Regular readers know I like studies. They can expose the human condition in ways that are usually kept hidden.
The latest one I came across from a website called queendom.com looks at why selfish people are so annoying. Before I get into it, you can probably come up with some reasons why selfish people are annoying, even if you are an annoying person.
They only think about themselves, they expect you to be there for them at a moment’s notice, but barely pay any attention when you’re going through something. Everything about their life is wildly important, but you just need to get over it and get back to them.
And so on and so on.
Queendom had 1,096 people take a thing called the Big Five Personality test. It’s a series of questions designed to see how you react to certain stressful situations. If you blow a gasket, you’re probably selfish. If you step back and assess the entire situation, you’re not likely to be a toxic person.
The people were graded on a scale of 0-100, with 100 being the type of person you’d trust with all your passwords and 0 being the type nobody would fault you for shooting on sight.
Let’s take a look at the categories:
Average score for the altruistic group: 76
Yeah, selfish people aren’t too big on being kind to others, unless it benefits them. And the nice group was more willing to help, but only to a certain point. So, I guess we can all be jerks at times.
Average score for the altruistic group: 70
Everybody can be likable, but it can go out the window for certain people when they realize being likable isn’t going to get them anything.
Average score for the altruistic group: 72
Selfish people will fake being a good person until it no longer benefits them. Though some let it all hang out from the start. Nice people try to be nice, even when it serves them no purpose in the end.
Average score for the altruistic group: 55
The low scores on this indicate none of us are too trusting of anybody. Trust is a hard thing to earn and a very easy thing to lose. Part of the problem here, or so I think, is people tend to project. They accuse somebody else of doing a horrible thing with no proof, simply because they’ve done that horrible thing plenty of times and that means everybody else is doing it.
Average score for the altruistic group: 67
Compromise isn’t very big in America right now. Look at the political world. Or don’t. Probably better if you don’t.
Average score for the altruistic group: 69
A lot of people think the world is a mean, hateful place and they react in kind. And they’re not completely wrong, but imagine how much better it would be if we stopped being so mad all the time.
Average score for the altruistic group: 39
If you only care about yourself, you’ll jump at any chance to take advantage of something, not stopping to think how it might affect others. Impulsiveness has wrecked a lot of lives.
Average score for the altruistic group: 42
As the survey said, “A tendency towards greediness can also breed a desire for power and control. Selfish people are more likely to have dominating (or domineering) personalities, driven by their desire to get what they want.”
Average score for the altruistic group: 26
Selfish people have to win. Always. Only losers lose. Or something.
In the end, we’re all probably a combination of selfish and nice. I guess you just need to make sure each side gets a fair hearing in situations. You don’t want to be a jerk, but you don’t want to be a pushover either.
If you want to take the Big Five test yourself, you can find it at https://www.queendom.com/queen dom_tests/transfer