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Selfish People Rob Your Confidence

Selfish people rob your confidence
Selfish people rob your confidence

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal how to avoid confidence-smashers: selfish people who rob or destroy your confidence.

First a quick update:

“The science of getting rich – free download”
You might be surprised to learn that one hundred years ago, a man taught the concept of the power of your mind and this became the basis for most of today’s self-help and personal development teachings. Go to the link below and you can download and read a free copy of that book from 1910. You might also be surprised to learn that the very first person who taught that the power of your thoughts and beliefs can change your world was not a motivational speaker or author, and actually taught this long before 1910. Find out here.

Now, let’s talk about how to avoid confidence-smashers: selfish people who rob or destroy your confidence.

You probably have heard the saying “You are what you eat.” Of course, that is not literally true i.e. if you eat grass, you won’t wake up one day and become a sheath of grass, nor if you eat beef will you suddenly turn into a cow. However, what is contained in the food will affect you and if you eat poison you will become poisoned.

Similarly, there is an expression “You are who you hang out with.” Of course, this is also not literally true. If you hang out with a Frenchman you won’t become a Frenchman. And if the phrase was literally true, and you were an Arab, would you become French or would the Frenchman become Arabic?

Neither would happen. However, what will happen is that both people would influence each other and whoever is the strongest and most dominant person will affect the other, possibly infect the other.

Some people deliberately set out to be with someone with the intention of changing or influencing the other person.

And here is the paradox. When someone sets out to change another, he/she usually falls, almost always fails. But when that same person spends a lot of time with the other person, one of them or both of them will change, based on who is the most vulnerable and has the least resistance, and who is the most domineering & controlling and has the most power.

Thus, a football coach whose intention is to train and teach a player how to play better will succeed based on the fact that the player offers little resistance while the coach is obviously powerful and dominant.

While the above principle may seem glaringly obvious, most of us fail to see that same principle in action in our daily lives: the people we hang out with are affecting us for the better or for the worse.

One such example is dominant, domineering, self centered and selfish people.

It’s significant to note here that we all have some degree of selfishness within us, and it is a necessary quality. Selflessness is putting everyone else first and teachings which promote complete selflessness are neither practical nor healthy.

Should a mother be selfless in her marriage and towards her children? Should a father do the same, and can the father and mother both be selfless? If so, at what age do the children copy and become selfless, foregoing all ambition, never considering their needs, doing what everyone else asks, and never asking for anything out of a desire to be completely selfless?

The answer is balance.

Promoting constant selflessness is a way of controlling others, in the same way that a guru will teach his followers to be selfless and blindly obedient to him, thus meeting his needs and desires but never meeting their own.

When a person promotes or demands that you must be selfless and thus put everyone else first, then that person can control you by saying and demanding that you must do whatever he/she wants without regard for you, your wants, needs or opinion. This is the dynamic that occurs in abusive relationships – i.e. the abusive man demands that the woman do everything that he wants regardless of what she wants or needs. Abused women will lose their power, becoming beyond selfless to the point of blaming themselves for the abuser’s actions and behaviors.

Of course, there are times when a selfless act is needed – to help someone in dire need or to risk one’s own life to save another; we often refer to this as a heroic act.

Accordingly, selfishness can be defined and recognized as the other extreme, a person who only considers his/her own desires without any thought or consideration for the other persons needs or desires.

A selfish person is often also dominant, domineering or controlling – even though it might not appear to be so evident at first. (Read my article about people who are controlling – “Dealing with emotional vampires” ).

When you enter into a relationship or surrounds yourself with a selfish person, you will quickly lose your power and confidence and will easily become controlled by the selfish person, particularly if your desire is to please or gain the approval of the other person.

Phil began a relationship with Erica. Phil was often driven by the need to please or rescue the other person; he wanted to make Erica happy and he feared rejection. Although he enjoyed her company, Phil did not recognize that the relationship was transforming into a parasitic one – Erica was constantly taking but never giving – everything had to be on her terms.

“We teach other people how to treat us” is one of my teachings. In Phil’s case, he was allowing Erica to act selfishly towards him. While Phil was not to blame for her actions, he did make four mistakes ;

  1. He refused to speak up for himself from the beginning
  2. He refused to place boundaries
  3. He became dependent on her for approval and validation
  4. He did not walk away when he recognized that she was not willing to change

ccordingly, Erica learned that Phil would accept her selfish behavior and thus he taught her how to treat him.

As time passed, Phil became frustrated and turned his anger inwards since he was too afraid to speak up out of fear of rejection and  fear of confrontation. Also, the few times that Phil had mentioned that something was amiss in their relationship, Erica was quick to shut him down and criticize him while playing the victim herself.

Out of fear of her rejection and her criticism, Phil had now become attached to her approval and he lost his power and confidence because he stopped thinking about his needs or desires and he began to hide. At the same time, challenges in his career had also left Phil without confidence, feeling dejected and seeking approval and validation from Erica. And the more she ignored him and his wants, the weaker he became, since he had now become dependent on her for approval and validation.

Depression soon set in for Phil because he was not taking any action to change his situation; he was hiding and he turned his anger inwards instead of using it to motivate him to change himself – walk away or speak up and ask for what he wants without being attached to her approval as well as seeking validation within himself and elsewhere in his life.

Without consciously recognizing it, the phrase “You are who you hang out with” had validity here – Phil had not become selfish like Erica but he became unhappy and isolated like her and progressively she became more dominant and controlling and he became more vulnerable and less resistant to her demands and her influence. Phil allowed Erica to shatter his confidence and self-image. He gave away his power to her.

In conclusion, it is critical to look at the people in your life and determine if your relationships are healthy. Beware of selfish people and note that no matter how strong you feel you are or how enlightened and evolved you believe you are, if you eat and partake of selfish people, you will become poisoned. Everyone in your life affects and influences you. Choose to surround yourself with people who sincerely care about you and whom support and empower you. Finally, remember you can’t change other people but you can help them if they ask and want it.

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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