How Does A Person Become Self-Centered?

It’s popular to accuse people of being self-centered. Some claim our entire society is self-centered and this is why we have the problems we do. I know some feel that is right to be self-centered. They might ask, who else should I center my life around?

Setting that aside, how do you think a person becomes self-centered? Are they born that way? Can we see this in a chart? Or are they taught to be self-centered?

Aries and the 1st house are associated with being self-centered but it’s opposite sign, Libra is nice because they don’t want to be alone. Are they not thinking of themselves as well?

How does a person become self-centered?



How Does A Person Become Self-Centered? — 34 Comments

  1. Another great, thought-provoking post, Elsa.

    I think all humans are born self-centered. Babies are the center of their own universe, as they must be. But most grow out of it as their circle of experience widens to include concern for others too. Love (and good teachers) will do that for you!

    As to your question – how do we become self-centered? I think it could be a number or a combination of things: like most animals do, when we are wounded we focus our attention on that wound, i.e., ‘lick your wounds.’

    Unlike most animals, though, we humans can get ‘stuck’ with that as our only focus; or, we could have been raised to be self-centered, never taught to share or care for the concerns of others; or, we could be bitter about an event in our life, and through bitterness, develop the world view that “I’m out for myself and myself alone, no one else cares about me, why should I care about them?” kind of thing.

    Edgar Cayce used to say ‘the Self is the Builder,’ and we ‘are always meeting our Selves,’ and I think he had it spot-on. To that extent we retain some self-centeredness, as we must. The trick is not to get stuck there.

    As in all things, moderation is key. We need our self-awareness and introspection, but not to the exclusion of everyone/everything else.

  2. I don’t think they so much as become self centered as stay self centered. Most grow out and away from that, but there are some who don’t. I would daresay lately, many.

    If I hear one more person celebrating Ayn Rand…a complete narcissist. And for all her spouting off, she collected social security. Ugh!

  3. Moon in Aries? Sun in the 5th?

    My mom was very protective of me and I didn’t get a lot of opportunities to socialize when I was younger. I’m also an only child.

    The world doesn’t revolve around me, but I pretend it does.

  4. As numerous philosophers and gurus have pointed out, correctly in my experience, we cannot love others fully until we love ourselves. That does not mean obsessing narcissism, or ignoring our many imperfections. But you can love yourself (and I do) when you are acting selflessly for the good of others. Is that self-centered? If so, it is a good thing.

    • I don’t buy that. It is absolutely possible to love others while hating oneself. Goes back to Elsa’s other post about psychological programming. I was programmed to hate myself by my mother as she resented my existence. I’m a wife and mother now and can’t imagine not loving my family. I love them so much i’m still alive, in therapy and working to move beyond my pathologies and heal.

      As for self-centeredness, there’s a difference between being selfISH and self-CENTERED. Understanding/recognizing one’s position IN the group (family, school, work, community, gender, humans being, and so on) and one’s effect ON the group is being self-centered. That’s a good thing.

      Being selfISH includes understanding or recognizing one’s place in the group but disregarding or not considering one’s effect ON the group unless it is beneficial/advantageous to the individual. That may or may not be a good thing but one doesn’t care.

  5. In my opinion, I wouldn’t say that self-centeredness spawns from someone’s chart alone. Being wound up withing ones self, I hope, is when one is growing, learning about themselves and reflecting. Certainly, this can become toxic and create turmoil within their relationships and livelihood.

    I can say that within my age group, decade wise, there’s a LOT of self-centeredness, especially due to the way we socialize. There’s Facebook, Instagram, Pininterest, etc., where it’s all about what I’m wearing, ate, or went.

    Also, again from my viewpoint, the idea of community is changing. The notion that “it takes a village”, seems to either be taking a new form, or is just non-existent.

    I do know some poeple who are all about them, but either because they had it rough when raised, or they’re parents or whomever aided in that thought process.

    It seems that self-centeredness can spawn from fear of being let down, being dependent, not being on par with others, or the desire to feel special or wanted.

  6. Staying self-centered is key, as brizo wrote. Perhaps it’s how you are raised:first born, only child, most accomplished kid, spending your life only concentrating on yourself? Although in some charts I notice Mercury close to the Sun there are self-centered behavior characteristics. The farthest Mercury is away from the Sun are the least self-centered I can think of in charts I’ve seen.

  7. @Peppermint and DarkAquarian:”Cheers”..
    I couldn’t agree more and nicely stated.At some point being self centered becomes a choice.Turning away from our own selfish nature builds respectable loving character that transfers to the lives we touch.It is a maturity process and a choice.I have a stellium(Venus,moon,sat,merc in the 1st close to the ascendent in Leo with a close by Mars.If based off of a natal chart alone,I would say I could be judged as the epitome of self everything.However being Leo is to be loved and you don’t get that love through being self centered in a negative form.

  8. Bunny’s post: “At some point being self centered becomes a choice.”

    Some people aren’t even aware they are self-centered. They are so trapped in their own mindset they can’t see or relate to anything or anybody outside of their own world.

  9. Exactly Winsaloft.
    It seems some people who never marry or never have a long-term relationship find it more difficult to put themselves aside…as time goes on they maintain the Teenage-Mode where The world revolves around them.
    It must show in the BirthChart, I know so little Astrology. Isn’t it true the Eastern Part, on the Ascendant side, shows the person’s ego, will, magnetism, and vitality. The Western part, on the Descendant side, symbolizes other people, communication, relationships and their influence.
    Wouldn’t a more Self-Centered person most likely have fewer planets on the Descendant side of a BirthChart? Or certain negative aspects from those planets on the Descendant side causing more of a challenge?

  10. “Setting that aside, how do you think a person becomes self-centered? Are they born that way? Can we see this in a chart? Or are they taught to be self-centered?”

    Hey Elsa! I truly think we come into this Life with those “imprints”… With that being said, I think I was born this way. I have a 1 degree Aries Sun (that’s pretty much saying ME!). My mom is a Libra (Um, my Moon is in Libra) so I got a dose of how-not-to-take-center-stage-and -remember-everyone-else’s-feelings..

    I can honestly say that the world does NOT revolve around me. TOO MUCH LIBRA..

    As far as having planets splayed across the chart, I have all of my planets everywhere so I don’t think having the chart concentrated will give any indication…

    I feel that is a GIFT with my 1 degree Aries Sun since I can be so Selfish!!!

  11. I agree completely that there is something on the collective level. Look at the American culture versus the Japanese culture. There is definitely and emphasis on the “I”, the individual, in the American culture. Just watch commercials or look at the ads surrounding you on a daily basis: they are catered to what YOU want. What will make YOU happy.
    In the Japanese culture the collective takes the forefront. The importance is the bigger “I”, the “we”, as a people.

    Both have their pros and cons. Look at how much we have accomplished in the terms of individual, gender, sexual, religious freedoms. But, of course, we shun obligations and responsibility. It’s a give and take, we have to strive to be less self-centered, not only on the individual level but on the cultural level.

    Ind. level self-centerdness comes in various forms: the first house, the fifth house, Aries Sun or Moon, or being an un-evolved human in general. When the ego is suffering it can manifest itself in many ways including being self-centered.

  12. @ Windsaloft:I agree with you as well.This topic is so deep and if anything I’m not sure it’s possible to sum up the answers in a few cut and paste answers.There are many degrees and variations at play here.

  13. I think it comes from being alone a lot. Solitude or just being one person most of your time being alive. People who arent married or have children.

    You don’t function like other folks who have 5 or 6 people depending on them. You take care of you and so then your awareness of others might shrink.

  14. I think everyone is self-centered, but the extent of what is considered ‘self’ ranges. Some people are easily satisfied and can ignore others with ease, while others are more ambitious or more far-sighted and can see how being considerate and more mature can reflect well on their self. I know we talk about maturity and what is right or wrong in a social sense, but I think everyone has a right to be themselves. It’s a matter of awareness or personal choice. You can be aware of others, but also know your position and needs are nonnegotiable.

    That’s how I see the twelve astrological sun signs, anyway, as manifestations of how we choose to view our selves in the world.

  15. I have a metaphysical more cosmic view. Since the lucifer rebellion, people have rebelled against their creator and it is all about coming back to that awareness of loving self in god’s image, your brothers and sisters, and god itself. In doing so your bound to not be so self centered. A self centered act is not sharing your wealth per month a loving act is sharing your wealth. That is what the goal is for every human to realize. That took me some understanding and research to get there. Also lucifer and his fallen angels will do anything detract us from this path as unseen beings and even incarnated bad beings. But if you live in love they can’t touch you really because they are repulsed by it. Back to astrology, I have no idea how astrology would work but even the practice itself is a bit self centered unless you use it as a tool to help yourself and others and not for the ego’s gratification.

  16. Self-centered is another concept with a negative connotation that is actually positive to me. When someone isn’t self-centered, they are easily led down a self-destructive path. Self-serving is much more damning to me.

    Many planets in Aries or the 1st house indicate that the person should focus on developing the self.

    I’ve found that people with Sun-Moon and/or Sun-Mercury and/or Sun-Venus are the most self-centered, self-absorbed and self-serving. Getting them to consider others is difficult.

    One of my fav songs is “I Give Myself Away”. I overly identify with that theme, though… Some who don’t know my journey to developing a strong sense of self with firm boundaries may think I’m self-centered. I’d take that as a compliment. 😉

    I have Neptune in the 1st, no planets in Aries and Sun makes no major aspects to inner planets. But I have Mercury in Leo! 🙂

  17. There’s different degrees of narcissism. At the extreme end of the scale are people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder and these are the ruthless predators that we need to beware of. My belief is that these people were born that way (nature).

    Otherwise I think that other levels of narcissism evolves thru a combination of nature and nurture. Alice Miller’s classic book “The Drama of the Gifted Child and the Search for the True Self” provides insight about how someone can be raised to become narcissistic.

  18. I think I was born self-centered. Though as someone else pointed out, if you are not a mom in charge of taking care of multiple people and live alone, how could you not be. Nature and nurture, I guess.

  19. I am learning to be more self-centered. Saturn is transiting my 5th house right now and I’m rediscovering what is so special about me. I have a tendency to focus on others and I forget about myself in the process. Always thinking about others will not fulfill me if I forget what is so unique about me. I don’t think being self-centered is that bad unless it is unbalanced. Being at either extreme is unfulfilling in my opinion.

  20. I think not being mindful. It takes awareness to not be self-centered. And I agree with Peppermint. We may start out self-centered or may just be that way but the point is not to get stuck. I think maturity, life experience and mindfulness keep one from doing that. HOW we get that way…well maybe we are rewarded for it. When little Suzy does an inappropriate thing at the dinner table, for instance, and gets applause for it, they will start to think they are special. Like that little girl in that reality show, Honey Boo Boo. Sure she is cute but she is being groomed for narcissism.

  21. I think people can become self-centered if they don’t feel like other people are worth their time or attention, after experiencing too many disappointments.

    Selfishness and altruism are two difficult things to balance…Both extremes are detrimental.

  22. Paradox? I think Salamander your experience is as valuable as any. Whether you are able to engage with others or not – one lesson I’m learning is our own path enriches the whole path. Just your two words posted are meaningful. They remind me of a friend and extended relative who experienced severe abuse. And I am mindful that all of her qualities are valuable to me whether they suit me or not. <3

    • Right? How do you keep giving energy out without feeling depleted? I think this must have something to do with how well you regulate energy. I think some people like too pull in energy for themselves, while others prefer to give it away. I think the later is a more conscious way of being, but I’m really not sure one is better than the other. It’s kindof like introversion vs. extroversion- i don’t think one is necessarily better than the other.

  23. When you decide your self-interest matters more than what is available. Eventually it all comes back to where you start. Until then you evaluate and give other s a chance.

  24. So many good comments here.

    This post is cracking me up because when I was younger I would say well I’d never be with an Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer and on through the zodiac until I realized that we’re all self-centered in our own unique way.

    It’s really about who you’d most be able to put up with when it comes to long-term relationships.

    I do think some signs are more self-centered than others, but Elsa’s point about Libra’s m.o. is interesting. I don’t think I’m a typical Libra (and a double to boot) but I see other Libras doing what Elsa describes. I adore being alone, while being an outgoing introvert. Have always loved solitary activities. I have to watch myself because I will say things that cause people to leave and I don’t even realize I’m doing it. But that’s another topic.

  25. this could be a great topic and then again no one is hitting the chords, Narcissisim and being selfless are two different skulls on a cat, and Water signs are more prone to farming and Hospitals, where as Hollywood created the most Selfcenterd era there was Vanity and Films…so this is a complex and simple thought, as Adolph Hitler was very self serving, so was Napoleon having Saturn in the 10th house…see what else comes with Me first..

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