I’m selfish – and I admit it.
You’re selfish – but you won’t admit it.
Why? Simple – because you’re selfish.
You don’t want to admit that you’re selfish because that would hurt your ego – it would make you feel like a bad person, or it may make those around you view you in a negative light – and you don’t want this. So you say ‘I am not selfish’ even though you are – by admitting this you are symbolically displaying your selfishness – you’re essentially saying ‘I don’t want to admit that I am selfish because that will hurt myself, so I won’t admit it’.
But I admit that I am selfish – so does that mean that I am, indeed, not selfish?
No. I admit I am selfish for a self-serving purpose, because it also boosts my ego. It allows me to justify my actions, to admit rather than conceal my true feelings, and in all honesty I could care less about what others think about me.
I admit that I am selfish because it pleases my ego. Similarly, you say ‘I’m not selfish’ for the exact same reason – because it pleases your ego.
In the end we both have the same goals – the only difference is that the ‘confessor of selfishness’ is being true to their self, whereas the ‘denier of selfishness’ is fooling themselves.