parents do not promote altruism and cooperative behaviors, they will end up shaping the classic tyrant or emperor child . In this way, if we ask ourselves why some people are selfish, the origin of this is often in childhood.

  • Moreover, something that we must be clear about is that the fact of not educating in empathy, cooperation and respect will cause the adult of tomorrow to present more traits, in addition to selfishness.
  • Selfishness is often accompanied by low resistance to frustration and emotional mismanagement.
  • The selfish also have a low capacity for self - control and often lead to authoritarianism.

Egoism as a defense mechanism

Much of the most damaging selfish behavior is explained by the educational factor. However, in a smaller percentage of cases, it can also have as its origin the personality factor and, specifically, the use of this dimension as a defense mechanism. In what sense? we will wonder ...

  • There are people who, as a result of various negative experiences, can create a kind of armor of self-protection.
  • Your goal is not to be hurt, not to experience disappointment or disappointment again.
  • To do this, they develop an attitude from which they prioritize at all costs, to the point of assuming an arrogant, ambitious and even aggressive behavior.
  • Little by little, they build an excessive and clearly harmful self-esteem under which nothing hides anything other than insecurity. Selfishness is also a defense mechanism to hide a damage, a wound.

Why some people are selfish: a deliberate attitude to life

If we wonder why some people are selfish, it is best to observe their behavior. Something that we will perceive is their attitude . Nothing in them is unconscious, what they do, how they act and the way they respond to things is not accidental or unconscious. There is a willingness to be like that, it is a "me before you", a "I don't care what you feel, it matters what I need."

Richard Dawkins , an evolutionary biologist, enunciated the so-called selfish gene theory in the 1970s . According to this approach, this dimension is part of the human being, like violence, racism, discrimination... Some people deliberately adopt this trend. Others, on the other hand (the vast majority), prioritize altruism, respect and cooperation.

It is clear that day to day is not easy when we have someone with this profile close by. The deliberate and backsliding selfish person can seldom create strong, or even less happy, personal ties. After all, many times we are forced to put distance to safeguard our integrity.

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