I believe that most people think they are good human beings. And while in their hearts they may not be inherently evil, there are habits some of you have which convey selfishness and general lack of respect towards others. I’m sure it’s not intentional. Or at least, let’s hope! But intentional or not, take a look at some of these common habits to ensure you’re treating those around you with the utmost respect.
Being Late. I know many of you are going to hate hearing this, but being late is selfish and disrespectful. When you’re late, you say to the person you’re meeting, “Screw you. Your time doesn’t matter. All that matters is my convenience.” Now I recognize that some things are out of your control. Sometimes there is legitimately a wreck on the freeway or your car wouldn’t start. And, being five or so minutes late isn’t a big deal. But if you are a person who is habitually twenty minutes plus late to every event, then you need to think about why that is. Why do you feel that your time is more valuable than others? You know what time to be there. You know how long it takes you to get ready. You know how long it takes to get there. So when the clock ticks time to get your ass in the shower, why don’t you do it? Because you don’t give a shit about the person or people you are meeting and what they did or sacrificed to be there on time.
When you are late, you’ve decided that only you matter. It’s rude.
Interrupting people. We are all guilty of this, and it easily becomes a habit without recognizing it. Think about the times when someone cuts you off mid-sentence. It’s rude and irritating, right? Interrupting people sends the message that what they are saying doesn’t matter and what you have to say is all that matters. Your thoughts aren’t more important. You aren’t more important. Your story, while you may think it is better, can wait until their story has reached its end. The next time you are speaking with someone, be aware of letting him or her finish every thought they begin, with zero interruption.
Talking about yourself nonstop. I have had to let a couple of friends go over this one. In my opinion, the most obvious sign of a narcissistic person is one who will not stop talking about themselves and who asks zero questions about you. They know nothing about your life because they have no interest in talking about you. And when you do try to interject something about yourself, they will nod and “uh-huh” and start to instantly space out, because they are bored from not talking about themselves. I’ve had some girlfriends who I had to stop spending time with, because I found our friendship to be one-sided. If you have no interest in getting to know the person your spending time with, then you are an incredibly selfish person.
Tricking people into doing (fill in the blank). Here’s how this conversation goes: You: “Hey what are you doing today?” Me: “Not much. Maybe some laundry.” You: “Great! We are doing a bar crawl in a couple of hours so meet us at (wherever).” Now, this may seem like an ordinary conversation to you, and for some of you, maybe there is no ulterior motive. My problem with this is that instead of giving me all the information and allowing me to make the decision, you “tricked” me into getting me to say yes, by confirming that I wasn’t doing anything, before you actually told me what it was you wanted from me. Now, in this instance, could I say no? Sure. But now I feel rude by saying no when I’ve clearly just told you that I have nothing going on. Give me all the information, and then let me decide. It’s much easier for me to say, “Thanks for the invite, but I’ve got a ton of things to get accomplished today.” Your way, you’ve put me on the spot and made me feel pressured to give you what you want (entirely selfish). Maybe I’m in a bad mood. Maybe I’m broke. Maybe you shouldn’t trick me into doing something I don’t want to do, because it pleases you.
Lack of care or manners in someone’s home. When you go into someone’s home, you need to care for it and show respect for it. When there is carpet, you should ask, “Do you want me to take my shoes off?” You don’t use a dish and then leave it wherever you are sitting. You don’t put sweating glasses on their tabletops without asking if they mind or asking for a coaster. Showing a lack of respect for someone’s living space is very selfish.
If you want to destroy your own home, fine. But don’t do it to someone else’s.
Being demanding or high-maintenance. When you are alone or with your partner, you may be as high maintenance as you like. But when you’re in a group or professional situation, you should set aside your own needs and make every situation as easy as possible. Learn to “go with the flow.” If the group you are with wants to get to the museum when it opens, but you don’t like getting up in the mornings, you should be flexible and get up and go. I’ve been around many people who feel like they have to have a certain brand of bottled water or they can’t eat at a certain place, because it won’t have the exact food they want. My husband for instance hates fish. But you would never know it, because when the group suggests sushi, he goes and shuts his mouth. When there are others involved, think about them and their environment and rather than thinking about what is the absolute best thing for you, think about what is best for the group.
Expecting things for free. Unless it’s a hug, you shouldn’t expect things for free, from anyone, but particularly people you know. If you really love and care about your friends and family, you will not go to their places of business and expect them to give you their goods or services for free. You, out of everyone on the planet, should want to give him or her money more than anyone else. You love these people and should want to see them prosper! It is always better to be giver. And it should feel even more satisfying to you when you can give to people you know personally. Of course friends and family are people who we rely on for favors. Just don’t let small favors turn into profits that you’re taking from their businesses.
Not being selfless. Be aware of others and allowing them the opportunity to have the best options in all scenarios. Taking the seat with the best view, the most comfortable chair, or the best piece of food are all examples of a selfish person. Be the type of person who is selfless and always thinks of others.
Be kind. Be respectful. Stop thinking only about yourself! You will find more joy in pleasing and helping others than you will in find in lifetime of only helping yourself.