Confessions of a Self-Centered Teen

In high school, I have been called plenty of names. Critical, controversial, outspoken, eccentric, just to name a few. But recently, there has been one name that has stood out from the rest. Last week, I was called “that self-centered bitch”. Though I was hardly surprised, this one was definitely a bit unnerving. Being a writer on spirituality, having that title was certainly NOT in my grandest vision of the greatest vision of myself. But after some careful contemplation, I realized that there is more truth to it than I thought.

So, yes, I confess. I am self-centered. But is this really so bad?

No. There is absolutely no problem with being self-centered. When we are self-centered, we are literally centered (or in other terms, grounded) in our Sense of Self. By introspecting everything we chose to be, chose to do, and chose to have, we create a very strong definition of Who We Are. In essence, being centered in the self is merely living and thinking in the most elevated idea of our highest thought. By continuously living in our highest understanding of self-respect, self-esteem, and self-actualization, we have faith in ourselves. Through this internal trust, we have the confidence in our ability to enjoy life as a creative experience. Who doesn’t desire this?

Furthermore, being self-centered is exactly what we should be in high school. During our teenage years, our sense of identity is truly in the greatest fluctuation. As we journey to figure out for ourselves just Who We Really Are, we join clubs, groups, and cliques to create some type of name for ourselves. One of the greatest pitfalls among teens today is letting their new social group control their definition of their identity. And as teens become dependent on outside groups to define who they are, they lose sight of their own story – of their purpose and their potential.  If these teens are not self-centered, then they let these external forces shape their names, their decisions, and their history.  Everyone is familiar with the story of “the good kid” who hung around “the wrong people” and then became “the bad kid” (in the most subjective sense, that is). Whether it be through the influence of drugs, alcohol, or peer pressure, looking for our identity solely in an outside group can lead to some truly destructive results.

If we teenagers decide to be self-centered, we already have our identity grounded on the strong base of our Innermost Beliefs. In this sense, we see external events, titles, and labels as an augmentation of Who We Are, instead of The Only Thing We Are. With such a sturdy foundation in ourselves, everything else is merely building upon ourselves.

However, there is a fine line between being self-centered and being self-fixated. As being self-centered is thinking the highest possible thoughts about ourselves, being self-fixated is not realizing that there is anything beyond or above that. As teens become self-fixated, egotism begins to rise and dominate the personality factor. When we are self-centered, we can still look out into the universe and know we still have far to go on our journey. When we are self-fixated, we simply cannot get past that, seeing nothing more and nothing less.   

So go on and say that I am self-centered. I’ll take it as a compliment to my spiritual evolution. And you should too.

(Lauren is a Feature Editor of The Global Conversation. She lives in Wood Dale, IL, and can be reached at Lauren@TheGlobalConversation.com)

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  • Erin/IAm

    heehee, Lauren…I have a magnet on my fridge that says “You call me a bitch like it’s a bad thing”…I have never not seen beauty in the eyes of Mama Dog! :)

    You are so right on with this post, Sweetness! Most define-ately, take that “Self-centered” as a compliment of highest degree…You must shine Amazingly for others to notice such about you! May they See their Selfs in your mirror!

    Blessed be, Lauren! <3

  • Jon the mechanic

    I my self would not call it self-centered. I would say you just know who you are and I think that is great. I wish I would have known who I was when I was young. I just went along with everybody. The one good thing was I didn’t do drugs or smoke hooray for that.

  • Nick

    I would differentiate living your values, knowing who you are and what you want out of life from being self centered. Self-centeredness entails not thinking about other people, not reciprocating kindness or respect, and so forth. For instance, in a relationship, a self centered person would only be considering what they want out of the relationship, and not what their partner or friend wants. This is not a good or healthy thing, not for others, and not for the self-centered person – in extreme cases, this kind of attitude of self-centeredness gets labeled things like narcissistic personality disorder or psychopathy; it is a very unhealthy and negative thing.

    It is a good thing to think for oneself and to be critical (discerning) of ideas and practices, looking at things from many angles, with and against the grain. At times this will lead a person to non-conformity and argument with others. There is nothing wrong with that (I would say it is desirable). What is wrong is to not show consideration for other people. In short, that is what self-centeredness means; not showing consideration for others.

    It may seem parodoxical, but a person can know himself or herself and be more centered (stable, secure, confident, happy) by being aware of relationships; everything we are is stems from relationship – relationship to home, to land, to resources, to life, to family, friends, other people, etc. A person who is only self-centered is like a person who wants to breathe in but not breathe out. It is unbalanced. Life is a give and take, and it is often true that the more we give, the more we get. Narcissism is a dark and lonely path.