The egocentricity in adolescence can be a very marked characteristic. Young people, who have just left childhood, need to differentiate themselves from the rest in their behaviors and attitudes. This, in most cases, leads them to ignore the thoughts and feelings of others.
In childhood, selfishness may be related to the lack of development of the theory of the mind. The egocentricity in adolescence, on the other hand, does not have to do with the inability to perceive the mental processes of the rest. Rather, it is a way of affirming one’s independence, something fundamental for people at this stage.
In this article we will talk about why exactly this phenomenon occurs. Also, if you are the father of a teenager, you will also find strategies to deal with him.
Why does egocentricity occur in adolescence?
The years of puberty are characterized by the appearance of a large number of changes of all kinds. The adolescent experiences emotional disturbances, a newly discovered interest in sex and a great transformation in the way he thinks and sees the world.
Now, the young person has to discover his place in the world and develop his own personality based on what he finds around him. Therefore, during these years the interest in new experiences extends from childhood or even intensifies. This, of course, can contribute to self-centeredness.
On the other hand, many young people under the age of twenty feel that they are not understood. When they begin to question the way of life of their parents and other adults, they can believe that others do not have the capacity to put themselves in their place (something, that if we put ourselves rigorous, it does not stop being true). This can lead them to close in band, being opaque to what happens around them.
Search for attention
Another of the main motivations of young people in this stage is the search for attention and approval. Feeling insecure about their place in the world, they often try to compensate for this feeling by setting in motion certain extreme toxic behaviors. It is the case, for example, of arrogance.
Self-centeredness in adolescence, therefore, would also respond to an attempt to protect themselves from external opinions that bother them. It would also help them to try to pretend that they trust themselves more than they really do. This, which at first does not have to be bad, can turn into a problematic behavior.
So, is egocentricity bad in adolescence?
In general, the fact that a teenager is lazy when it comes to putting themselves in the place of others does not have to be bad. It is a characteristic common to almost all people of this age, a feature of this vital moment that does not have to be projected into the future. However, the moment it prevents it from functioning effectively in some areas, it could be considered problematic.
This can happen, especially when parents do not know how to stop the youth’s lack of empathy. In some cases, it may even happen that the family encourages the adolescent to ignore the needs of others. These situations can lead him to start showing adaptive behaviors.
How to fight extreme egocentrism
The challenge of the parents, therefore, is to give the young person freedom to explore, but without compromising beyond certain red lines. This, which may seem complicated, becomes easier when there is a good previous training in assertiveness. A feature that serves to communicate one’s needs and wishes to another person when this communication is uncomfortable. Therefore, it is especially useful to deal with a teenager who has fallen into egocentricity.
What does it mean to use assertiveness in this particular case? The adolescent needs a space to experiment with his ideas and clarify for himself a good part of his doubts, he needs to travel this path, in painful points, towards the adult stage.
Thus, parents have to combine this space with the need to protect them, to continue being there. Parents who want to deal with egocentricity in adolescence should also be able to set limits and maintain them when the adolescent tries to overcome them, parents will need to know the reason for these limits: that of “because I say it will no longer be valid”.
In this article you have learned to recognize what egocentricity is in adolescence; Besides, now you know that it does not have to be a problem, but a normal characteristic present in this stage. However, if at any time your children have problematic behaviors, you can also consult with a professional who guides you.