Overcoming Self-Centeredness Through the Purposeful Act of Self-care
Self-centered people struggle to demonstrate meaningful compassion and empathy toward others, including those they love. These individuals tend to be self-absorbed and focused primarily on their own needs and wants, showing little to no concern for the feelings or needs of others. As a result, self-centered people often turn inward and form habits that accommodate their Narcissistic behavior, despite the obvious consequences that arise both for themselves and their relationships.
Substance abuse and other “acting out” behaviors in young adults are closely related to self-centeredness, entitlement, justification, and victimhood. In fact, when you take a deeper look into this type of behavior with young people, these four terms are intricately intertwined with their behavior. They are the underlying contributors that advance a young person into a vicious cycle of poor choices, angry outbursts, and lack of direction in life.
Most of the students who arrive at Red Mountain Sedona have long practiced self-centeredness, and the habits that go along with it. One example of self-centeredness would be the abuse of drugs, alcohol, or pornography. Others “fail to launch” and gain the confidence to live independent lives through lack of motivation, “laziness,” and blaming others for their problems.
Regardless of the problems, a self-centered person will go to any length to satisfy what they think is their main priority – the “high” that makes them “feel good” again. They will lie, steal, and deprive others to get their immediate needs met—all of which are examples of self-centered behavior. The good news is that by coming to Red Mountain Sedona, they have recognized their problem and are now willing to work on the solution, forming new habits to replace the old ones and new ways of thinking to replace the toxic patterns that existed before.
The Paradox of Being Self-Centered – The Vicious Cycle of Defeat
There is a clear and definable paradox to self-centered behavior. It leads to feelings of being deprived (neediness), leading to more self-centered behavior as a response to the perceived deprivation.
Self-centeredness is a vicious cycle from which it is difficult to escape. Those caught in its trap usually require help from friends and loved ones, coupled with treatment by professionals in a controlled environment. However, because self-centered individuals often alienate those in their immediate circle, they do not attract people willing to help. Thus, the cycle of deprivation continues. Such young people are stuck in a trap of “push-pull” where they at once draw in those who want to help them, and simultaneously push them away.
Self-centeredness is the single most harmful influence on interpersonal relationships because it is devoid of appreciation or understanding for others. It alienates the action component of love, which is service toward others, causing a destructive, unfulfilling state of being. Those who enter into relationships with one who is self-centered may find themselves suffering from emotional withdrawal and, at times, severe emotional abuse.
The Good News – Learning to Care About Oneself
At Red Mountain Sedona we go beyond traditional treatment approaches and offer therapeutic programs that support individuals in relinquishing self-centeredness by helping them discover the satisfaction that is found in putting others first.
A graduate of Red Mountain will personify empathy for others, exercise propriety and restraint, show concern for the dignity of others, and be open-minded to healthy ways of being. Through their new found serenity, the RMS grad regains his or her people-centered compassion and becomes re-invested in developing strong character traits that lead to the practice of positive values.
RMS graduates learn techniques and values that enable them to look beyond themselves and contribute positively to their relationships. The transformation from a self-centered energy drain to an impactful person represents a powerful process with long-lasting, life-changing effects.
Our students become stronger and more stable in mind, body, and spirit, equipped with the proper mindset and empathy they need to begin restoring the damage they have caused in their interpersonal relationships. With their newfound confidence and clarity, they are ready to pursue a fulfilling and productive life.
How is this Accountability and Serenity Achieved?
At Red Mountain Sedona, students engage in a daily matrix of training for the mind, body, and spirit. This includes mindfulness practice, martial arts, Yoga, life skills training, pscychotherapy, outdoor physical activity, and community service.
We help our students to reclaim their joy and develop practical skills so that they can handle “life on life’s terms.” We help them avoid harmful and immature behavior, replacing these negative actions with healthier choices that instill wisdom, competence, confidence, self-esteem, and self-determination.
The Paradox of Self-Care
To understand how self-caring solves the self-centeredness dilemma, we must first understand the definition of self-care. Self-care is not the practice of being selfish or self-indulgent, as it may seem. Rather, self-care is the action of nurturing yourself so that you have something valid and worthy to offer others. Self-care means learning to invest in yourself.
This is partially done by learning to practice self-restraint and giving of your time and talents for others. When practiced correctly, the art of self-caring causes a person to become “others centered,” eliminating self-centered behavior and the habits that come with it.
When we learn to care deeply for ourselves, the next natural progression is to begin caring for our family, friends, and the community in which we live. Self-caring, and the empowerment it brings can even lead to an expanded desire to care for other people around the world who are well beyond our personal sphere.
In practice, self-care is simple. It means:
- Eating right,
- Getting the proper amount of sleep,
- Exercising, and
- Learning how to grow emotionally and spiritually.
The natural outcome of developing habits of self-care is stability, security, and serenity, which is then shared with and enjoyed by others. At Red Mountain, young people learn these habits, then have the chance to practice them on a daily basis, the idea being that a new habit will only stick if it’s taught properly, then practiced over time.
A person who cares about himself or herself will eliminate activities, events, and people that are unhealthy and non-productive. Smoking is a great example of this shift. When a person begins to see their own worth, they may do whatever it takes to quit because they know that smoking is destroying their health. Other examples include substance use, poor eating habits, poor sleeping habits, poor hygiene; the list goes on and on.
Through self-care, we identify a list of our harmful habits and systematically replace them with new behaviors that promote a stronger, more well adjusted life.
Self-care is the purposeful act of living a healthy lifestyle, a conscious choice to take care of one’s own self with the ultimate goal of being able to offer something of value to others.
At Red Mountain Sedona, we offer students the ability to move from self-centeredness to self-care through a structured and proven program that is also a journey of self-discovery.