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I'm so selfish I don't know what to do anymore


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My girlfriend left me one year ago, now my best friend left me recently, my family is demanding me time with them because I barely dedicate it to them. I have 4 pets, one a little kitty and they are very demanding.

A little more of context: I'm a university student and this semester I'm taking too many courses, so I have my time really strict, although I can withdraw some of them to decrease the academic load.

 

So I'm very conflicted right now because

1. My beat friend left me because I'm not a good friend, I'm selfish and it is VERY hard for me to think about other people, and I hate it.

I thought I'd be changing, nonetheless, I was thinking about not spending some hours with my family in order for me to finish my week's assignments and be able to do some sport.

Indeed I'm being selfish and instead of dedicating 4 hours to them a week, I'd rather go and do my stuff.

 

2. I know I can do this semester with great grades but as I said, I'd have to dedicate myself to it, and my family and pets demand time.

 

I honestly feel overwhelmed. This issue of being selfish and not-at-all empathic has being over my shoulders for some years now and I can't seem to take it off.

I REALLY want to be better, to build myself a good, loving future, full of people I love and I can make happy, but it is so hard and I try and try my hardest and I fall again in the same mistakes.

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Why does your friend feel you are selfish?

 

Does any of this go beyond not spending time, or is it other things with these people?

 

 

I am curious as to why you would take on so many animals if you have so little time?

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Do you live with your parents or do you live at school? I you live at home and are not at least not making a point to sit down with them for dinner on Sundays or whatever day no one is working and they are all there -- yeah, you are selfish. It would not kill you to open your bedroom door and chat with them a little every day.

 

If you live at school but nearby -- i do think that you should take time to see them. You don't have to sit around all weekend but a quick coffee with a sibling, going for dinner or whatever.

 

4 hours a week is very little to ask - but it doesn't have to end up being four hours if you actually make an effort.

 

Is there anything you enjoy doing with your family or share interests so you can convince your selfish little self to see them doing those things?

 

You may not feel like it, but when you start doing it, you might find that you end up enjoying it

Phone calls go a long way, too

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1. My friend has a lot of serious problems in her life that I wasnt able to understand because I've lived a privileged life. So I failed every time trying to support her. Also she wouldn't be my priority due to my studies, sport, and I didn't feel very comfortable playing a game with her or watching movies, and i told her the truth because we always maintained an open communication and that of course resulted on distancing herself.

 

2. Yes it goes beyond time. I'm very self-centered, like I'm always thinking about me and never about anyone else. That's like my main problem because it shapes all my relationships.

 

3. With respect to the pets. I live with my brother and mom, so they help with that, I've never really took care of them, until last April when I adopted my little kitty, in that time I was on vacations for like 6 months (because of the virus) but I didn't know it would cost that many time, we've never had puppies or kitties. Of course I don't regret it and I take very good take care of him. It's just adding to the overwhelm I feel.

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Why does your friend feel you are selfish?

 

Does any of this go beyond not spending time, or is it other things with these people?

 

 

I am curious as to why you would take on so many animals if you have so little time?

 

Sorry I dont know how to use this platform very well but my response is above.

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Manage your time better and put yourself on a schedule where you can squeeze in some family time even if it's brief.

 

Cell phones, texting, emailing, messaging, social media and the Internet are huge time traps. Go offline and you'll find time for your family.

 

Don't be too hard on yourself regarding friends. During the busiest time of my life, I didn't have time for friends. (Even my best friend and cousin during childhood were put on standby for several years.) This was a period when my father had passed away leaving my young widowed mother and my two younger siblings. I worked full time night shift 40+ hours per week, carried a full load of college by day, contributed financially to the household, helped raise my siblings, paid my way through college and I truly did not have time for a social life. I was burning the candle at both ends.

 

I had "arrived" AFTER hard work was finished, AFTER I was on the fast track with my career and then I suddenly had more friends galore than I knew what to do with. :D The beauty of it all was that I didn't even have to try. Friends flocked to me. (I eventually married a great man and have two amazing sons.)

 

You will have more time, energy and brain space in the future when there are less demands on your time. Your plate is full right now.

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Do you live with your parents or do you live at school? I you live at home and are not at least not making a point to sit down with them for dinner on Sundays or whatever day no one is working and they are all there -- yeah, you are selfish. It would not kill you to open your bedroom door and chat with them a little every day.

 

If you live at school but nearby -- i do think that you should take time to see them. You don't have to sit around all weekend but a quick coffee with a sibling, going for dinner or whatever.

 

4 hours a week is very little to ask - but it doesn't have to end up being four hours if you actually make an effort.

 

Is there anything you enjoy doing with your family or share interests so you can convince your selfish little self to see them doing those things?

 

You may not feel like it, but when you start doing it, you might find that you end up enjoying it

Phone calls go a long way, too

 

We live together and we are constantly interacting, I never close my door and we talk a lot throughout the day. But that doesn't count as "spending time with them" that's just like the usual.

I really liked your advice and will take it. Thank you

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1. My friend has a lot of serious problems in her life that I wasnt able to understand because I've lived a privileged life. So I failed every time trying to support her. Also she wouldn't be my priority due to my studies, sport, and I didn't feel very comfortable playing a game with her or watching movies, and i told her the truth because we always maintained an open communication and that of course resulted on distancing herself.

 

2. Yes it goes beyond time. I'm very self-centered, like I'm always thinking about me and never about anyone else. That's like my main problem because it shapes all my relationships.

 

3. With respect to the pets. I live with my brother and mom, so they help with that, I've never really took care of them, until last April when I adopted my little kitty, in that time I was on vacations for like 6 months (because of the virus) but I didn't know it would cost that many time, we've never had puppies or kitties. Of course I don't regret it and I take very good take care of him. It's just adding to the overwhelm I feel.

 

Firstly, a friend in need sometimes needs an ear. They don't need to watch a movie with you. They just might need to talk for a few minutes. But hard to say if you were selfish or she was an emotional vampire.

 

If you make time, the care MIGHT follow. MAYBE. Its like going to audition for a play or deciding since you are 300 lbs its do or die. You don't feel like going for a walk, you make yourself. After the 30th time, it becomes a habit. After the 50th time you start to enjoy it - it have time for your thoughts or notice nature. And then one day you notice you are 250 lbs.

 

As far as the pets, that was awfully selfish to get a kitten. Well, now you know how your family feels taking care of the three othter pets because they have to. Did you even ask them about getting another pet?

 

Yeah, dude, i have to agree, you seem to be really self centered and treat your family as servants or bothers. If you cannot bear to spend time with them, you need a reality check big time.

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We live together and we are constantly interacting, I never close my door and we talk a lot throughout the day. But that doesn't count as "spending time with them" that's just like the usual.

I really liked your advice and will take it. Thank you

 

Have dinner with them. Passing in the hallway - you could do that with strangers

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Yes if you want to have friends and even romantic relationships in your life, you do actually need to make time for them and you also need to be supportive and a good listener. I understand we can get busy in life but the problem is if you never spend time with friends, the friendship just drifts apart. Even if your friend is understanding that you're busy and they don't actually want to end the friendship. But what ends up happening is because you're not there, they just make other friends and they kind of move on. Probably not deliberately but that's what tends to happen.

 

I'm 35 years old and I still have friends from high school. After school I went to university too and worked at the same time the whole time. So I was also busy but I made time for my friends and I was there if they ever needed to talk. Even when I was in romantic relationships I still had time for them. So I've known these friends for 10, 16, 18 years. I mean of course some people don't want many friends and are more career minded. If that's the case with you it's OK and your choice. But if you actually want friends then you really need to put the effort in.

 

You are an adult in college so if these are your pets, you need to step up to the plate and take care of them. You can't just expect your parents to take care of them like you're a little kid.

 

How long are you in college? Is this your first year? If you have no time for anything outside of college then I would suggest reducing how many subjects you're studying. Unless you're on some kind of scholarship or student allowance that requires you to study full-time. Start spending time with your family and friends more. Why don't you actually contact your best friend and try to reconcile? But you actually do need to change and not just make empty promises. You could do some therapy to help you work on these things.

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If you are in college, dedicating your time to studies is what you are suppose to be doing. Explain to your parents that you need to focus most of your time on your work. You are preparing for the rest of your life after-all. However, it's not good to study all the time. You do need a break. When I was in school I would finds a time each week that fit my schedule and say I was doing anything but studying. A few hours off gave me rest and put things in perspective. It allowed me to have fun and enjoy life rather then be stressed over the next test or paper due. Use this time to do something with your family. A movie, a sports game, a board game ... anything. The point is to be together and see there is more to life. You might even enjoy it.

 

Also, I was able to join an honors group for the field I was in. As an officer in the group, I had to spend more time with people despite being naturally shy and preferring to be alone most of the time. It wasn't that I was selfish (I was community service coordinator), I'm just not someone to have a lot of friends. But being in the group and taking most of the same classes with these people, helped me to have to interact with them. Maybe you could find something similar? It would also be good for you professionally as you'll need to be able to work well with others in most careers.

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OK I has some think....you can do things a little differently so you can have the best of both worlds. Your friend doesn't need as much from you as you think. Just some acknowledgement can go a long way. You can order flowers on line, and have a note saying "I hope these will brighten your day." Sending an ecard, a text message. Just letting them know you are thinking about them while being so busy can work well. As for your family, after dinner once a week, spare 2 hours to play a board game, have some laughs, then head back to the books. All the rest of the time is yours. Sitting on the john? You can do two things at once. You have 20 mins to post funny stuff on social media, leave a message for your friend, etc.

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Firstly, a friend in need sometimes needs an ear. They don't need to watch a movie with you. They just might need to talk for a few minutes. But hard to say if you were selfish or she was an emotional vampire.

 

If you make time, the care MIGHT follow. MAYBE. Its like going to audition for a play or deciding since you are 300 lbs its do or die. You don't feel like going for a walk, you make yourself. After the 30th time, it becomes a habit. After the 50th time you start to enjoy it - it have time for your thoughts or notice nature. And then one day you notice you are 250 lbs.

 

As far as the pets, that was awfully selfish to get a kitten. Well, now you know how your family feels taking care of the three othter pets because they have to. Did you even ask them about getting another pet?

 

Yeah, dude, i have to agree, you seem to be really self centered and treat your family as servants or bothers. If you cannot bear to spend time with them, you need a reality check big time.

 

Please don't misunderstand me. My family adopted on their own the first 3 pets, they brought the kitten and after some days asked me if I'd wanted it.

 

I guess you're right anyway. Thank you for the advice, I liked the routine one.

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Manage your time better and put yourself on a schedule where you can squeeze in some family time even if it's brief.

 

Cell phones, texting, emailing, messaging, social media and the Internet are huge time traps. Go offline and you'll find time for your family.

 

Don't be too hard on yourself regarding friends. During the busiest time of my life, I didn't have time for friends. (Even my best friend and cousin during childhood were put on standby for several years.) This was a period when my father had passed away leaving my young widowed mother and my two younger siblings. I worked full time night shift 40+ hours per week, carried a full load of college by day, contributed financially to the household, helped raise my siblings, paid my way through college and I truly did not have time for a social life. I was burning the candle at both ends.

 

I had "arrived" AFTER hard work was finished, AFTER I was on the fast track with my career and then I suddenly had more friends galore than I knew what to do with. :D The beauty of it all was that I didn't even have to try. Friends flocked to me. (I eventually married a great man and have two amazing sons.)

 

You will have more time, energy and brain space in the future when there are less demands on your time. Your plate is full right now.

 

Thank you! I'll take it into account.

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Yes if you want to have friends and even romantic relationships in your life, you do actually need to make time for them and you also need to be supportive and a good listener. I understand we can get busy in life but the problem is if you never spend time with friends, the friendship just drifts apart. Even if your friend is understanding that you're busy and they don't actually want to end the friendship. But what ends up happening is because you're not there, they just make other friends and they kind of move on. Probably not deliberately but that's what tends to happen.

 

I'm 35 years old and I still have friends from high school. After school I went to university too and worked at the same time the whole time. So I was also busy but I made time for my friends and I was there if they ever needed to talk. Even when I was in romantic relationships I still had time for them. So I've known these friends for 10, 16, 18 years. I mean of course some people don't want many friends and are more career minded. If that's the case with you it's OK and your choice. But if you actually want friends then you really need to put the effort in.

 

You are an adult in college so if these are your pets, you need to step up to the plate and take care of them. You can't just expect your parents to take care of them like you're a little kid.

 

How long are you in college? Is this your first year? If you have no time for anything outside of college then I would suggest reducing how many subjects you're studying. Unless you're on some kind of scholarship or student allowance that requires you to study full-time. Start spending time with your family and friends more. Why don't you actually contact your best friend and try to reconcile? But you actually do need to change and not just make empty promises. You could do some therapy to help you work on these things.

 

I always listened to my friend or gave her advice if she asked, I was always on the phone when she wanted to talk to me or needed me. I learned to be a good listener and when not to talk. But I guess it was too late. I dont think it'd be a good thing to reconcilliate just yet, we both knew this wasn't healthy anymore.

 

Regarding pets, I explained it two responses above. I gave myself to misunderstand. The first 3 pets they brought them in their own and of course i help a lot and I love them. The kitten, my mom broguht it and one week later asked me if i wanted to keep it.

 

Still I understand your advice and I'll see what I can do this year to organize better and next year to lower my load.

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If you are in college, dedicating your time to studies is what you are suppose to be doing. Explain to your parents that you need to focus most of your time on your work. You are preparing for the rest of your life after-all. However, it's not good to study all the time. You do need a break. When I was in school I would finds a time each week that fit my schedule and say I was doing anything but studying. A few hours off gave me rest and put things in perspective. It allowed me to have fun and enjoy life rather then be stressed over the next test or paper due. Use this time to do something with your family. A movie, a sports game, a board game ... anything. The point is to be together and see there is more to life. You might even enjoy it.

 

Also, I was able to join an honors group for the field I was in. As an officer in the group, I had to spend more time with people despite being naturally shy and preferring to be alone most of the time. It wasn't that I was selfish (I was community service coordinator), I'm just not someone to have a lot of friends. But being in the group and taking most of the same classes with these people, helped me to have to interact with them. Maybe you could find something similar? It would also be good for you professionally as you'll need to be able to work well with others in most careers.

 

I'm actually very shy and have a difficulty when talking to new people. But I've thought a lot about joining different groups because of what you say. I do want to change.

Also I play sports so I have some oxygen thankfully, I just have to dedicate some of it to my family.

Thank you!

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OK I has some think....you can do things a little differently so you can have the best of both worlds. Your friend doesn't need as much from you as you think. Just some acknowledgement can go a long way. You can order flowers on line, and have a note saying "I hope these will brighten your day." Sending an ecard, a text message. Just letting them know you are thinking about them while being so busy can work well. As for your family, after dinner once a week, spare 2 hours to play a board game, have some laughs, then head back to the books. All the rest of the time is yours. Sitting on the john? You can do two things at once. You have 20 mins to post funny stuff on social media, leave a message for your friend, etc.

 

Something like that's what I'm thinking of doing and probably will. Thank you!

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I'm assuming you are young, living at home, still in college... and in some ways most of us are a little self centered at that age.

 

If you want to be a better friend and or you want to stop being so self centered, you might try intentionally setting time to think of others and build that into a regular habit.

 

Do you have a regular practice of planning your calendar or schedule? Usually at some point in the day, I look at what I need to do tomorrow and later in the week. If you have a similar practice, take a few minutes to think about your friends and family. what's happening with them? And make plans to check on them: a quick call, a note or something.

 

You said you're a good listener. That is a big deal! Pick times to focus on them. Let them vent and make them feel focused on.

 

Appreciate people more. When someone feels appreciated they go above and beyond for you. Make an effort, not excuses. That's my point.

 

I've recently decided to distance myself from a friend. She is so self centered and selfish. I just can't give anymore to support her. It is a tough decision to distance oneself. Its not anyone else's job to fix your flaws. It is draining as all heck to deal with such things and to continually have to feel a certain way and tell you.

 

You think you're so busy and don't have time for others, that's fine. Everyone gets to decide how they spend their time. That goes for you and them. If you want people to pick you, you have to pick them, too.

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My best friend left me because I'm not a good friend, I'm selfish and it is VERY hard for me to think about other people,

Indeed I'm being selfish and instead of dedicating 4 hours to them a week, I'd rather go and do my stuff.

 

This issue of being selfish and not-at-all empathic has being over my shoulders for some years now and I can't seem to take it off.

Lack of empathy. Finding it VERY difficult to think of others etc ... I think it will be extremely difficult for you to change because this is your personality. It's who you are. It's at your core and unlikely will ever change to any great extent (imo). Not being able to spend 4 HOURS a WEEK with family is almost unbelievable. It simply comes down to, as you say, ....don't care and "rather go and do my stuff". Like I say, I doubt you can change this as it's just part of you, your personality (imo).

 

Perhaps a Life Coach will be able to give you some counselling, guidance/help?

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"The appearance of being reasonable is actually more important than actually being reasonable." (Dr. Joy Browne)

 

I found that investing the attention to help my family feel loved and appreciated by me went a far longer way than the actual number of hours I'm able to spend with them at any given time. But this took groundwork--an investment in showing them that they are important and valued rather than taken for granted--FIRST.

 

If you sound resistant or demo an anxious attitude about what you are missing during the time you devote to anyone, you'll work against yourself. It won't matter how many hours you spend with a person, they'll always feel deprived and ripped off if you seem distant and preoccupied rather than using that time to help them feel loved and valued.

 

Start there. Make eye contact and speak as though you wouldn't dream of wanting to be anywhere else. This can make all of the difference in reducing the importance of the number of hours you spend with someone. It's 'quality time,' on your best behavior, which goes a lot further than treating people as though they rank as 'required time'.

 

So how did you come up with 4 hours? Do you see it as all in one block, or can it be split up over several meals a week?

 

Once I started putting my commitments on a calendar, I was able to operate more efficiently. I wouldn't over-think it, I would just show up and treat each person in front of me as important. Over time, this allowed me to make the changes I needed to my calendar without anyone feeling slighted--because I've already made the investment in helping people to feel loved and important to me.

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