Skip to content

Dealing With Someone Who Is Self-Obsessed

We all have selfish or self-obsessed tendencies. They’re an essential part of self-preservation. But some people go farther than others. There are a small amount of people who struggle to find the balance. Dealing with someone who is self obsessed can be exhausting, frustrating and demoralising. These people could be family, friends or co-workers. It’s important to develop some strategies for dealing with them effectively.

Self Obsessive Behaviour

Some self-obsessive behaviour can be masking other issues such as anxiety or lack of confidence, Or other social or behavioural conditions such as communication problems. Such a person may have a negative self-image. Therefore they may be looking for reassurance. Perhaps they got little attention when young. Now they are over compensating.

Be Specific

Take a minute to consider exactly what bothers you about the person. Do they rarely ask how you are? Or expect lots of help without offering any in return? Do their problems seemingly always outweigh your own? Perhaps they ignore yours altogether?

Tackling the subject might be tricky. However, try to communicate effectively using examples and “I” statements. In doing so you can express your unhappiness with the relationship. Be careful of making broad or hurtful accusations.

“I feel like I’ve listened a lot lately. But you haven’t had much time to listen to me. This makes me feel less important in this relationship”

“Yesterday you asked me for a lot of favours. Sometimes it can feel like quite hard work for me to be your friend.”


If you’re respectful and kind to the person hopefully you will get a positive response. Be prepared for the possibility they may get defensive. If this happens apologise for their upset. Explaining that you felt you had to express yourself. They will either apologise, offer excuses or deny their behaviour. Some self-obsessed people don’t realise how bad things have gotten. Moreover, some people may never change. However, the more you tell them the reasons for relationship breakdown, the more they become self aware.

Be Assertive

Self-obsessed people thrive in relationships where they are able to dominate others. Action needs to be taken to call attention to their problem behaviour. Try stopping them straight away when it happens. Perhaps diverting the conversation towards yourself. Don’t give by attempting to control your behaviour. When the person realises they won’t get the positive rewards they are seeking without a fairer split, they should gradually start to alter their outlook.

Step Back

It could be useful to spend time away from a self obsessed person. Especially after you have expressed your dissatisfaction. They may need time to consider what you’ve said. Also to realise the importance of other people’s feelings. Be supportive without being condescending. Try to stay positive. If they ask for help, continue to talk to them about their behaviour. Describe how it affects people. Maybe direct them to a professional who may be able to help them get to the root of the issue.

If you’d like to learn more about how to deal with a self-obsessed person please do get in touch.

Further Reading

Managing Anger In Relationships

Should I End My Relationship?

Improve Communication Skills Using Hypnotherapy

How To Handle Criticism

My techniques guarantee that you remain in control at every session. These techniques, developed over 25 years, are so effective that many issues can be addressed in as little as three sessions and my location in the very heart of London means you can book sessions to work around work.

self obsessed person
Back To Top