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Is Buffy selfish?

gillianmorsee

Slayer
Joined
Apr 16, 2016
Messages
38
Age
24
I hear a lot of people say that Buffy is selfish, but I strongly disagree. I don't think she's ever been selfish, neither in the earlier or later seasons. In Season 6, she was heavily depressed and was stolen from heaven, but she still tried to make her friends feel less guilty about it by lying and saying that she came from a hell dimension. She also tried her best to hide her depression, even though certain people still noticed. In Season 2, she sacrificed one of the loves of her life in order to save the world. In Season 1, Buffy knew that she would probably die but decided to face The Master anyways because she knew it was the right thing to do. In Season 5, she sacrificed her life to save the world. Not to mention the she protected Dawn until the end even though she knew that Dawn wasn't her real sister. In Season 3, Buffy was the only member of the Scooby Gang who really tried to be friends with and help Faith. I always thought of Buffy as putting others before her, never as selfish.
What do you guys think?
 

thetopher

Member of the Church Of Faith
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
10,809
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The Moot, England
Sineya
I think Buffy can be self-absorbed- as in her thought processes. But her actions always seem selfless to me.
The way she puts herself out there for her friends. She always seems to be trying her hardest.
 

Athena

The original one-eyed chicklet
Staff member
Joined
Feb 2, 2016
Messages
6,548
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Black Thorn
I think Buffy can be self-absorbed- as in her thought processes. But her actions always seem selfless to me.
The way she puts herself out there for her friends. She always seems to be trying her hardest.

Absolutely spot on in my opinion. She's only human at the end of the day, so she's not perfect, but no one can deny that she tries her best. I mean, Season 6 is an anomaly, like you say @gillianmorsee, Buffy was depressed and whilst her relationship with Spike was selfish, it was also mutually beneficial (at least at the start, when she thought she knew what she wanted). She did the right thing in the end by breaking it off and admitting she was using him.
 

Spanky

Scooby
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Messages
24,324
Black Thorn
She is self-centered and has trouble empathizing with people at times but I would not call her selfish. There were some selfish characters but I don't think I would call Buffy one of them.
 

gillianmorsee

Slayer
Joined
Apr 16, 2016
Messages
38
Age
24
Absolutely spot on in my opinion. She's only human at the end of the day, so she's not perfect, but no one can deny that she tries her best. I mean, Season 6 is an anomaly, like you say @gillianmorsee, Buffy was depressed and whilst her relationship with Spike was selfish, it was also mutually beneficial (at least at the start, when she thought she knew what she wanted). She did the right thing in the end by breaking it off and admitting she was using him.
Yeah, I can definitely see how Buffy can be considered selfish during her relationship with Spike in Season 6, and even she knew that she was being selfish. But, like you said, at least she broke things off in the end and grew from it.
 

Spanky

Scooby
Joined
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Messages
24,324
Black Thorn
her relationship with Spike was selfish
Can you explain how it was selfish? I think it was a lot of things but I dont remember it as being selfish. (key emphasis on I dont remember it being that way)
 

cryptwarmer

I'm in charge of morale!
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Nov 19, 2008
Messages
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Sunny South Carolina USA
Black Thorn
I don't think she was selfish at all. She was called, the mission was her primary focus. They all knew that. And even with that huge responsibility she was a good friend.

Her relationship with Spike in S6 didn't put her friends in danger, and while it was mutually abusive, it was still between two consenting adults.

There were some questions as to whether the way she initially dealt with Angels turn to Angelus and hiding his return from Hell were handled properly, but she was a very young girl and even the way she handled those was impressive for her age.

There was never a time she refused to help or be a friend motivated by actual selfishness. At least not one I can think of.
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2016
Messages
572
Age
33
I'm of the (unpopular) opinion that Buffy can be very selfish

End of S2: walks out on her life and leaves her friends in a lurch for months on end- can be seen as incredibly selfish. Also her attitude when she returns.
S3- Faith presence puts Buffy's nose out of joint and she isn't any good with the kind of empathy you would expect towards another girl who is also the slayer.
S4- Her new relationship with Riley takes presidence over her friendships for a while. she even admits this herself at the end of the season.
S5- Dawn > than everything else in all other dimensions. Yes, I understand her pov but it is still a little selfish that she doesn't even consider the alternative.
S6- Spike!
S7- Spike again, since she is unwilling to see the danger he presents and take the required steps. Yet she tells everyone else that the mission is the thing. She also uses him without returning the affection.

So yeah, she can be- just like any person can be- but its not a defining trait or anything, more situational.
At least until S8.
 

brinkster130

Riley's BFF
Joined
Oct 28, 2010
Messages
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Sineya
Anyone can be selfish at times....it's just part of human nature. So sure, Buffy had her self absorbed moments (because human!) but overall I wouldn't describe her as a selfish or self centered person.
 

Athena

The original one-eyed chicklet
Staff member
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Black Thorn
Can you explain how it was selfish? I think it was a lot of things but I dont remember it as being selfish. (key emphasis on I dont remember it being that way)

Well, she admitted she wanted the fire back, she wanted to feel something so she gravitated towards Spike, even though at that time she had no "romantic" feeling towards him, but she knew he had romantic feelings for her. That's a selfish act. Although, like I said she was depressed and had just come back from the dead, so I don't see it as defining Buffy's personality. On the whole, Buffy was a selfless person, but during that time she wasn't. She used Spike and she admitted it later on. At that time she had no concern for his feelings.
 
S
Spanky
Ah. Okay.. you meant using him was selfish, I thought you meant their whole affair.

Dolores

Professional sleeper
Joined
Mar 29, 2016
Messages
163
S5- Dawn > than everything else in all other dimensions. Yes, I understand her pov but it is still a little selfish that she doesn't even consider the alternative.

S7- Spike again, since she is unwilling to see the danger he presents and take the required steps. Yet she tells everyone else that the mission is the thing. She also uses him without returning the affection.

Completely agree with these. I don't think she was INHERERNTLY selfish - but I think these showed a bit of pigheadedness and short sightedness based on selfishness. But of course she wasn't the only one who was selfish at times.

A smaller and funnier example of this is her behaviour in Pangs. She only cares about having her Thanksgiving meal. She doesn't care about the issues willow and Giles are raising and she's unsympathetic to Xander who is pretty much dying - instead she questions why he didn't bring rolls. :eek: I know ids because she is lonely but this is one example where Buffy has to have what she wants and everything else is secondary.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 16, 2016
Messages
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Age
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A smaller and funnier example of this is her behaviour in Pangs. She only cares about having her Thanksgiving meal. She doesn't care about the issues willow and Giles are raising and she's unsympathetic to Xander who is pretty much dying - instead she questions why he didn't bring rolls.

I'd class that as self-absorbed, simply because Buffy did save the day as well. She didn't put saving the day to one side for her nice meal, she just focused on what she was interested more and did that other stuff anyway. :)
 

Monkey Pants

Bored Now
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Black Thorn
If Buffy was selfish, she would have ignored her Slayer calling and gone on living her life the way she wanted to. Instead she sacrifices her entire life and future to save the world multiple times, something I'm definitely not sure I would do. She's very selfless imo.
 

Priceless

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Buffy couldn't be selfish even if she wanted to be. Trouble always found her, so she couldn't just put her calling aside and concentrate on normal life, she was forced into fighting. I think that because there was no esscape for her she finally embraced the mission because there was no other option. Being selfish wasn't an option.
 

Mr Trick

Scooby
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No Buffy may have a fair ego on her, but she gives so much up for others. I don't consider her selfish. Probably at the Scoobies I'd say Xander is the most selfish, in early seasons at least.
 

Scooby Corps

Fly! Be free, little bird, you defy category!
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595
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Buffy is amazingly self-centered. Some of it is naturally due to her protagonist status, some due to her slayer status. The rest is "Buffy" plus her experiences. She's probably one of the most self-centered protagonists (who are not anti-heroes) of TV, I have seen. I don't really mind, though. It's a crucial character trait of hers and Buffy wouldn't be Buffy if it weren't.

However, Buffy isn't selfish! The few times she was, aren't enough to earn her that label. I don't think any of the Scoobies earns it but if I had to pick one it would be Giles.
 

DeadlyDuo

Scooby
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Jul 29, 2016
Messages
9,611
Age
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I think the only time Buffy can really be called selfish is when she used Spike to make herself feel better because she only cared about her feelings rather than his. Other than that, she's not selfish. She has a lot going on and has to balance her slayer duties with a normal life.
 
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