How to stop selfishness

Every person needs healthy self-criticism – it helps to analyze behavior, avoid mistakes, and warn against danger. But if a person begins to engage in self-flagellation for every error, this is unhealthy behavior.

This article will discuss what psychology says about the causes of self-blame, what threatens such behavior, and how to stop self-flagellation.

What is selfishness

With healthy psycho-emotional behavior, we evaluate ourselves and our actions based on our experience, skills, beliefs, guidelines, and goals. Criticism evaluates events. But when our criticism, directed at ourselves, becomes too strict, depends on the opinions of others, does not reflect reality, and becomes exaggerated – this is unhealthy behavior.

Such negative introspection, containing non-constructive criticism and depreciation, is called self-blame (moral self-flagellation).

Important! Samoyedic is dangerous – it distorts a person’s self-esteem, moves him away from reality, and leads to self-destruction and mental deviations.

Reasons for self-flagellation

A person does not start to engage in self-criticism and self-flagellation. This lengthy process begins relatively harmlessly – with an adequate assessment of what is happening. Over time, a person becomes more emotional, the habit of “self-eating” is fixed at an unconscious level, and he can no longer get out of this state alone. A person with a damaged psyche can stop engaging in self-oppression only with the help of a psychologist or psychotherapist.

The reasons for this behavior are complex, but, as a rule, it is low self-esteem and improper upbringing.

Other factors can also be identified:

Factors leading to self-blameBehavior Description
Personal qualitiesAnxious, suspicious, insecure people react more sharply to the negative and the reaction to the event is directed at themselves. 
They blame themselves for what happened and drive themselves into depression.
Child-parent relationshipOverprotective parents will have insecure and dependent children. 
The child copies the behavior of his parents, and if it contains signs of self-blame and inadequate criticism of himself, then the child will grow up with the same behavior model, that is, he will be prone to self-flagellation.
social impactPropaganda of success, wealth and a “beautiful life” in the media and social networks play a bad “role” on the psychological comfort of anxious people. 
If a person does not reach a certain level, then he is faced with harassment, ridicule, loses his inner support and faith in his own strength, and, therefore, begins to accuse himself of all “mortal sins”, that is, he engages in self-blame: “I am not like that, It’s all my fault…”

Also, the desire to engage in self-eating and self-flagellation may arise due to unprocessed traumas and experiences, feelings of fear, resentment, aggression, and episodes of violence.

Consequences of self-reproach

Only excessive self-criticism needs to be corrected. Extreme demands on oneself and inadequate assessment of one’s actions can lead to serious health problems:

  • development of complexes, fears, phobias
  • issues of social interaction and relationships
  • an exaggerated sense of guilt
  • desire to control everything
  • psychosis
  • neurosis
  • suicidal behavior
  • exacerbation of mental and chronic diseases
  • development of psychosomatic disorders
  • diseases of the gastrointestinal tract
  • cardiovascular pathologies
  • drug addiction, alcoholism
How to stop selfishness

Types of inappropriate behavior

How a person displays excessive self-flagellation depends on temperament, personal experience, skills, and goals.

Therefore, psychologists divide self-discipline into several types:

Type of self-flagellation
demonstrativeA person wants to receive a “portion” of attention, sympathy and understanding. 
Feigned self-discipline “to the public.” 
In fact, he does not reproach himself for mistakes and does not experience negative feelings from this.
introvertedAs the name implies, this type is typical for closed people who keep all experiences to themselves. 
This type of personality will never share experiences with others, will be afraid to ask for advice and look stupid. 
It is better to engage in self-discipline so that no one sees and guesses nothing.
neuroticThe most severe form of self-flagellation, turning into neurosis and even masochism. 
This type can only be corrected with the help of a psychiatrist. 
It will not work to get out of the “vicious circle” and stop self-flagellation on your own.

How to get rid of selfishness

Before starting to get out of the “vicious circle” of self-criticism, a person must realize that his behavior does not correspond to the norms. If a person is aware of this and wants to correct his attitude towards himself, then, first of all, he needs to turn to a psychologist or psychotherapist.

Only a specialist can establish the actual cause of anxious behavior and, if necessary, prescribe treatment.

How to stop selfishness

To reduce the level of self-criticism, we recommend using the following “exercises”:

  1. Evaluate your achievements, failures, and actions after a while. “Do not cut on the shoulder,” as they say; under the influence of negative emotions, you will further aggravate the situation. Keep a diary, so you don’t forget the events. Write down everything that happens during the day in it, but do not give an assessment. After the “passions” subside, you can soberly look at what happened.
  2. Fight perfectionism and lower your expectations. You don’t need to achieve the perfect result repeatedly and blame yourself for the fact that what you have achieved is not what you imagined. You can do well and not chase the ideal.
  3. Define your area of ​​responsibility and recognize the fact of force majeure. You cannot answer everything in the world. Sometimes things happen that you can’t do anything about. If you can influence any area, then control it.

4. Criticize yourself out loud. Many arguments about insolvency, weakness, and incompetence will not sound convincing if you publicly discuss them.

5. Try to praise yourself more often and celebrate even small victories. So you will consciously focus on the positive moments, and negative emotions will gradually decrease.

6. Look at your failures as growth points. Analyze the mistakes and move on, understanding what needs to be done to avoid making them in the future.


If a person is a Samoyed, then he overestimates his actions?

And not only. If this assessment has a negative connotation, a person sees only the bad in him and is inclined to blame only himself, his actions, and inactions for all troubles; then he is engaged in self-criticism. A synonym for self-blame is also self-digging, self-flagellation.

When should you seek help?

If, despite all efforts, nothing can be changed, and the problem with self-flagellation and self-esteem remains, you need to seek help from a psychologist specializing in these issues.

How to understand that there are problems with self-discipline?

If a person has inadequate self-criticism, then there are problems with this. An example is the desire to always and in everything reproach oneself for mistakes, to attribute non-existent facts, to exaggerate the scale of events, to turn everything into a tragedy, and to take the blame even for what one cannot influence.

Are women more likely to self-eat?

There are no such statistics, but depending on gender, the reasons for excessive self-flagellation may differ. For example, women worry about their appearance and criticize themselves for every gram gained or piece eaten, while men are more prone to self-blame because of low incomes and lack of fulfillment.

Expert opinion

A person needs self-criticism, which generally helps him – evaluate, analyze, analyze, and prevent any events. This is a valuable skill, but only if it is adequate. Excessive self-flagellation and self-blame develop into depression and severe health problems. If you are experiencing signs of self-blame, seek the help of a psychologist. The faster you work through inappropriate behavior and cope with self-discipline, the faster your life will improve.

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