Dec 20, 2008

Who, me? Self-centered?

This post might come as an unexpected and unpleasant surprise to some of you. It might even push some away if you haven't yet seen this idea. The first time I read about it, I was uncomfortable and resistant, but thinking about it some more, I realized it is so true.

This condition might look like we are caring a lot about others, but we mostly are caring about others in relationship to US: do they like ME, do they think I'm looking good, writing well, doing the right thing? We are quite self-centered. We bask in the happiness that someone likes us, we are anxious about saying the right thing or saying anything or not blushing, or not sweating. We fear that the wrong look or attitude might push some away. It's important for us to be called someones best friend, the best employee, the nicest person, etc., and we're desperate if someone else becomes the employee of the month, the best friend, etc.

I want to be nominated in the 5 best patient blogs, but I do not want to win, this would be disastrous next year when I might not even be nominated anymore. I will probably quit before that happens - running away is better than being demoted. I think this is actually a common trait, probably most people think more or less about things this way, we just take it to extreme.

So, what to do about it? It's ironic, but the first thing to do is to accept that we are normal, OK, looking good enough, acting OK, saying the right things, and when we don't, just accept that it happens to everyone: we all say stupid things every now and then, we blush at the wrong time, friendships die, relationships end, with or without our help. It's just stuff. And while being relaxed about us, we can now look at others with more compassion and love: see what they really are about, hear them, help them without caring what they think about us. Most people would feel more honesty in this approach and will be more attracted to us.

We need to relax, and we'll start seeing a bigger picture and doing things to help everybody and we will be appreciated even more. And if not, it just happens, just move on. We all are just fine and normal.

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