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How to respond when someone calls you selfish

Check out what to say when someone calls you selfish. | www.ishouldhavesaid.net

Urban dictionary has a great definition of selfish, “Having desires that conflict with the selfishness of others.”

Often manipulative people will call you selfish to try and guilt you into doing what they want. If you fall for the selfish label you will probably give into their controlling behavior and spend your days catering to someone else’s agenda. We all need to be selfish at times, your life would be a mess if you constantly put other people’s need ahead of your own.

People who put their own needs first are not selfish they are healthy. Before taking off on an airplane, the flight attendants will instruct you to put your oxygen mask on first, before you help other passengers. This is an important survival rule because if you run out of oxygen, you can’t help anyone else with their oxygen mask.

If somebody is annoying you by calling you selfish, use one of our fun comebacks.  Tell us which your favorite answer is and vote the best comeback.

Vote for the best comeback for being called selfish

I can only please one person per day and today I chose me!
Yeah, I totally wanted to drop everything I was doing today and care for your bullshit.
If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased.
Yes, I’m selfish. I don not want to share you with people.
And by selfish do you mean I will not do exactly what you want me to do....

Definition of a selfish person

When someone’s selfish, they’re mainly into their own stuff without thinking about others. These folks might put their goals first, not really caring about what their friends, family, or community needs. Compromising or sacrificing for others? Nope, that’s not their thing. 

They might not get it or care much. Being selfish could show they’re not too confident, and emotions? They might struggle with those. This behavior can create tension in social situations. What you need to do is be understanding and show you care about others. Don’t go down the selfish road that messes up relationships and hurts people.

What to do if people call you selfish

Dealing with folks calling you selfish can be tough, but it’s a chance to learn and grow. Check out these tips for handling it:

  1. Listen to feedback – Hear what others say, even if you disagree. Being open to feedback helps you see how your actions look to them.
  2. Practice empathy: Imagine how your actions affect others. Show you care and work on your people skills and emotional smarts.
  3. Compromise: Be ready to give in a bit and make sacrifices for your loved ones. Sometimes, their needs should come first, or find a solution that works for everyone.
  4. Talk it out: Chat well with others. Make your needs clear and be open to theirs too. Finding a balance matters.
  5. Get some support: If being selfish messes with your relationships, lean on friends, family, or a therapist for help. They can guide you toward better habits.

Hey, just so you know, being labeled selfish doesn’t slap a permanent label on you. We all goof up sometimes. Take it as a chance to level up—learn and improve from what you hear. Make a deal with yourself to work on cooler habits that show you value and treat others like the awesome beings they are.


Our FREE Starter Guide will show you the 3 simple steps you can take right now to stand up for yourself so that you can feel confident. It’s a game changer–get it free for a limited time!

Some people will call you selfish no matter how much you give

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When you are dealing with being called selfish by others and you find it stressful, consider getting support from a professional. Talking to a counselor is a great way to work through a challenging situation, and help you find some strategies to work through the person’s behaviour.

Better Help is a great resource where you can talk to a counselor from the comfort of your own home.

Taking care of your own needs isn’t selfish, and you will feel better in the long run.

Funny replies when people joke that you're selfish

Got any comments, questions or tips for dealing with someone who calls you selfish? Share them in the comments below.


Ever feel like you don’t know what to say to challenging people? Grab our FREE starter guide, so you know not only what to say- but how to say it.

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4 Responses

  1. “It’s kind of hilarious watching you try to fit your entire vocabulary into one sentence.”
    “If you’re waiting for me to care, I hope you brought something to eat, ‘cause it’s gonna be a really long time.”

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