Popular Terms
When one exaggerates his or her opinion of oneself and disregards others' opinions. Selfish and narcissistic.
Egocentric describes someone whose overblown opinion of themselves is erroneous. Egocentrism is sometimes encouraged in business because low self-esteem can result in failure without further attempts to succeed. Confident people do not let failure stop them from trying again. However, egocentrism can also cause a person to fail if he or she does not take the sound advice of others. In addition, egocentrism is typically bad for relationships with loved ones, including spouses, children, and friends.

In business, egocentric behavior is detrimental to leadership abilities, negotiations, and teamwork abilities.

The most effective leaders fall in the middle of the egocentric continuum.

That is, they have confidence, but their slight fear of failure still allows them to listen to others. They understand that they are not the smartest and most capable person in the room, and seek others' opinions.

In negotiation, there is an art of understanding an opponent's priorities and how they conflict with or compliment your own priorities. Successful negotiators find common ground and work to come up with a solution where both parties feel they've gotten a good deal. However, if one of the parties is overly egocentric, that person fails to understand their opponent's priorities. The negotiation becomes an "I-win-you-lose" debate, and either the negotiation breaks down or one party walks away feeling as though they lost out.

In teamwork situations, an egocentric person fails to listen to others' opinions on how a task should be accomplished.

Because teams are formed to share the collective intelligence and skills of each person, egocentrism is detrimental to the team's accomplishments and goals.

Many people, however, know successful egocentric people. They have been able to utilize their self-confidence to achieve their goals. Egocentric people are also perfectionists, which is often a precursor for success. Egocentric people tend to thrive in careers where they do not have to participate on cooperative teams, where the job is naturally combative, and where their own expertise is indeed superior. There are many successful egocentric lawyers, politicians, and software developers. While their egocentric behavior may bring a few bumps in the road, they still seem to get by unscathed. 

Use 'egocentric' in a Sentence

Quentin was tired of his egocentric boss, who always took credit for Quentin's work.
49 people found this helpful
Larry is so egocentric! He won't listen to anyone else's opinion.
41 people found this helpful
Janine lost all her friends because of her egocentric behavior.
32 people found this helpful

Notable Quotable

One Egocentric Perspective
"It's possible, you can never know, that the universe exists only for me. If so, it's sure going well for me, I must admit."
- Bill Gates

Email Print Embed