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How Understanding Can Help Tame Selfishness in Others?

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In ethical egoism, we become selfish sometimes which according to philosophical theory, is morally
required for the benefit of self-preservation.

An example of this is a scenario in every dystopian movie where resources are scarce such as water,
gasoline, food, or even as silly as dirt (a reference to the Water World movie). People rather fight over it
than share it equally. The situation pushed them to be selfish to preserve their lives, thus, justifying their

But being selfish, where one can't help but think only for themselves even at the disadvantage of others,
is another thing to discuss.

Selfishness is a by-product of a mental illness such as psychopathy or anti-social disorder and narcissistic
disorder. People suffering from either of these have their minds so enshroud with their own needs and
desires that they don't give any regard to other people. These disorders basically numb them from
sensing that they hurt people from such behavior. They can be manipulative, always act for their selfinterest, reduce the capacity for empathy, unkind, or extreme entitlement.

Having said this, we must extend our understanding to this kind of people since they are suffering from
personality disorders which make them quite unstable.

If you are one of the people who needs to deal with a selfish person daily, especially if it is a family
member or a friend, always remind yourself that whatever they do for their gains, does not reflect on
who you are. It is not your fault or anyone in this regard that they are selfish.
Instead of judgment, understanding is what they need. Yes, it could be hard to extend such sympathy
especially after you've been hurt by their streaks. Nevertheless, you need to accept them as they are
since they are living with a disorder.

As this personality disorder is not curable but treatable, encourage them to undergo psychotherapy
which will help them manage such a behavior from escalating into a worse stage. Such as using other
people for their gains, or using manipulation to the extreme to benefit them.

To better help them, you must be informed enough about their condition. That way, you'd understand
what prompts them to act selfishly and establish a conversation to help them navigate through their
condition as well as to allow you to set boundaries. Since you can't basically dictate their behavior
towards you, you can assertively set a line in which you refuse to cross with.

The power of understanding one's condition which is complex such as selfishness due to a personality
disorder is truly a skill to be reckoned with. Extending this to somebody underserving involves both the
use of faculties like the brain for reasoning and the heart for empathizing. So, whenever there's a
circumstance of meeting someone with a selfish tendency, choose to be understanding
How Understanding Can Help Tame Selfishness in Others?
Carren Flores