Selfish is attitude / Self-centered is action

Q: What is the difference between “selfish” and “self-centered”?

A: While the underlying “all about me” – the opposite of altruism – is essentially the same, the difference has to do with setting or context.  To illustrate:

“Our very lives…depend upon our constant thought of others (even while alone) and how we may help meet their needs (especially when in their presence).” (“Alcoholics Anonymous“, page 20)

In contrast, our past attitudes and actions were “constant thought of self” (especially while alone) and “how we might get our needs met” (even while in their presence).

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