Relationship Challenges

Learn what the top 5 selfish behaviors are in a relationship.

Relationships require empathy and altruism. I'm sure everyone at some time or another has felt they are in a relationship with a selfish person. I'm not just talking about a romantic partner. This could be a colleague, friend or family member.

We've all been there. But, have you ever stopped and thought that you may be the selfish person? Are your own behaviors in your relationship holding you back? How altruistic are you?

Studies have found that holding the door open for a stranger and paying your loved ones back on Venmo, demonstrate altruistic behavior. Studies have also found that as you get older you become more altruistic.

Selfish behaviors take a toll on every type of relationship. It's not just limited to romantic relationships. If the selfish behavior doesn't stop, it will eventually end what was once a great relationship.

Here are 5 selfish behaviors to stop now in your relationship:

  1. Taking your partner for granted. Nobody likes that feeling. When you've been in a relationship for a while this can happen. You may even begin to feel better than your partner. When you are in a relationship you need to feel equal. When you begin to feel better than, contempt starts. This is one of the biggest predictors of a breakup in a relationship. It causes resentment. Remember, you can't go back in a relationship.

  2. You always think you are right. This means that you haven't learned to compromise. When you don't compromise in a relationship you create the I win, we/we lose scenario. This is the beginning of the end. This goes back to, both people in the relationship need to feel equal. When you don't feel equal you will grow apart.

  3. Ignoring your partner's input. It's important to accept influence from your partner in your relationship. This means that there is a speaker and there is a listener. This doesn't mean you just go through the motions. This means being genuinely interested in what your partner has to say. Be open to trying their ideas. This means action. It's true, action speaks louder than words.

  4. Frequently bailing on plans. Your partner will definitely feel like they are not important in the relationship. Your partner needs to feel first in the relationship. This is how you know your partner has your back. This is what everyone wants in a relationship. 

  5. Constantly seeking preferential treatment. This doesn't mean you have to give up your self-care plan. Because, by now, you should know how important that is. But, when you are in a relationship you do have to give up the 'me' and start thinking of the 'we.'

As human beings it's one of the most natural desires is to be in a relationship. You desire many types of relationships. You have relationships with your colleagues, friends and families. But, when you demonstrate these selfish behaviors they can interfere with having satisfying relationships.

Financial disputes can also cause problems in relationships. Money is one of the leading causes of stress in a relationship. There are many differences around money. One may live a more carefree life around spending. While another values budgeting and saving money. 

It's important to talk about your differences in a relationship. This will help create understanding in your relationship. This will also help your partner feel the altruism in the relationship.

Relationships don't have to be difficult. With the right attitude they can be a lot of fun and satisfying for both people in the relationship. But, they do require selflessness on both sides. If you are using any of these selfish behaviors in your relationship, stop today. Not only are they not good for your relationship, they aren't good for you.

If you liked this article, there are more in Relationship Challenges. You will find many helpful tips and strategies to increase the happiness and satisfaction in your relationship.

Lianne Avila is a Marriage & Family Therapist helping couples in San Mateo, CA who are looking to rebuild a close emotional connection and get their relationship back on track. Please subscribe to Lianne’s newsletter on www.LessonsforLove.com to learn more about her services and expertise.

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