Starting in the toddler years, self-centeredness is completely normal and necessary part of development.
But as children grow, this can lead to a sense of entitlement and selfish attitudes as they may see themselves as the center of the universe. As parents, we all want our kids to have plenty of confidence and self-esteem.
Let’s take a two-year-old having a temper tantrum, meltdown, screaming, crying to get their needs met. The parent is trying to console the child, bargaining, giving a time out, involving the other parent or someone else into the conversation with the child. it is clear the parents are feeding off each other and struggling to manage the child’s temper tantrum.
One parent gives in to the child to get them to stop screaming and the other parent becomes anger upset and walks away, the child gets their way, both parents are in conflict, and the family are developing emotionally dysregulation and unhealthy personality traits. Let’s fast forward to an adolescents, young adult or full-grown adult having a temper tantrum. The acting out is similar to the two-year-old child; however, the personality traits are more developed in adults such as passive or aggressive behaviors.
Self-Centeredness is also a sense of entitlement which is a personality characteristic, throwing tantrums and always find themselves superior to others. In the basic text of Narcotic Anonymous, the book was written for addicts by addicts focusing on a 12-step program as solution, giving hope to suffering untreated addicts, it gives addicts a way out to stop using drugs and to find a new way of life.
The basic text describes self-centeredness as the core of addiction, self-seeking as a way to survive, a way to deal with life on life’s terms. It’s clear in many studies, addiction is a disease that affects a person’s physical, mental, spiritual and emotional state, the disease of disconnection, disease of more, a disease that tells you have no disease.
Addiction is based on obsession, compulsion to mind and mood -altering substances effecting people, places, and things with negative consequences. It is also important to note that self – centeredness creates unhealthy behaviors in relationships, emotional dysregulation, denying there is a problem, lack of emotional or mental maturity, failing to take responsibility with a need to control people, places, and things, to get one’s needs met or to be rescue.
Self-centeredness leads to disconnection; it fuels addiction by creating a path of destruction within relationships. You don’t have to be using drugs to destruct relationships, if you have not learnt the internal skills to form heathy attachments in relationships, you will continue to use self-centeredness as a way to stay in control and not take responsibility for self. There will be denial, justification, rationalization, minimizing, and manipulation again to get one’s needs met, much like in active addiction.
I think it is very important to note that once a person stops using mind altering substances, they still have untreated addictive behaviors, mental health trauma, unhealthy attachment issues and family of origin issues, it takes time to recover. Self-reflection is the start of personal growth and development, mental and emotional maturity will be a key that unlocks a door of truth; however, the real work begins by developing self -awareness and accountability, identifying inner expectations and p using ego out of one’s life, embracing humility, working on accepting life without high expectations on others and admitting truth with an open mind for change and growth, developing compassion with an openness to surrender selfishness, to help others without expectation out of self-value and not out of ego also building healthy relationships based on inner dependence.
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