The concept of selfishness is used to refer to various traits and attitudes exhibited by certain people. The term egolatria comes from the Greek “ego” (I) and “latria” (worship, admiration), and has implications for the world of psychology, such as indicates a certain personality type.
Egolatry: a definition of the concept
Royal Spanish Academy he defines selfishness as “worship, worship or excessive self-esteem”.
Egolatry is therefore
a characteristic of the personality of some individuals, in which they constantly display confidence in their own potential, Fall into self-admiration and self-worship, to the point that this exaggerated perception can be pathological and cause problems in social interactions.
How are selfish people?
People who have selfish traits and characteristics often generate rejection among those around them. In addition, the selfish personality has been present in many historical figures.
For example, biographies and historiographical documents attest to the fact that Adolf Hitler, Napoleon Bonaparte, Genghis Khan and Joseph Stalin were historical figures with a distinctly selfish character. Perhaps the most popular reference today is the tycoon and current President of the United States, Donald Trump.
In this sense, selfishness is often linked to other concepts, such as self-centeredness, narcissism, pride, excessive self-esteem, false self-confidence, or megalomania.
While there are aspects in which these concepts coincide, there are also important differences and nuances. In any case, it should be borne in mind that egoism refers to a subjective perception of the individual, to the way he perceives his worth, in this case in an overly positive way. However,
egolatry tells us little about the translation of this perception into interpersonal relationships. That is: a selfish person can be selfish and yet the people around him cannot perceive him as especially conceited or arrogant.
When this function is shifted
Reading the meaning of the word egoism, we may think that it is a characteristic that produces rejection. However, in some cases being selfish comes in handy. For example, when one’s own well-being depends on attracting attention.
This is the case with many celebrities, who they naturally express their ideas of greatness through what they do, say and claim to be; this allows them to receive the attention of the cameras and keep charging more because of it.
12 traits and attitudes in common
yes, it is common for selfish people to tend to externalize this trait through certain attitudes and behaviors which may be objectionable by other people.
Some of these attitudes, behaviors and traits are described below:
- They have an exaggerated perception of their attributes and qualities
- They attach great importance to money and power
- They have feelings of greatness: they are sure that in their life they will achieve great goals and objectives
- Although they may have more than enough social skills, they tend to be rather lonely individuals as they often generate some social rejection when other people realize their selfishness.
- They tend to show a great inclination for all aspects that reinforce their image as successful people
- They like to arouse envy and jealousy in others
- They can tend to be superficial and cultivate instrumental friendships that allow them to achieve certain goals and gain status.
- They distort reality and, in some cases, may find it difficult to conduct a rational analysis of their personal worth.
- In some cases, these may be people with little empathy, unwilling to offer help and support to other people.
- They can’t stand to receive criticism and see it as a personal thing
- They may have a tendency to constantly compare themselves to others, to get angry if they consider someone of lesser worth than them to have a better job or lead a better life.
- In some cases, a tendency towards exhibitionism is seen, for example, to boast of material and economic success, as a way to strengthen their self-perception of people of high value and social status.
Causes and motivations of these individuals
From a psychological point of view, there are many factors and motivations that can cause a person to develop this characteristic.
Egolatry is a trait associated with certain affective and emotional impairmentsAs it is commonly understood from psychology that a person with balanced emotional intelligence does not need to perceive themselves as something that they are not.
In this sense, selfishness could be a harbinger of people who, paradoxically, suffer from emotional, emotional or even mental disorders. Egolatry would be, in somewhat metaphorical terms, a headlong rush from people who camouflage their insecurity in such hyperbolic thoughts and beliefs about their abilities and the potentialities of life.
From a social point of view,
egoism is understood as the reflection or the consequence of a commodity and class society in the personality of certain individuals. The differences between social classes and their way of life could lead to constant competition between individuals for the promotion of their status, which would be fertile ground for individualism, aristocracy, the underestimation of some. moral principles, and also to selfishness as a characteristic of the personality. adapted to this competitive environment and in which appearances prevail over other qualities. Thus, the desire for success in life can be a starting point which, if poorly managed, can lead to the development of problematic and limiting personalities and attitudes.
Selfish people may be able to complete large-scale projects and businessesBut in turn, they may have difficulty establishing deep relationships with other people.
Egolatry and education received
selfishness is not a trait focused exclusively on obtaining money or power, but can have various motivations. Selfish personality style can have several causes including the type of upbringing and parenting style the individual has received.
An overly permissive and child-friendly parenting style can lead to issues such as challenging opposition disorder (TOD), also known as emperor syndrome, in which the child challenges parental authority and acts capriciously. to get whatever he wants. This type of education received could lead to an egocentric personality in adulthood.
Recap: social relationships and difficulties
Egolatry can be a trait that causes serious difficulties in interpersonal relationshipsAs the individual can exhibit various behaviors and attitudes that generate rejection in others.
However, in some contexts, personalities characterized by selfishness may be socially rewarded; for example, in the case of famous people who are always on the lookout for new ways to reinvent themselves and stand out; this would allow them to keep their lair high and continue to receive income and power of influence.
On the other hand, when a person considers himself superior and more valuable than others, he usually perceives others as unimportant, useless and consumable. This generates a feeling of rejection in their surroundings of friends and acquaintances, as few people are willing to tolerate being treated with contempt.
It is important to point out that while it can be complicated,
the ideal is that the egoists can receive professional advice to try to restructure their perception of themselves, A fact that will have a positive impact on their mental health and the quality and quantity of their personal relationships, being able to live a much fuller and happier life.
- Freud, Sigmund. Complete Works. Volume XIV: Works on metapsychology, and other works (1914-1916), “Contribution to the history of the psychoanalytic movement”. Chapter II: Introduction to narcissism (1914). Buenos Aires / Madrid: Amorrortu, 1979.
- Lasch, Christopher. The culture of narcissism. Editorial Andrés Bell, 1999.