Seven out of ten Brits admit to being selfish

June 1, 2010 | by | 0 Comments

Seven out of ten Brits admit they are selfish, a study has found.

Research revealed millions of adults regularly bad-mouth friends or colleagues to make themselves look better, deliberately avoid charity collectors or ignore family birthdays.

Others shun workmates and make their own tea in the office, fail to give way to fellow motorists or cook what they want to eat regardless of what their partner would like.

It also emerged one person in six has never even considered giving up their valuable time to volunteer at local events or fund-raisers.

The study was commissioned by Cadet150 to mark National Volunteers’ Week this week.

The Corporation of London is hosting a reception to thank 1,200 adult volunteers in the cadet forces for all their work

The survey of 4,000 adults was carried out after it emerged the cadet forces need to recruit over 1,000 new adult volunteers this year to keep up with demand.

Yesterday a spokesman for Cadet150 said: ”It’s unfortunate that so many people consider themselves selfish.

”Finding time for others and getting involved in their local community doesn’t even enter many people’s minds.

”People tend to think volunteering means being a bit of a do-gooder but in fact there are many ways you personally benefit from getting involved with your local community.

”By helping others you often end up helping yourself too.

”Adult volunteers in the cadet forces have the chance to try out exciting, adventurous activities, they make new friends, acquire new skills and can even pick up valuable vocational qualifications.

”Skills they have picked up while volunteering have been noticed by their employers, and they have had pay rises, promotions or even brand new careers as a result.”

The study also found six out of ten people have bad-mouthed a mate or co-worker for their own gains, five out of ten have deliberately avoided charity collectors and four out of ten don’t bother contacting relatives.

A third admitted being unsympathetic and a similar number said they choose the evening meal without taking their other half into consideration.

One in four have handed over a smaller piece of chocolate to a friend or family member and one in four don’t hold doors open for others.

One in six have passed the buck to a colleague after committing a balls-up at work and the same number have pushed into a queue.

Not clearing up after themselves, not returning a borrowed item and avoiding rounds in the pub are also common occurrences.

It also emerged three quarters of people admit they could do more to put other’s interests or welfare before their own.

And incredibly, one in five people said they committed three selfish acts every day.

Six out of ten said they had never considered volunteering to help a charity with hectic lifestyles, long working hours or apathy the most common reasons.

Almost one in ten said they didn’t bother getting involved because ‘there’s nothing in it for me’.


1. Bad-mouthing someone to make myself look better
2. Avoiding donating to charity
3. Failing to let another driver in or give way
4. Not contacting members of family
5. Forgetting a relative’s or friend’s birthday
6. Being unsympathetic
7. Making what you want for dinner
8. Making your own tea in the office
9. Not giving cash to a someone in need of it (20p short for a train fare, to make a call)
10. Breaking something in two and giving someone else the smaller piece
11. Failing to open doors or hold them open for someone
12. Not clearing up after myself
13. Picking a DVD that I want rather than thinking about my partner
14. Borrowing something and not returned it
15. Not buying a round
16. Blaming someone else for something I did
17. Not helping colleagues as much as you should at work
18. Not handing money back when someone has dropped it
19. Pushing in to a queue
20. Not giving a friend or colleague a lift when you’re obviously going their way

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