Overcoming Selfishness In Relationships

Overcoming selfishness means learning to put yourself second and prioritize your partner's needs before your own.

The fear that selfish people have around being more giving, is that they think if they aren't looking out for themselves then they will get ripped off because no one is looking after number one.

In a relationship you can put that fear to bed because if your partner is loving, caring and unselfish then she will be constantly be putting your needs before her needs. What this means is that the more you give the more you get. You look after her needs and she looks after your needs.

However if you are selfish in a relationship and are never giving it is unlikely that your partner will be that giving to you. It creates a cycle of selfishness. However if you are giving it will create a cycle of giving and you end up reaping the reward as well.

Overcoming Selfishness

Actively Put Yourself Second

This can be simple things like letting her choose the movie or choose the restaurant. Or it can be something massive like sacrificing your own career in order that she progresses in hers.

Start small but try and build up to putting her first and you second whenever a decision needs to be made. This doesn't mean you will always come second but if you make it a mental habit you will never feel hard done by.

Understand You Are Not More Important Than Your Partner

It is easy for all of us to sometimes be deluded by the idea that we are very important. We feel that our ideas, our opinions, our needs, our time, our money is all more important than other peoples.

One key way to overcome selfishness is to abandon the idea that you are more important than your partner. You need to meet her halfway and give her the respect she deserves as an individual.

This means compromising when decisions are made and not interrupting when she is talking.

Allow Yourself To Change

We often subconsciously fulfill existing stereotypes of ourselves. If your friends and family think you are selfish then you act selfish in order to fulfill their expectations.

Subconsciously you don't allow yourself to change because that would mean you didn't like a part of yourself all that time.

Give yourself permission to abandon a character trait that you don't like. Allow your partner to be pleasantly surprised by the change in your demeanor without feeling like it was a slight on your previous self.

Ask Questions, Listen and Show An Interest

People like to know that you are interested in what is going on in their lives. So ask the question, then listen.

It took me a long time to learn this lesson. When my partner asked me how my day was whenever I arrived home I used to always say, "Good," and just leave it at that. She was showing an interest in me, but I wasn't interested in talking, nor was I interested in asking her about her day. I used to always think that question was just small talk.

Once I realized it was her way of showing an interest and not just making small talk I would engage. I don't do it for me, I do it because it is what she likes.

Be Prepared To Lose Control

One of the reasons we tend to put ourselves first and be selfish in relationships is we fear losing control. It's scary enough to lose part of your independence when you enter a relationship, it's even scarier to relinquish some control over the driver's seat when you are in the relationship.

But this is part of the beauty of life. We never know what is in front of us or what exciting moment could be just around the corner. Serving your partner's needs before your own makes you vulnerable and takes away a degree of control over your wellbeing. But it will make your relationship and your life much more fulfilling.

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