The egocentric personality, unlike narcissism, which can lead to a psychological disorder, is a cognitive bias. It is an incorrect and systematic interpretation of the information available to the person, who always bases his decisions on his own experiences. This egocentric bias is characterized by the inability to see things from someone else’s point of view. Next, we look at where the study of egocentric personality came from and what its main traits are.
The Development of the Egocentric Personality
One of the most cited researchers in child psychology and education said that egocentrism is a part of how a child’s personality develops, so that in the early stages, usually before the age of 8, children still can’t usually see things from someone else’s point of view and separate themselves from their own.
In the early stages, the child is focused on his physical point of view and his relationships with objects. Later, social egocentrism sets in, and the child is not able to fully empathize with other people. This is when adults see children as being “selfish.”
Lastly, we need to talk about so-called “logical egocentrism.” This is when a child only uses his own intuition about reality to come to conclusions, without taking into account the opinions or assessments of other people, whether they are other children or adults.
As children get older, they learn to understand and respect social norms, consider other people’s points of view, and take the opinions of others into account when coming to conclusions and making decisions.
Even though egocentrism tends to get less extreme over time, the egocentric personality often gets worse during adolescence, especially when it comes to social and logical egocentrism.
Erich Fromm said that when a teen is exposed to a lot of people, he or she often fakes a big personality as a way to protect themselves. This is done by highlighting the parts of his personality that he thinks set him apart from the others. what’s left.
Egocentric Personality Traits
By the time they’re adults, most people have figured out how much they care about themselves. But there are a few things that can be said about egocentric people who are already adults.
Lack of Empathy
The main thing that makes someone self-centered is that they don’t care about other people. As is common in childhood and adolescence, an egocentric adult tends to reject the opinions and points of view of others because he can’t put himself in their shoes. This leads to a cognitive bias in which the analysis of reality is completely biased because it only comes from how the person interprets information from the outside world.
Illusion of Transparency and Spotlight Effect
A study by the Association for Psychological Science (APS) looked at the egocentric personality from two different points of view, both of which would make the personality stronger. On the one hand, there is the focus effect, also known as the spotlight effect, which is “the tendency for people to overestimate how much others notice and judge their behavior and appearance.” On the other hand, there is the illusion of transparency, which is “the tendency for people to overestimate how much their internal states surface and are seen by others.”
In this way, egocentric people tend to think that everyone around them spends a lot of time and energy analyzing them and that they can also easily understand how they feel and think. As his name suggests, the egocentric thinks of himself as the “center” of his group of friends.
This is the paradox of an egocentric personality: he doesn’t try to understand other people, but he expects and demands that other people try to understand him. Also, he will often be upset if the people around him don’t understand how he feels all the time, even if he doesn’t try to say what he is feeling or how he is feeling.
According to the study, the illusion of transparency and the focus effect is caused by the immaturity of an egocentric personality that, in the worst cases, is still stuck in adolescence. In everyday language, the egocentric adult still thinks he is much more “special” than the others. So, he wants special treatment from everyone else, even though he thinks he shouldn’t… because they aren’t as special as he is. All of this comes from a lack of mental maturity to a greater or lesser degree.
False Self Confidence
Most of the time, egocentric people show a lot of self-confidence when no one else is around. This is usually just an act, though. Erich Fromm pointed out that behind the image of self-sufficiency is a person who doesn’t feel safe. This is why people use the defense mechanisms mentioned above. It’s a fake sense of self-confidence that comes from the person’s desire to give the impression that he or she is strong to other people.
Distortion of Reality
One of the most dangerous things about egotists is that they only see things from their own point of view. The egocentric person builds a biased universe around himself by only taking into account his own view of reality, which is based on his own analysis and conclusions about the facts. If the egocentric person keeps thinking this way without thinking about others, they may end up alone in a “parallel world,” unaware of the real world.
Hypersensitivity to Criticism
Even if they think they have a lot of self-confidence, egocentric people tend to be hurt by other people’s opinions, even if they are positive.
Since he isn’t used to using other people’s opinions to help him figure out who he is, an egocentric person feels overwhelmed when he gets direct feedback about his personality or activities, especially if they are professional. Then he starts being self-centered and rejecting other people’s opinions because they are not as “valid” as his own.