It also means extreme egotism. a theory holding that the self can know nothing but its own modifications and that the self is the only existent thing; also : extreme egocentrism.
Self-absorption, an unawareness of the views or needs of others.
They differ from the ego-centrist in that the ego-centrist is an egotist and has a very high opinion of himself. The solipsist may have a high, low or neutral opinion of himself, but no matter, all he thinks about is himself. The egotist does not care about other people – he’s an asshole who really doesn’t give a damn. The solipsist may well give a damn about others, but he just doesn’t have time to think about them, as he’s all wrapped up in himself all the time.
The egotist won’t go to his friend’s Dad’s funeral because he doesn’t care that the guy’s Dad died. The solipsist doesn’t go because he wanted to go out of sympathy (solipsists are sympathetic to others) but he was too busy thinking about himself and he forgot to go. Or he went to the funeral and he couldn’t get into empathising because he was all wrapped up in his own shit during the service.
Similarly, the egotist doesn’t listen to you because you are not important. He doesn’t care what you think. You’re nothing; it’s like you are not even there, there is a callousness about this type of thinking. You’re essentially nothing, a zero. The solipsist is trying to listen to you, but he’s having a hard time since his mind keeps thinking about himself and his own shit, so he keeps asking you to repeat things.
The solipsist is not really callous – he’s just self-absorbed!
The egotist, particularly the narcissist, is just an asshole. There are antisocial tendencies built right into the essence of narcissism.
If you tell the solipsist he’s a solipsist, he’s going to feel hurt, because most of them are nice people, and they are really caring and empathetic towards others. It’s just not apparent due to their extreme self-absorption. He’s going to resolve to think about himself less, but he may fail.
There are therapies for the solipsist. If he’s not too unhealthy, you can get him to ask questions to others about their lives and get them to talk about themselves, their lives, their feelings. Ask, “And how did that make you feel? That must have felt terrible. I can’t imagine feeling that way…And do you hate your father now because he left you at age three? How do you feel about him? What do you propose to do about these feelings?”
Most people really love it when you ask them about themselves, their lives, their histories, even the inner workings of their own minds, since they don’t get to talk about themselves much.
Then have the solipsist listen to the other person, because after all, everyone has something interesting to say. This is good because it gets the solipsist out of his damned head for once. Then have the solipsist reflect on the experience of listening to the other and how good it felt to get out of his head for once. Plus there are rewards for being an empathetic listener.
Egotism is much more difficult to deal with because egotists by their nature never think that there’s a problem. They enjoy their egotism, and they don’t know how to get outside of it anyway. It’s all they know. Egotism can be dealt with, but when it gets to the point of…