Difference between Selfish and Mean

Key difference: Selfish and mean are synonyms; which resemble and point to same type of natures. ‘Selfish’ can be taken as a motivational behavior, which an individual behaves in order to fulfill their needs. While, ‘mean’ is an individual’s unwilling or unkind type of nature, which has no concerns with other people. Both, types of natures are unfair in their places.

Generally, selfish and mean are not generous types of behavior. Both the behaviors resembles in many aspects, especially in their natures. Selfish are the ones who are concerned only with their own needs, hence, these don’t care about the other individuals. While, mean are the ones who are very unwilling in nature and do not share anything with others. In social lives, being selfish or mean, are not good type of natures.

‘Selfish’ can be a type of nature, motivation or an individual who are only and only concern of satisfying their own personal needs. These people do not care about other’s and always tries some or the other way in order to grab their needs. Selfish ones do not give any of their things to others like that of mean ones. They are greedy for their wants and always want more and more. These are those one’s which are never satisfied with their accumulations or present things, always demand more from life. These are the ones who are concerned chiefly or only with their selves and their advantages; excluding of others. Sometimes, being selfish is almost deliberate in order to achieve the needs. As this nature is not socially and personally good for an individual, it should be overcome by changing and adapting to good social behaviors and performance.

‘Mean’ is an adjective used for the one’s who are unwilling, unkind and not generous. This type of individual’s do not share any of their things, especially money with others. These are too greedy types of people, who are only concerned with their wants. ‘To be mean’ with someone is something like fulfilling own wants or needs by not letting it know to the other individual, which is not a good type of behavior. Especially, these are small-minded or ignoble in nature due to which they purposely accomplish their needs. Like that of selfish, even these don’t care about other individuals.

Hence, selfish and mean are inter-related to each other. These are synonyms of each other, as they both mean the same; about an individual who is only concerned with only his own personal needs. Both, selfishness and mean individuals are not good or nice type of individuals in the societies. Hence, these need to understand their behavior and need to correct it so that they can have a good and perfect social life.

Comparison between Selfish and Mean:




Some Web definitions

lacking consideration for other people; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure

unwilling to give or share things, especially money; not generous

unkind, spiteful, or unfair

Short description

Selfish refers to the act of devoting to or caring only for oneself. It is generally being concerned with one's own interests, benefits, welfare, comfort et cetera, regardless of the interests of others.

Mean refers to the act of being selfish and not sharing or concerning that thing with others.


egocentric, egotistic, egotistical, egomaniacal, self-centered, self-regarding, self-absorbed, self-obsessed, self-seeking, self-serving, wrapped up in oneself, inward-looking, introverted, self-loving

unkind, nasty, spiteful, foul, malicious, malevolent, despicable, contemptible, obnoxious, vile, odious, loathsome, disagreeable, unpleasant, unfriendly, uncharitable, shabby, unfair, callous, cruel, vicious, base, low


unselfish, selfless, altruistic, considerate, generous


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