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“Selfish Attitudes”   

Neil Mastellone

(In alphabetical order)
Aggressiveness – Arrogance – Blame - Competition

Deception & Dishonesty– Dependency – Greed – Indifference Irresponsibility  Jealousy - Low Self-Esteem - Ownership Prejudice – Resistance - Self-Pity  Vengeance – Wanting Willfulness

 

When selfish, a person’s attitudes are complex psychological positions made up of controlled beliefs, values, ideas, judgments, and feelings that form a particular unloving outlook and stance. 

 

Selfish attitudes can manifest wide-ranging ideas and feelings about something or someone.  They can also manifest as open and visible psychological stances, assumed and maintained for a negative effect. 

 

Every selfish attitude has a purpose.  A selfish attitude can also be an accurate reflection of a person’s basic approach to life.  It could be loving, but rarely ever is loving.  Attitudes color behavior, experience, and interactions according to whether they are loving or selfish, positive or negative, nurturing or hurtful.

 

The following are sixteen common selfish attitudes that everyone should relate to having, or having been opposite as an observer or target.

 

Aggressiveness

Aggressive attitudes accompany physical, mental, emotional, and sexually abusive acts.  The aggressive person fuels and sustains, with selfish thoughts and feelings of anger, fear, jealousy, hatred, or revenge, his or her aggressive behavior.  Parental child abuse and sexual abuse, abortion, domestic violence, and psychic attacks are the most prevalent, and most denied and rationalized, forms of aggressive behavior. 

 

We like to believe that aggressiveness and aggressive attitudes are natural, but compared to humans, most animals in the wild are infinitely less aggressive.  Wild animals usually have no desire to see opponents suffer, humiliated, hurt, tortured, or killed.  They will kill to eat and will fight over perceived territory, but compared to humans, animals are not nearly as consistently aggressive or as brutal.

 


Arrogance
Arrogance is a bold, presumptuous, overbearing, proud, snobbish, judgmental, contemptuous, and disrespectful selfish attitude.  Arrogance is a willful, defiant stance that declares I will do whatever I damn well choose to do   However, deceptively, many arrogant people go to great lengths to disguise their arrogance.  “Victim” describes arrogant types who make it seem that they are helpless and inferior, but, inwardly, they are holding and keeping arrogant personality traits suppressed.  Much arrogance is blatant.  As seen in tyrants and egomaniacs.  However, much of the aggressiveness of arrogant people manifests covertly as psychic manipulations and psychic attacks.

 

 

Blame

Blame is “psychological finger-pointing.”  It is an attempt to project outside of one’s self the cause and personal responsibility for a negative action, reaction, feeling, or circumstance.

 

Blame is rooted in willful, defiant irresponsibility and self-controlled illusions.  It is self-defeating and can become self-immobilizing.  It places the power for positive change outside of a person’s own choice; the choice to blame leaves blameful people with nothing to do but feel badly, be frustrated, and patiently wait for the objects of their blame to change. 

 

When people blame, perception suffers.  Blame prevents us from seeing the truth of the personal role we may have played in a negative interaction, relationship, or situation.  In dramatic contrast, when we are willing to take full responsibility for choices and circumstances, we create a perceptual shift within us and we almost miraculously become able to see situations, others, and ourselves in a way that we could not (would not) see when we were blaming.  Nothing clears vision like personal responsibility, and nothing clouds vision like choices to blame. 

 

 

Competition

Most people choose to believe that competition brings out the best in us, that it builds character, and motivates people to excel.  None of that is true.  In fact, competition and constructive performance, good character, and true excellence never go together.  The willfulness and negative drives inherent in competition inhibit not only positive performance, but they negate enjoyment as well.  In our quest for power and control, we pick up many competitive weapons along the way.  Sexuality is a favorite competitive weapon, knowledge is another, and, of course, money ranks high on that list.

 

It is true that animals compete for food, but we are, or could be, significantly different from animals.  Our ability to reason, analyze, predict, solve problems, and build tools has, at least theoretically, made it possible for us to live outside the primitive “eat or be eaten” treadmill on which most animals exist.  Our rational, analytical, and intuitive abilities allow us to know better and do better. 

 

No one doubts the fact that hundreds of millions of humans are starving on a daily basis; but, given our technological capabilities, that negative reality need not and should not exist.  Mass starvation stems from shameful acts of selfish control, competition, racial prejudice, and cold indifference. 

 

Competition always hampers positive performance.  In a competitive mode, we focus our attention on winning, outdoing, defeating, beating, and getting.  We fixate on ideas of what winning or losing will mean.  Focus on opponents; what they are doing or might do.  Remain intent on what we want our competitors to do, rather than focusing our attention on discovering what is the right thing to be doing in the present moment or situation. 

 

Many people wrongly view competition as the life-blood of evolution.  Competition does not insure survival; in fact, it does the opposite.  Competition actually threatens survival  Just look at the tens of thousands of nuclear warheads that exist from the Superpower competition and remain pointed at major population centers.  Their existence continues to threaten every living entity’s preservation and survival. 

 

The same is true of the environmental waste and destruction that is the direct result of mindless, greedy competition at the corporate and governmental levels.  Profit has been taking precedence to the detriment of our planet's life sustaining water, air, soil, minerals, forests, and wildlife.  The resulting global warming and global dimming have needlessly cost the lives of millions of poor people and now threaten to end all our lives.

 

 

Deception & Dishonesty

Lying and deception are prime ways that we attempt to selfishly control.  We deceptively play games with the truth and fabricate lies, spin illusions, intentionally conceal relevant facts, deliberately mislead, and add or omit for personal, social, or political gain.  As we crank up our personal selfishness and control, we become increasingly dishonest, deceptive, and untrustworthy.

 

Our control and deceptions are most apparent in the interactions that we keep superficial, false, insincere, suppressed, and guarded.  Deception and dishonesty destroy trust in a relationship.  They turn people into hypocrites and frauds who live in fear of the truth about themselves.

 

 

Dependency

The core-level basis for a dependent relationship is a responsibility trade-off that is rooted in selfish control, negative agreement, and numerous lies and illusions. 

 

A dependent relationship centers on a false sense of inequality and, essentially, it is an irresponsible dance.  Each partner is selfishly controlling every calculated step of the way.  One partner in a dependent relationship, the one assuming control, chooses to take more personal responsibility than is right.  The other partner, the needy one, takes less personal responsibility.  Both partners interact as such for selfishly perceived benefits.  

 

Control, dependency, and neediness have no place in a truly loving relationship.  People can interact in helpful and caring ways and refrain from the negative dynamics of a dependent relationship.  Once either partner comes to believe that the selfish rewards are not worth the added burdens, a change, a separation, a divorce, a termination, or resignation, or revolution will eventually occur that ends the dependent relationship.

 

 

Greed

Greedy attitudes reflect a perpetual state of emotional hunger.  Greed develops when a person’s drive for ownership is extreme, and his or her dissatisfaction with current circumstances is excessive.  These two factors often lead a greedy person to develop an insatiable desire for wealth, power, and control.  Greed accounts for the abuse and misuse of people and resources, and is a total disregard for true love, actual truth, true rightness, and loving responsibility.  The more selfish and controlling we become, the greedier we are apt to be.

 

 

Indifference

Indifference is not caring and refusing to get involved with the pain and negative circumstances of other people or other living things.  When we indulge in an attitude of indifference, we not only dehumanize ourselves, our apathy becomes dangerous for self and others.

 

To be indifferent is to turn a deaf ear to cries and screams, and to blind one’s self to the starving, raping, maiming, torturing, and killing.  It is to de-sensitize to the point of becoming devoid of feeling and compassion.  Indifference is not neutrality; it is an extremely selfish state that gives evil its power and allows pain and destruction to flourish.  To be indifferent, is to side with the powerful and the oppressors against the powerless and the oppressed.  Indifference encourages injustice because people, who could do something, choose to do nothing.
 

Indifference destroys love, beauty, goodness, and life.  It allows horrors to exist and grow.  It begins affecting us when parents are indifferent to the pain of their children.  That kind of indifference leads to excessive control, abuse, and sexual abuse, which incites selfish reaction on the part of most abused children.  Abused children emerge from their negative and painful family situations as emotional cripples, and, unfortunately, so self-centered that they are dull to anyone else’s pain. The only remedy for the widespread indifference that exists in the world today is a change of heart and a commitment to care no matter what. 

 

Irresponsibility

We live an “Age of Irresponsibility.”  Irresponsible attitudes and choices abound at all levels of society.  The reason for this relates to an increase in selfishness.”  Irresponsibility and selfishness go together.  As selfishness cranks up, irresponsibility increases proportionately. 

 

An irresponsible attitude makes a person unreliable, and his or her behavior is inconsistent and changeable, sometimes rash or reckless.  Irresponsible people are viewed as being untrustworthy, immature, negligent, unstable, and not caring about the consequences of personal actions.  Many are flighty, inconsiderate, thoughtless, and refuse to be accountable or answerable for freely made choices and resulting circumstances.

 

The more irresponsible a person chooses to be, the more distant and consciously unaware he or she will be of having made important negative choices.  Politicians, government, and corporate leaders are refusing to be accountable for their wrongful acts and mistakes.  Most members of the media shirk their responsibilities to the public.

 

We embrace questionable and self-serving theories offered by medical, psychiatric, and psychological professionals.  These theories absolve us of personal responsibility for our dysfunctional behaviors.  We accept the lies that say, You and your parents are not at fault.  You did nothing wrong.  You have a disease.

 

As we have evolved into so-called civilized humans, the average person has nullified much personal responsibility, and looks to others for personal health and well-being, for protection, for the acquisition of knowledge, and advice in a variety of basic areas such as parenting and sexuality.  Until we reclaim the full 100% responsibility we each have for our life, our choices, situations, relationships, and circumstances, we will not live life as it could or should be lived.

 

 

Jealousy
Jealousy is an extremely common attitude and experience.  Jealousy, ownership, and possessiveness are selfish positions that go together.  When a person is possessive of another, and when the perceived ownership is threatened, that person will feel a strong mix of paradoxical feelings—fear, anger, and jealousy—that can become intense and seem uncontrollable, which they never are.

 

Jealous people claim others as their personal property.  The most widespread application of this occurs with possessive parents who view their children as belonging to them.  Therefore, they can be as they want to be and do whatever they please with them.  This attitude opens a door to all types of abuses including sexual abuse. 

 

Jealous people flip in and out of fearful, insecure, frustrated, depressed, anxious, suspicious, needy, wanting, inferior, and inadequate feeling states.  Most psychological professionals consider jealousy normal when a person has a partner who is being unfaithful or flirtatious.  Psychological professionals say that that kind of jealousy is a rational response, therefore, a justified response.  Nevertheless, jealousy is always an unloving, selfish, negative, and destructive response.  Jealousy may be widespread and common and as such, a normal response, but, whether delusional, irrational, or rooted in reality, jealousy is never a loving or a right feeling or response. 

 

 

Low Self-Esteem

Low-self esteem is a term that emerged in recent decades out of the psychiatric and psychological communities.  Self-esteem is a measure of perceived self-worth and personal competence.  Essentially, self-esteem is comprised of a group of ideas a person chooses to believe, hold, think, project, and enact about him or her self.  It is an attitude associated with one’s ego ideas that comprise a self-created, idea-based, personal identity. 

 

Low self-esteem is usually associated with unsupported fears that may or may not be related to sexual experiences, and with guilt, shame, exaggerated or diminished feelings of power and control.  People who suffer low-self esteem usually have difficulty with trust and are plagued with fears of abandonment.  These are also symptoms commonly associated with incest and sexual abuse experience.

 

Attitudes of parents and caretakers can and do significantly influence a child’s notion of self-worth.  If a child is loved and accepted, consistently positive interactions like that can definitely make it easier for a child to choose against selfish impulses and for choices to act rightly.  On the other hand, if a child is unwanted, neglected, and abused, these negative experiences will usually set a child up for selfish reactions and numerous wrong choices.  Nonetheless, even with negative environmental factors, it is a person’s own choices (at any age), in relation to what is loving, true, right, and lovingly responsible, not the choices of others, that determine whether that person will consistently feel good about self.


Low self-esteem is the projected image of a willful and defiant “victim.”  The excess attention currently given to this destructive attitude by psychiatric professionals is greatly misdirected and uninformed.  Elaborate psychiatric theories about low self-esteem are fundamentally in error.  Those who believe low self-esteem is a disease, or the inevitable result of unpleasant childhood experiences, miss the basic fact that low self-esteem is the result of consistently rebellious and defiant assertions of willfulness. 

 

Those who enact patterns and pattern-ideas that manifest as low self-esteem, also regularly feel the selfish emotions of guilt, anger, fear, jealousy, depression, anxiety, and shame.  The experience is the direct result of a person's own dishonest, irresponsible, and selfishly reactive choices, not the result, as theorist’s claim, of having had to meet inappropriate or unreasonable parental expectations or from having lived in degrading or humiliating childhood circumstances. 

 

Nothing cures low self-esteem like the making of right, loving, truthful, and responsible choices.  This is because it is a person’s wrong, selfish, dishonest, and irresponsible choices that have created the condition in the first place.

 

 

Ownership

Ownership has roots in the animal kingdom where it is seen as the claiming of territory and mates.  The selfish drive to own and possess permeates our human selfish lives.  We extend attitudes of ownership to people, pets, objects, land, water, air, intellectual creations, and knowledge. 

 

There seems no end to our wanting, needing, getting, and possessing.  We market, trade, accumulate, acquire, steal, and hoard.  We stake out, fence-off, make-claim-to, and develop land and natural resources.  We create maps to delineate property lines, villages, towns, cities, counties, states, and countries.  We surround property with barbed wire, wood, iron, stone, and brick, so we can keep “ours” separate from “theirs.”

 

Selfish parents who think they own their children insist they do as they are told, usually with little or no regard for what is truly right, loving, or true.  Most parents take their ownership and control to gross extremes and expect their children to endure sex on demand.  Incest, at bottom, is mostly about selfish parents attempting to attain total submission of their children’s will to their will.  Selfish parents feel justified by believing selfish excuses such as, I created them, and they are mine.  I can do with them as I please. 

 

The ancient practice of slavery is still alive and growing in the modern world.  Again, the objective is the total submission of one person's will to the will of another and the dehumanizing of people with selfish ideas that transform people into property.

 

 

Prejudice

The word prejudice means to pre-judge.  It describes a tightly controlled selfish mental process in which people who choose to be biased, intolerant, bigoted, narrow-minded, discriminatory, and unfair deem themselves prosecutors, judges, juries, and, on occasion, executioners of those who they willfully declare as being unworthy or less in some way. 

 

Prejudice, intolerance, and discrimination are ancient human psychological realities that often have painful consequences.  Every civilization and social group has had an “underclass.”  Particular individuals and groups have always found themselves pushed to the bottom and forced to live at a disadvantage.  Even so-called enlightened or highly civilized cultures have functioned with sexual, racial, social, ethnic, religious, and economic class structures that translated into some people being viewed as less worthy than others.  Prejudicial attitudes and social oppression have kept minorities isolated, separate, economically exploited, and locked into poverty, poor housing, substandard education, high unemployment, unjust arrests and prosecutions, or worse.

 

In recent times, in various parts of the world, ethnic, religious, and racial groups have suffered horrific genocides while the rest of the world usually chose to look the other way.  The many millions of recent genocidal deaths are only the tip of the iceberg.  Genocides produce refugees who are forced to flee for their lives.  Genocides produce brutal rapes of women and children, and huge numbers of broken families, starving masses, and needless deaths from untreated disease.  It is a sad reality that there has never been consistent goodwill, unity, acceptance, justice, or equality in societies on planet Earth.  There will never be, until we turn away from our selfishness and control and start acting rightly.

 

 

Resistance

Resistance is an attitude that has, at its base, the energy of opposition.  Essentially, except for a few exceptions, resistance comes out of a willful intention to oppose what a person knows is loving, true, right, and lovingly responsible.  Resistance is usually associated with an unwillingness to give, express, help, care, act responsibly, change what is wrong, or do what is right.  We are resistant and unwilling because our basic intention is to control. 

 

Willfulness, defiance, and resistance are the inner forces that drive our selfish patterns and selfish reactions that underlie every one of our mental, emotional, behavioral, and sexual disorders. 

 

A truly loving person (none on the planet that I know of) would not be resistant, nor would he or she be unwilling or non-accepting, even of negative things.  Should a person be confronted with a situation or an option that he or she knows is not right, rather than resist and oppose, a person intent on acting rightly would seek to discover what the right action would be in that moment, then, simply choose to act rightly.  In doing so, all wrong options and reactions would be negated by the right choice. 

 

At bottom, resistance is a selfish reaction.  Many children defiantly, reactively, and spontaneously resist their parents because they are in selfish reaction to their parents’ unloving control and abuse.  Attitudes of resistance blind everyone (young or old) to the perception of actual truth and true rightness.  Resistance is frequently coupled with an unwillingness to be wrong.  Both underlie a person’s extremely strong-willed refusal to change in positive and lovingly responsible ways.

 


Self-Pity

Self-pity is a passive, inward, and subtle selfish attitude.  It results from a person’s refusal to take full responsibility for past and present choices, feelings, situations, relationships, and circumstances.  When we indulge in self-pity, we are feeling sorry for ourselves and pretending to be innocent victims of our circumstances or other people.  If we are being selfish, we are never innocent in the negative situations, relationships, and circumstances in which we find ourselves.

 

The intentions that drive an attitude of self-pity are a getting for self and a willful defiance of what is right.  Manipulation, insincerity, deception, and control are inherent aspects of the “victims” who indulge in self-pity.  These people are focusing their attention firmly on themselves and on their personal difficulties, unfulfilled desires, wants, needs, frustrations, discomforts, and pain.  They project auras of helplessness, ineptness, and neediness.  They play at depending and leaning on others, and often come across as being flakes, whiners, and incompetents.

 

Victim types believe they have no power or ability to deal-with or change anything about themselves and their lives.  They usually perceive that they have no options because they are severely controlling their awareness and perceptions of reality, and are willfully refusing to see available options, especially the right option. 

 

Fear is a prevalent emotion and often an excuse that keeps victims from being able to deal positively with their negative situations.  They will sometimes use anger and blame to disguise their self-pity for image sake.  People who feel sorry for themselves are always blaming someone—God, Satan, a spouse, a child, or a multitude of other factors to justify their blame and their self-created negative experiences. 

 

Blame and self-pity are self-defeating and self-destructive.  Both put the power for positive change outside of our choices and render us impotent to see the truth about our situations, relationships, and our inner mental and emotional states.  Anytime we are feeling sorry for ourselves, we need to remind ourselves that our personal responsibility level has dropped to near zero.  At such times, we are sure to be distorting our awareness and perception of what is actually true, real, and right.

 

 

Vengeance

Hurt me, and I'll hurt you back worse  That is the inherent cry in a vengeful attitude.  It is an excessive, unforgiving, and frequently violent form of punishment.  The intent of a vengeful act is to get even, to spite, to humiliate, or to cause harm or injury.  The energy of vengeance is mean spirited.  Those who seek vengeance are willfully and defiantly disregarding what they know is truly loving and right.  Vengeful people have an eye-for-an-eye mentality. 

 

Extremely selfish people react to the wrong choices of family members, neighbors, ethnic groups, religious groups, and political groups with a fervor that is perpetuated from one generation to the next.  The original reason for the desire to seek revenge often fades, but the hateful and punishing spirit remains and fuels future hurtful and destructive attitudes and actions.

 

 

Wanting

Wanting is usually believed to be natural, necessary, or appropriate, especially when it concerns life's essentials.  It does seem appropriate to crave, feel a need for, have a desire for, or want food when hungry, water when thirsty, and warmth when cold.  Nevertheless, we can physically crave life’s essentials without indulging in the selfish mental and emotional state of wanting.  Our choices to want add an unnecessary negative spin to daily life. 

 

Very early in life, we began selfishly manipulating others by resorting to anger and fear to get what we wanted or to avoid what we did not want.  Newborns who intentionally sustain or intensify their crying as a way of getting those close to give them food or care are examples of selfish wanting.  As we grew older, lying or withholding truth became another popular manipulative device.  Later, shutting down emotionally, refusing to communicate, or resorting to anger and fear, became manipulative tools.  Laying a guilt trip is also a common way that we attempt to selfishly control the individuals with whom we interact.  Wanting, needing, manipulating, and getting all go together.  These selfish maneuvers account for why people are guarded, closed, insincere, and unreal. 

 

Wanting is never positive and it never leads to anything good.  This includes wanting love, wanting emotional security, wanting knowledge, power, success, financial security, good health, friendship, comfort, food, sex, or acceptance.  A wanting attitude leads to extreme control of expression.  When we want something strongly, our wanting results in restricting open, honest, truthful expressions because truthful expressions might prevent us from getting what we want.  Wanting is a major reason that people compromise what they know is right.  They will not do anything that might prevent them from getting what they want from others.  

 

Wanting distorts accurate perception and clear seeing.  When we want something in a relationship or situation, we tend to selectively see only what we want to see.  Wanting is the underlying basis for denial.  No matter how selfless or altruistic wanting may appear to be, it is always action that is selfish and negative.  It will be impossible for us to live without wanting until we become willing to end our selfishness and control.  Positive experiences will increase to the extent that a person works to reduce his or her wanting.  Doing what is right actually translates into choosing against what we want because right action is always unselfish action. 

 

To a great extent, a person’s energy level, discomfort level, and threshold for pain, will hinge on how much that person wants to do whatever it is he or she is setting out to do.  A paradox that adds greatly to our frustration is that when we want something strongly, the energy of our wanting appears to act to push away the objects we desire.  Like swimming after a beach ball, the motion of our strokes keeps pushing the ball away.  That may be one reason people rarely get what they want or are selfishly seeking to acquire.

 

Some readers might be asking, How could it be wrong to want love?  The truth appears to be that we cannot have an experience of love by selfishly seeking it.  For us to have an experience of true love, we must consistently do what we know is right.  To experience true love, we have to choose against our selfish tendencies; and that means giving, not wanting, not being needy or greedy, and not seeking to get love for self.  

 

Greed and selfish ambition spring from selfish wanting, and often create a debilitating madness that drive people to want more than they actually require.  Frustration and anger usually follow from wanting people, objects, situations, or circumstances to be different than they actually are.  Essentially, we become frustrated and angry when we are not getting what we want.  Insecurity, fear, jealousy, and competition are other by-products of our selfish approaches to life.

 

Wanting is actually self-defeating and becomes a liability that stifles creativity and productivity.  Another liability associated with wanting is the fact that the easiest person to control in a situation or relationship is someone who strongly wants something.  Wanting is the operative factor in conformity.  People agree to conform and acquiesce to the control of others because they harbor a hope of getting what they selfishly want.  Helping others to get what they want is an activity that never truly helps in loving or positive ways. 

 

To end our sense of lack and need, we must end our wanting.  Wanting creates a bottomless pit in us that cannot be filled.  If we ever do seem to get what we want, it will not be long before we want something else.  Were we consistently willing to do what we know is right, we would no longer want anything and would no longer have an experience of wanting.  Right action is the only way we can attain inner peace and a sense of contentment and fulfillment.

 

 

Willfulness

Willfulness is the core-level attitude of our selfishness and it is the most destructive of all attitudes.  Willfulness drives our irrational urges to control at any cost.  It manifests, as an intentional, deliberate, defiant, disobedience of what we know is loving and right.

 

Every selfish person is a willful person.  Extremely selfish people are extremely willful people.  Extremely willful people are usually thought to be strong, aggressive, active, and angry.  However, an equal number are weak, passive, fearful types who give the appearance of being needy, helpless, and dependent.  All extremely willful people are deceptive and manipulative.  Those who play at being victims are equally strong-willed and controlling, in spite of their apparently weak and helpless facades.  Willful individuals want what they want.  They act, as they want to act.  They do what they want to do, when, where, how, and with whomever they choose. 

 

There is no higher authority in the life of a willful person than self.  Willfulness drives self-rule, self-gratification, and selfish control.  It is the essence of all other selfish attitudes.  It underlies every single negative feeling or emotion.  In whatever ways willfulness does manifest, it always opposes rightness, goodness, and true love.  []

 
   

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