We see the world through our own perspective. It’s only natural that we will put ourselves in the center of our world, but this doesn’t mean that this is also the best approach that will always serve us in all situations.
Instead, there are many situations when we need to stop being self-centered to become a better person, to help others, to understand the needs and wants of our client base, and in many other situations. Let’s review some ways of changing one’s perspective.
The first way of becoming less self-centered is by working on one’s empathy. While people can have different levels of empathy from their childhood, it is always possible to increase how we feel it through practice.
Make an effort to try and understand how the people around you might be feeling. Offer alternative explanations for behaviors you dislike or struggle to understand. Practice empathy like any other skill and you will notice a change in how you perceive other people, becoming less willing to judge and more attuned to the emotions others experience.
Be kind to other people
Kindness can make a difference in your own experience of the world and change how others perceive you. You might find yourself having a lot more understanding of the world when you are willing to help others.
Kindness makes a powerful shift in our mindset. Not only is it proven to improve our well-being, it can also enhance our feeling of control and autonomy, strengthen our relationships with other people, and keep us less focused on ourselves.
It is, however, important to stress that the best kindness is the one that does not anticipate a particular reaction or reward. Just do nice things for the sake of doing them, so even if you are faced with strikingly ungrateful people, you can still reap the benefits of doing good things and feel good with yourself.
Show appreciation for others
Gratitude and appreciation are powerful tools for focusing more on other people. They allow you to recognize how other people have contributed to what you have now, the ways in which you are not alone in the world.
Being thankful and showing it might seem a bit corny, however, it also has proven benefits for your physical and mental health. Gratitude can help you see that you have others you rely on and that your accomplishments have also involved other people. This is a great reminder that can snap you out of a self-centered mindset.
Don’t take yourself so seriously
A bit of humor and self-deprecating humor in particular can make a difference in how you see yourself and also help you drop the idea of focusing too much on your own experience.
You will gain a lot by taking your own mistakes with a bit of humor, and this is also true of any achievements you could have. Don’t put yourself up on a pedestal, because it encourages you to think of yourself as being better than others.
Instead, you can always try to keep an open mind and listen to other people, for example, by asking for positive and negative feedback and having a sense of humor about criticisms. It has the advantage of making you feel less serious and less worried, but also encourages you to be less selfish.
Take some time for yourself
What we might feel as selfishness can sometimes act as a defense. We might feel we have to be self-centered to ensure others are not exploiting us or to protect the last of our time and energy. A good way to counteract it in this case is not to just stop being selfish, but address the underlying causes.
Allow yourself to take the time you need to rest before it becomes desperately needed. Take breaks. Learn to say no in the first stages of the project or to set limits beforehand. Once we feel safe and comfortable, it is easier to think about other people and give them time and energy.
Thinking of yourself first is not an inherently bad thing to do. Instead, it can be a good way of protecting yourself in order to be able to help and protect others.