It’s fairly natural and normal for people to put their own self-interests first. After all, if you don’t advocate for yourself, people will put words in your mouth, act as an authority over you and attempt to control you. None of that is good. That said, I tend to be the opposite and put others interests before my own if they are next to me. That’s why I like to be alone most of the time so I can feel myself and not just them. That begs the question, ” Why can’t I feel myself and them at the same time?” I can if I know and trust them.
Being an empath, I’m like a sponge or a cell phone tower picking up the vibes of others and I’m very sensitive to them. I am getting better at shutting it off. But in our offloading, chaotic culture, it’s like a trash heap of vibes and others aren’t even aware they’re doing it so I have my personal defense up.
However, in personal relationships, putting your self-interests ahead of others is selfish and it may be hard for them to get to know you. That may be the way you want it. It’s the way most of us had to function growing up with parents that had expectations of us or were abusive and controlling. I find human beings to be more difficult to deal with than animals or nature to be sure.
We’ve learned to survive by being fake or not saying anything at all. I’ve had the problem in partnerships and friendships of caring more about and tuning into the other person more than they do to me. It may be true that I don’t readily express my feelings to others until I feel I can really trust them, which usually doesn’t happen. I’ve learned not to trust most humans. I think millions of people would agree with me. So in my case, I’m more in protective, observation mode than I am interested in myself more than them. In fact, when I’m with someone, I tend to be more interested in them. I am definitely a giver type person and only want to receive from a select few.
What I’m describing here is a sharing element where both parties feel free and safe to express their mood, what’s going on, what they’re working on, how they feel and what they need, knowing that the other one will listen. I will express that if the other person asks but generally I won’t otherwise.