Men: selfish or misunderstood?

I’ve been thinking about men lately. “When did you ever stop?” you might ask, right? But, seriously, I’ve been thinking about men and their attitudes toward others, or in my specific case toward me. Men tend to be very selfish and egocentric type of people. Now don’t come out and tell me what a friend of mine told me recently, “If you think all men are shit, then date women!” Yes, this was a guy, in case you were wondering.

Now, I’m not a man hater, I like men. I don’t think all men are shit, and I am definitely not open to dating women. My point is that it’s starting to seem to me that most men are extremely selfish, self-center and very clear that their main 3 priorities in life are themselves. Why is this?

I started thinking that maybe it had something to do with the place they had in their family. If they were the younger child, sure they would be very self-centered and tend to think that the world revolved around them. But guys who are the first born of their siblings or the middle child, don’t tend to be any different. Is it a male thing?

Of course all this is based solely on my personal experiences. I haven’t taken the trouble (really don’t have the extra time right now) to do serious research on the topic, although I have read academically about it before. But I seem to encounter this with guys I date, friends, family members, etc.

Why so inconsiderate? Why so selfish and clueless (I really think they chose to ignore what is obvious) when it comes to women’s needs and wants? Why basic politeness and thoughtfulness seems to elude them whenever they have to chose between themselves and others?

Am I totally off the mark? Have you encountered this too? Or are you surrounded by thoughtful, giving, respectful men?


5 responses to “Men: selfish or misunderstood?

  1. Sadly (?) I’m always the selfish one in relationships. Even when I think I’m going for the most insensitive guy around he ends up being far more tuned in to my feelings and keeping me happy than I ever manage to be for him. So, no, it’s not all men but on the flip side I find I regularly offend sensitive guys with my deprecating sense of humour.

  2. I am going to delurk here for a moment. (Hi, I’m Nat!)I think we are all fundamentally selfish. (Cop out answer I know.) I don’t think men are any worse than women, I think women are just less up front about it. I’m going to agree with fish, it’s not all men. There are some wonderful people out there. The hard part is surrounding yourself with them.

  3. Men are brought up differently than women. We are not encouraged to be in touch with our emotions. So without the ability to have empathy it is hard to think of others. Not saying this as an excuse for anyone, but it is a social problem.

  4. thenextfish – looking back at the serious, long, relationships I’ve had I would say the same. I have been the selfish one. But recently I have been very aware of the self-centeredness of the men around me: men I date, guy friends, my nephew (who is just 9) and so on. I don’t want to put my father in this lot because he happens to be one of the most giving people I know. But, in general men around me right now seem very self-absorbed. I am giving them the benefit of the doubt because I know I’m going through some serious stress at the moment, but it wouldn’t kill them to think outside themselves for a little bit, now would it?nat – hi and welcome! I agree, it’s not just men. I think it’s been my luck lately. Surrounding oneself with nice, caring, giving people is not an easy thing to do, especially in NYC. I will try though, I’ll keep you posted.mike – true. I thought about that as well. Is it a social/cultural/learned way of being? Does it have to do with gender roles? But I tend to think that it has more to do with who you are, if your heart is in the right place and also a little circumstantial, meaning sometimes we are just in “me” mode and that’s that. I think I need a little TLC right now, I have too much on my plate and very little patience for guys you think and act like they are God’s gift to human kind, but I’m hanging in there, no worries.

  5. I agree Jen, gender roles have to come into it. That ability to believe that you are the object around which a family should be oriented. At least women don’t expect men’s lives to stop for them.What stunned me recently was research indicating that men with more traditional ideas about the gendered division of labour earn more. It’s not too big of a leap to equate this with selfish men being rewarded.

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