Telling a Friend That You're Tired of Their Selfishness
The irony of selfish friends is that if you tell them you feel they are acting selfishly, they will either be shocked, offended that you suggested such a thing, or not care at all. If someone lacks the self-awareness to notice how they treat people, then you telling them might just cause an argument between the two of you rather than resolve this imbalance in your relationship.
Having said that, you owe it to yourself and the relationship to relay your concerns, but be careful. If you start randomly accusing them of things without examples you'll be the one behaving selfishly.
Avoid saying things like:
- "You always..."
- "You never..."
- "I hate when you..."
"When I told you I was really lonely and asked if I could see you, you laughed at me. I needed company and I'm there when you want to do something. This was an important moment and I felt that you weren't concerned about my feelings."
"I have listened patiently when you complained about your boyfriend, but now that I'm having problems you don't seem to care. Yesterday when I told you how I was feeling you just told me to get over it."
"You used to call me every day last summer when you wanted someone to watch your kids. I was happy to do it. But today when I asked you for a favor you blew me off. I've come to realize this instance happens more often than not."
Remember, as you talk to your friend, don't attack. It's a hard balance. Ask them to listen to your feelings rather than accuse them of things. Even if they did do something wrong, their memory of the situation might be different so be prepared for that. Also, be prepared with reasons why you feel your friend has acted selfishly so you can discuss what you'd like your friend to do instead. That's easier than just saying, "You're so selfish" without giving an example.
What Is Your Goal in Talking to Your Friend?
Before you speak with a friend about being selfish, determine your intentions. Do you want to work through things or end the friendship?
If you just want to end the friendship, you can do that without getting dramatic. A part of you might want to yell and tell the person how selfish they are, but instead, keep your composure and calmly tell them how you feel, even if you know this is the end of your association. This approach will have a much greater impact on a selfish person than hysterics or mean behavior.
Don't Try to Change a Selfish Friend
While you should definitely discuss your concerns about their selfishness, never assume that you'll change them. People will change when and if they want to, and while you can tell them how they make you feel, you can't expect them to turn into another (more caring) person. People are who they are.