How To Accept That People Are Self-Centred

self-absorbed girl

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Hi there, welcome back to Kelly Martin Speaks. I’m your host Kelly Martin and this is episode 80.

First of all, I want to update you a bit on last week’s podcast episode when I spoke about how sinus issues can be related to emotional issues like repressed or unexpressed grief and for me it was loneliness issues. I also mentioned how I came down with a cold and was pretty bunged up in last week’s episode. What was amazing and confirmed my thoughts on the sinuses was that on day 4 of my cold I had a lot of emotional stuff come up and I cried like a baby for at least 2 hours solid. The next day my cold was completely gone. No blocked nose, no sore throat and no residual fatigue that can last a few weeks with a cold. By expressing verbally my fears and concerns while crying I released the trapped pain and emotion in my sinuses. I awoke amazed that I had cleared what normally lasts a few weeks in 4 days by releasing the emotions repressed. So I just wanted to update you on this, if you are suffering with a cold or sinus issues I highly recommend look inward to see if you have any grief or emotional pain that needs verbalising through tears.

And now onto today’s episode.

In this episode I’m going to talk about How to accept that people are self-centred and that’s okay, the challenges that come from relating to people and how most of us will experience self-absorbed people in every walk of life, but also by considering it we discover we can be the same. I want to talk about how putting effort in and time into anything, be it a relationship, a business idea, a creative project does not mean that those we are relating to will have the same passion or connection as we do and it may feel like when the relationship or business or project ends we have been working with people who only care about themselves.

It can be really hard to accept that in our human nature we tend to want what we want and while we may be compassionate and kind, sometimes our own needs will override common courtesy or appreciation.

I’m learning this myself in relation to collaborations with other people. In projects for example, when I ran the mental health station, I was very passionate about the idea, probably expected too much of it with little human resources available, but it didn’t stop me feeling hurt when those who were involved vanished, some not even saying goodbye, when I had to close the station. Those very people were insistent they were so excited about the station and it felt to me like I had pissed them off, for ending it, even though I did most of the work voluntarily. It was so easy to see those who just vanished as self-absorbed and in it for themselves and to see myself from a righteous place.

And my ego could say ‘Fuck them, bloody rude!’

And it did, initially.

People who were so connected and interested in my ideas, my wellbeing and my thoughts as a person suddenly were not there once the free publicity and investment was gone. It made me realise so many things about myself and about how I took myself and my value for granted, once again!

It’s Easy To Blame Others

pointing fingers of blame

However, it is easy to blame the other person for being self-absorbed, but in our very desire for them to be otherwise, we are being self-absorbed too. We are wanting the other person or person’s to be there for us in our time of need, but I readily admit after the station ended, I was heartbroken and it lasted a long time. I was hoping those same people who were part of the station would have stayed in touch with me, asking if I was okay, but no they didn’t. And were they supposed to? NO.

It is easy to look at others and project them as wrong or ourselves as more superior for putting effort into something, be it a business, a project or a relationship and expecting the other person to be as distraught or supportive as they were before, but this is naïve thinking.

What pains us and makes us suffer is when we expect anything of other people, anything at all.

It is in our attachments to expectations that other people must be what we want of them, that cause us to suffer.

Yet when we finally get to a stage in our life when we can look at others walking away as a rite of passage, as a natural progression, as something they needed to do as part of their personal soul journey (and absolutely nothing personal to us) it is then that we feel an inner sense of acceptance and peace.

We can spend a decade blaming and believing we are being wronged and that we are more righteous and worthy of what we think we need, but by doing this and thinking this way, we negate the individuality of the other person or persons personal life path and journey and what they need.

I’ve talked about friendships in other podcasts and how I have attracted many friends who were unavailable for more deeper intimate friendship, friends who were only prepared or able to see me once a month, once every few months and to them that was friendship (to me it was not because we never had the consistent time to develop the friendship), but in my sadness at the breakdown of those relationships and the endings it was very easy to project blame onto them, to see them as self-absorbed and self-centred, instead of being true to themselves, following what they needed. It was nothing personal, even if my ego had me believe that it was.

We can think if we follow a more spiritual path that we will become less self-absorbed, but this is not the case, being human it is almost impossible to transcend the self, unless we become a Buddha, a Monk living in a cave…but most of us haven’t got the luxury of time and space to devote to this type of practice.

When monks awaken, they are without the ordinary day-to-day experiences of relating to family, to commercialism, to aggression, to war, to general relating to people. We need to find a way to accept our humanity and understand that everyone behaves, and acts based on their own path and often their own conditioning from earlier life experiences.

Sometimes It Does Come From A Shadier Place

This is not to say that being self-absorbed is always a loving trait.

Sometimes if someone is for example in a friendship just to get something out of it instead of putting into it, it’s coming from a different place altogether. And for example with my station there may have been those who joined only to get something out of the station instead of putting something in, that was coming from not the best place too. I did try to stop this happening, but sometimes we don’t know it is happening until people walk away and then you can see more clearly.

And self-absorbed people who are coming from a shadier place tend to be more about their own success and are more concerned with their own image than anyone else they are working with. It is a lifetime lesson when relating to other people. We can continue living from a place of blame and holier than thou or we can take stock, own our own projections and see clearly. Yes, there will be people who are self-absorbed and doing so from a not great place, but equally so there will be people who are self-centred and walking away, making different choices because it feels more loving to do so, for them. And this has nothing to do with us at all.

So the next time you’re in a relationship, in a business or collaborating with others and people walk away, for whatever reason, know it is okay, it is often not signalling anything personal about you, but moreso about the other person and what their needs are. All you can do is grieve the loss, accept what has happened and move forward once again. Don’t allow the experience to weigh you down any further.

Thanks for listening to this episode of Kelly Martin Speaks

If you have a question or topic you are struggling with and would like me to answer on an upcoming podcast episode, please get in touch. Your name will be confidential. EMAIL me at or message me on Facebook via my page Kelly Martin Speaks.

And don’t forget, if you feel that others are passing you by and ‘The Not Good Enough’ voice is screaming loudly, pop by to find out all about my books, including Book 1 ‘When Everyone Shines but You’

You can also support my channel via my podcast page on my website via Paypal or buy me a coffee via ko-fi.

Until next time…bye for now


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Kelly Martin
Kelly Martin

Kelly Martin, author of ‘When Everyone Shines But You’ is a dedicated writer and blogger who fearlessly explores life’s deepest questions. Faced with a decade of profound anxiety and grief following the loss of her father and her best friend Michael, Kelly embarked on a transformative journey guided by mindfulness, and she hasn’t looked back since. Through her insightful writing, engaging podcasts, and inspiring You Tube channel Kelly empowers others to unearth the hidden treasures within their pain, embracing the profound truth that they are ‘enough’ exactly as they are.

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