How to Break the Cycle of Self-Centeredness and Embrace Altruism

Self-centeredness, the act of prioritizing one's own interests over others, is a common mindset in modern society. However, this type of thinking can lead to long-term anxiety, depression, and suffering. The cure for self-centeredness is altruism, which involves putting others before oneself. But what is altruism and how does it help combat the negative effects of self-centeredness?


Self-centeredness can lead to anxiety in various ways, and it's important to understand that this is a common experience that many people face. When we focus too much on our own needs and desires, we may neglect the needs of others and feel guilty, ashamed, or doubtful of ourselves. This can create a cycle where our anxiety leads to even more self-centred behaviour, making us feel even worse.

Being self-centred can also harm our relationships and social connections, making us feel lonely and isolated. This can increase our anxiety, as we may feel like we have no one to turn to for support and validation. And the fear of losing control over our lives and being at the mercy of others can also add to our anxiety, making us overly concerned with our own survival and well-being.

Self-centeredness can also lead to anxiety related to our performance and appearance, such as becoming obsessed with success, recognition, or our physical appearance. This can cause us to feel anxious and stressed.

Moreover, when we are self-centred, we may engage in unethical or harmful behaviours to get what we want, which can create fear and uncertainty in others, leading to increased anxiety and stress in the wider community.

It's important to remember that self-centeredness and anxiety can create a vicious cycle, but it's possible to break it. To do so, we need to address the underlying issues that contribute to our self-centeredness, such as low self-esteem, insecurity, or a sense of entitlement. We can also develop healthier coping strategies, like practising mindfulness and self-reflection and focusing on the needs and feelings of others.


Depression is a challenging condition that can make us feel sad, hopeless, and disconnected from others. One factor that can contribute to depression is self-centeredness, which means focusing too much on ourselves and our own needs. This can have several negative effects on our mental health.

When we are self-centred, we may neglect the needs and emotions of those around us, which can lead to strained relationships and a sense of loneliness. We may also set unrealistic expectations for ourselves or compare ourselves unfavourably to others, leading to feelings of failure and worthlessness. This can make it difficult to find meaning and purpose in our lives, which is an important protective factor against depression.

It's important to recognize that self-centeredness is not always a conscious choice or a personality trait; it can also be a symptom of depression itself. When we are depressed, we may become more focused on our own negative thoughts and feelings, which can create a self-centred worldview.

Addressing self-centeredness is an important part of treating depression and improving our mental health. This can involve working with a therapist to develop more empathy and awareness of others, challenging negative self-talk, and identifying meaningful goals and values. It's also important to cultivate social connections and seek support from others.

By taking steps to address self-centeredness and improve our relationships with others, we can increase our resilience to depression and improve our overall well-being.


Self-centeredness is a state of mind that can cause immense pain and suffering, both for the individual who is self-centred and for those around them. It involves a focus on one's own needs and desires, without consideration for the feelings and well-being of others.

Being self-absorbed and lacking in empathy can make it challenging for self-centred individuals to form deep and meaningful connections with others. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and emptiness, and can cause others to view them as selfish and insensitive.

Moreover, self-centred individuals may also create suffering for those around them, through their actions and behaviour. For example, they may manipulate or disregard the feelings of others in order to achieve their own goals, causing emotional pain and damaging relationships.

It is important to remember that self-centeredness is often a manifestation of deeper insecurities and unmet needs, and that those who exhibit these traits may be struggling with their own sense of purpose and happiness. By offering empathy and understanding, we can help them to move past these tendencies and towards a more fulfilling and meaningful life.

On the other hand, those who are self-centred may also find that their focus on their own needs leads to a sense of emptiness and lack of purpose. It is important to recognize that this suffering is real, and that there is a path towards finding fulfilment and happiness through connection and compassion for others.


The cure for self-centeredness is altruism, which is the act of putting the needs and interests of others before one's own. Altruism involves a shift in perspective from self-interest to a concern for the well-being of others. This shift can bring about many benefits, including reduced anxiety, depression, and suffering.

Firstly, altruism helps to reduce anxiety by shifting the focus away from self-interest and towards the well-being of others. This can provide a sense of purpose and fulfilment, which can help to alleviate feelings of anxiety and insecurity. Additionally, altruism can help to create a sense of connection and community, which can provide support and comfort during difficult times.

Altruism also helps to alleviate depression by reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness. When a person is engaged in altruistic behaviour, they are more likely to form meaningful relationships with others, which can provide a sense of belonging and fulfilment. Additionally, altruism can help to increase self-esteem and feelings of worth, as a person begins to see themselves as a positive force in the world.

Finally, altruism can help to reduce suffering by promoting empathy and understanding for others. When a person is altruistic, they are more likely to consider the feelings and needs of others, which can help to prevent conflict and hurt. Additionally, altruism can help to create a positive and supportive environment, as people work together towards a common goal.

To summarize, self-centeredness can lead to anxiety, depression, and suffering, as a person becomes isolated and focused on their own interests. However, the cure for self-centeredness is altruism, which involves putting the needs and interests of others before one's own.

If you want to discuss any mental struggles or obstacles you have in your life, book a session with me.


  1. Interesting consideration: how to balance altruism and self-care. Either to the exclusion of the other is, as is suggested, problematic. I would be interested in reading more about how to work towards that balance. Suggestions for recognizing when one is leaning into either one too hard?

    • When you become drained by helping others and giving too much of yourself should be a red flag.
      The other side of that coin might be, if your relationships with people are deteriorating because you focus too much on how you would feel if something were to happen.

      When we’re too self-centred that can naturally lead to feelings of stress or a form of anxiety, depression or suffering, as I mentioned in the article.
      When you’re supporting others, always be aware of how they are receiving your support and how they treat you. We want to set boundaries to ensure other’s don’t take advantage of our kindness. Which is an incredibly sad statement within itself.

  2. I’ve never been more alive than when I have been encouraging and investing in others! Love how you have your site designed and laid out.

  3. Nice article. I teach and i see this issue with so many kids.

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