Many terms are used in psychology. Among them there are two very similar words, namely, “egoism” and “egocentrism”. In everyday life, the word “egoist” is most often used. For this reason, many ordinary people who do not know the meaning of these terms believe that egoism and egocentrism are synonymous. However, according to experts, these concepts should be distinguished. The point is that there is a significant difference between selfishness and self-centeredness. They have only the root “ego” in common. You will learn about the difference between egoism and egocentrism in this article.
What are the similarities
The psychological terms “egoism” and “egocentrism” have a common root. Translated from the Greek “ego” means “I”. According to experts, the “ego” is a psychological entity, characteristic of each individual. Through the ego, a person’s contact with the outside world is carried out. In general, the ego is the bridge that connects the superego and the id, namely the sublime aspirations and instincts. Thanks to the presence of the ego, a person can adequately respond to everything that happens in the external world. What do ordinary people mean by egoism and egocentrism?
What is selfishness
To find out what is the difference in the concepts of “egoism” and “egocentrism”, you should understand these terms separately. Selfishness is called the value orientation of an individual, in the foreground of which has purely personal interests and benefits. It is noteworthy that these interests are not always exclusively material in nature.
Who are called selfish
It so happened that in everyday use we hear the word “egoist” much more often. They are called a narcissistic person who does not reckon with others. The concept of “selfish” is applicable, for example, to children, as well as those who do not marry or start a family. In other words, egoists are people who want to live exclusively for themselves. The opposite of an egoist is an altruist – an individual who acts primarily for others. Most often, altruists are found among family people. Thus, egoism is an evaluative name for the behavior of an individual whose personal interests are in the first place.
About the origin of the term
According to experts, in the era of the Enlightenment, and it was then that they first talked about this concept, egoism was with a positive emotional color. At that time, they proclaimed reasonable self-love, and therefore believed that morality should be based on noble self-interests and personal aspirations. Remarkably, in the era of the Enlightenment, morality and spirituality were treated differently than they are today. These things were then “in trend”.
Of course, today the concepts of morality and spirituality have not depreciated, but they are deliberately cultivated much less often, especially among representatives of the younger generation. Nowadays, the word selfishness is used more often with a negative emotional connotation. Nevertheless, experts are convinced that, within reasonable limits, it must necessarily be inherent in modern man. It is not worth denying egoism, but it is also not accepted to extol it, and therefore an intelligent individual will carefully hide and mask this quality of his.
How egoists behave
Such individuals often cover up their selfish manifestations with altruism. According to experts, there is a very shaky line between the concepts of “egoism” and “altruism”. This can be seen in relationships. For example, an individual covers his egoism with love: on the one hand, he cares about his partner, and on the other hand, he wants to make himself happy.
The manifestations of selfishness are very different. Some individuals strive for material goods. These individuals eat tasty food, dress stylishly, and regularly go on vacation. Such an egoist needs comfort first of all. To ensure a decent life for himself, he has to work hard. This behavior is considered an example of intelligent selfishness. Some selfish individuals want comfort for themselves, but at the expense of others. Such people want to get more money, but at the same time work less. If they have any overlaps at work, then they dump all the blame on another person or on a coincidence. Judging by the reviews, this type of egoist is considered the most unpleasant. In general, these individuals consciously lead a parasitic lifestyle.
Who are the self-centered
Unlike egoism, egocentrism is a position of a person whose interests are limited only by their own feelings, feelings and needs. This type is completely immune to any information if it goes against his personal attitudes. Mostly the people around are the source of such information.
What are the differences between egoism and egocentrism?
In general, these concepts are very similar. However, there is a difference between egoism and egocentrism. It consists in the fact that individuals are aware of their attitudes in different ways. The egoist chooses to live only for himself, completely consciously. The egocentric simply cannot understand that one can act differently. In other words, selfishness lies in the unwillingness to accept other people’s opinions, and self-centeredness in the inability to do so. In psychology, egoism and egocentrism manifest themselves in different ways. For example, an egoist loves only his own person and seeks to do everything only for himself. The egocentric perceives himself as the center of the universe. The attitude in society also differs towards these phenomena. Selfish people are always criticized. For egocentrism, positively colored interpretations are simply not characteristic. An egoist, pursuing a benefit for himself, simply ignores others. The egocentric, however, considers the interests and feelings of others to be absolutely insignificant and unworthy of attention. The egoist needs other people on whom he could parasitize. The egocentric needs no one.
For example, if men start relationships with women, and then easily part with them just because they are not satisfied with something, then this is an example of a typical egocentric. A selfish man can calmly sit unemployed around his wife’s neck.
On the behavior of an egocentric
Such a person sincerely believes in his point of view, considers it the only correct one. The egocentric person is not even aware of the existence of different opinions. Rejection can be caused by psychophysiological and social reasons. The egocentric is only interested in his personal beliefs, emotions and feelings. Due to the fact that such an individual is fixated exclusively on himself, he simply does not notice other people around.
This demeanor leads to frequent conflicts. It is noteworthy that there is no such thing as a “close person” for an egocentric person. This type mainly considers people around them as pawns. They are toys and things for him, and in the center he is the only one.
If the egocentric person encounters a different point of view, he will begin to convince and teach everyone. In a team, such a person thinks that others are doing him only to spite.
According to psychologists, being self-centered is forgivable only for children if they have not yet reached the age of three. Egocentrism is also considered the norm in individuals who have been diagnosed with mental pathologies. Thus, egocentrism is due to psychophysiological characteristics. In adults and mentally healthy people, egocentrism is considered a destructive trait, a sign of an immature person. It may be that during the socialization of the individual, this process is disturbed. As a result, teenage identification is inadequate. Thus, if during the period of formation of self-awareness, when the child is looking for a middle ground between the personal and the public, a failure occurs, egocentrism begins to form. It can also occur if, in adolescence, the individual did not retain his individuality, but fit into the general rhythm of life. In addition, such a person also develops infantilism. Unlike egoism, egocentrism is inherent only in children and people with mental disabilities. Selfishness will accompany the individual all his life. According to experts, closer to old age, many people become more egocentric. The reason for this is psychophysiological age-related changes. It was noticed that old people practically do not differ from children in their behavior and thinking.
What is the trouble with egocentrics
Since each person can develop harmoniously only by interacting with other individuals, egocentrists at this stage very often get stuck. The fact is that such individuals are limited by the framework of their “I”. If an egoist, despite the fact that he understands the feelings of people and knows that his actions can offend someone, nevertheless, in pursuit of his own benefit, ignores the interests of others, then the egocentrist simply does not know about them. According to psychologists, such an individual himself is in great need of attention, love and recognition. You can only learn to hear others through communication. This requires willpower and patience. If the problem is so serious that it is not possible to cope on your own, then you should attend several sessions of psychotherapy. The exact number is determined by the specialist after diagnosing the problem. It all depends on how much the subconscious is running. The psychologist already determines what exactly the person is missing, and begins to work in this direction.
Egocentrism is a kind of credo, life position, in accordance with which the individual is guided exclusively by his own opinion. Such a person has his own view on any issue. The personal opinion of the egocentric is above all for him. Those around him are only a source of benefits. Other people are not part of his world. Of course, in life, an egocentrist on rare occasions can commit acts that are contrary to his interests. This is how he differs from the egoist. Since this type has the courage to take full responsibility, as psychologists say, there are many strong, successful and strong-willed people among egocentrists.