Difference between Selfish and Self Centered

Key difference: ‘Selfish’ people concentrate only on their personal views and regards, and thereby avoid others. While, ‘Self-Centered’ individual are those who are excessively concerned with only their needs and importance. Both, words reflect to those people who give or seek prime importance to only themselves. These are not concerning to other individuals or ignore their participation.

Actually, both these words, ‘selfish’ and ‘self-concerned’ mean same. But slightly differ in their deep explanations; i.e. selfish relates to selfishness, in which individuals deliberately attempt to improve their part of expense share from others. Or can also be considered as taking others advantage and fulfilling one’s desire. While, self-centered comes from self-centeredness in which individuals emphasizes more on their sayings, directions or mindsets to achieve their goals. Here, they ignore other individuals without letting it known to them.

Selfish’ combines the pronoun self-, meaning ‘to or for yourself’, with the suffix -ish, for "having the character of."

A person is selfish when he/she is too very conscious about his/her needs and demands; and hence in order to accomplish them they intentionally and knowingly perform things so that they can achieve their needs. Many times, people ignore things a lot in selfishness; they start finding ways out to avoid those things from which they are frustrated. They don’t face them but, rather keep themselves away from them. Also, being selfish means only to think about one self’s and their profit; then for achieving that part of profit that person can opt for any situation. More broadly, it relates to one self’s desperation to have all things only with themselves and not with others.

Self-centered’ highlights on two words, first ‘self’ means you, and ‘centered’ means prime focus.

A self-centered individual is the one who gives an excessive importance to him/herself and their related things. These are the ones’ who primly focuses on only their sayings and talks only about themselves and their related things. Not concerning and giving importance to others. Self-centered people tend to ignore the needs of others and only do what's best for them. These can also be called as egocentric, egoistic, and egoistical. Here the person doesn’t even realize their doings or their talks. The term ‘self-centered’ is mostly taken into negative connotations, as the word clearly refers to, centered in oneself. In its extreme forms, the behavior is considered to be a type of personality disorder. People with such type of disorder are very centered to their own concerns or views. They lack empathy and often get exaggerate their own self-importance. Due to this, these types of people find it difficult to co-operate and manage with their dear ones.

Both words, selfish and self-centered emphasize more on ‘self’ aspect. Selfish is an act which an individual does deliberately in order to achieve his/her goals or aims. While, self-centered refers to those ones who primarily considers them than others and ignore them. The self centered individuals are prone to behave like that way and hence they don’t even realize their behavior. Also, at times a selfish individual can change; but a self-centered individual is considered to be fixed and stationary and hence these cannot change. Selfish can sometimes be taken into a positive connotation, but self-centered is always taken into negative connotation.

Comparison between Selfish and Self Centered:



Self Centered

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.

Self-centered means chiefly or mostly concerned with one's own interests. Self-centered people are considered selfish and even egotistical. The archaic use of the word means fixed and unchanging.





egocentric, egoistic, egoistical, self-centered, self-centered

egocentric, egoistic, egoistical, self-centered

self-absorbed, self-involved, selfish, narcissistic


unselfish, altruistic, selfless, considerate, generous, public-spirited, self-denying, self-giving, self- sacrificing, self-forgetful, sharing

altruistic, selfless, unselfish

Their nature

To be selfish is something, which a person does deliberately.

To be self-centered is not deliberate but not known to that person; he/she go on being in that state.

Image Courtesy: fabulouslifeofgatsby.blogspot.com, wikihow.com

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