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Thread: Self absorbed people

  1. #1
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Self absorbed people

    I've got a friend who's been one of my best friends since high school. He used to almost never call me and now he calls me a couple times a week. He's been going through a rough patch: permanent disability that prevents him from working, a divorce, his dog is getting frail and old, and being alienated from his stepkids. So he calls to keep me informed on his daily woes.

    I know why. I am empathetic and an introvert. I am a good listener.

    No matter what the subject is, he is skilled at turning it back to himself. Of late I have amused myself by picking some obscure subject, then listen while he finds a way to make it about him. I figure if I have to listen, I might as well get some fun out of it.

    My best friend ever, may he rest in peace, used to do the same thing. He was the ultimate extrovert and when we were together he could talk about himself for hours. He knew there was very little chance I would interrupt his self-love fest.

    I am really amazed at people who are so obsessed with themselves. Former girlfriends have critcized me for not opening up more about myself. I just figure the only person interested in the stuff going on inside this head is me.

    Still, sometimes I think about that Toby Keith song, "I Wanna Talk About Me."

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxUuDPNbkJk
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  2. #2
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Self-absorbed people can be found in all walks. Extroverts like to whine aloud about their problems, whereas introverts are more apt to brood in silence. And then there are folks that take it to the next level and make everything about themselves...you know the smug ones that lose no opportunities to tell you about how moral, virtuous, smart, talented, or why their opinions and experiences are of greater value than yours.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Duke Of Dystopia's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by otterpop View post
    I've got a friend who's been one of my best friends since high school. He used to almost never call me and now he calls me a couple times a week. He's been going through a rough patch: permanent disability that prevents him from working, a divorce, his dog is getting frail and old, and being alienated from his stepkids. So he calls to keep me informed on his daily woes.

    I know why. I am empathetic and an introvert. I am a good listener.

    No matter what the subject is, he is skilled at turning it back to himself. Of late I have amused myself by picking some obscure subject, then listen while he finds a way to make it about him. I figure if I have to listen, I might as well get some fun out of it.

    My best friend ever, may he rest in peace, used to do the same thing. He was the ultimate extrovert and when we were together he could talk about himself for hours. He knew there was very little chance I would interrupt his self-love fest.

    I am really amazed at people who are so obsessed with themselves. Former girlfriends have critcized me for not opening up more about myself. I just figure the only person interested in the stuff going on inside this head is me.

    Still, sometimes I think about that Toby Keith song, "I Wanna Talk About Me."

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxUuDPNbkJk



    LET IT RIP BABY!


    They won't change. Your friend is in trouble. Find away to make it about you as well while helping your friend. Or Not.

    LET IT RIP BABY!
    I can't deliver UTOPIA, but I can create a HELL for you to LIVE in :)DoD:(

  4. #4
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Moderator note:
    split from RTDNTOTO


    Self-absorbed people can be found in all walks. Extroverts like to whine aloud about their problems, whereas introverts are more apt to brood in silence. And then there are folks that take it to the next level and make everything about themselves...you know the smug ones that lose no opportunities to tell you about how moral, virtuous, smart, talented, or why their opinions and experiences are of greater value than yours.
    I know just what you mean I deal with these people all the time. Pobably way more than you for sure but it's cool because I am really good at dealing with people like that. It's just an amazing skill I have.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    We have a person in our circle of friends who is the authority on everything. Never played a game of soccer in his life, but he sure knows how to coach a game. Has a successful business, but complains he's not because the govt. won't leave him alone and here's why. I could go on but its depressing sometimes to be around him, especially if his feathers are riled up and he's had a couple drinks. at those moments, I tend to walk away. The most bizarre interaction was about a year ago when I got my car and he started spouting off about the one time he bought a car but it sucked.

    Oh well, we all encounter these people in everyday life - at home, at work, on the web.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  6. #6
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    I think some people do it because they are:
    • nervous in interpersonal communication
    • feel judged by the person they are talking with (whether real or imagine is irrelevant) so overcompensate to show they are worthy or are trying to relate to the other person and don't know how
    • basic self esteem issues
    • or maybe they just do feel they are better than the other person

    but yeah, the one-up-manship is what drives me crazy I have to admit - stop, right?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Have you talked about this concern with your friend?

    My wife's uncle is the same way, but his wife talked to him about it after a family party. The following party he was a totally different person. I don't know if it will work for everyone, but it might be worth a shot.
    There is no such thing as failure, only learning experiences. However, it is our choice to learn the lesson and change or not.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Midori's avatar
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  9. #9
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    Have you talked about this concern with your friend?

    My wife's uncle is the same way, but his wife talked to him about it after a family party. The following party he was a totally different person. I don't know if it will work for everyone, but it might be worth a shot.
    There is such a thing as behavior modification....and then there is actually being a different person. I suspect your wife's uncle party behavior probably falls into the former category.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Plus Veloise's avatar
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    Biting tongue!

    never mind never mind never mind never mind never mind never mind never mind never mind never mind

  11. #11
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    I think there is a vast difference between being self-absorbed and being an extrovert.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  12. #12
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    I think there is a vast difference between being self-absorbed and being an extrovert.
    The examples above of extros vs intros is just a difference in how the two different types deal with their problems. An extrovert being self-absorbed will tend to whine out loud to everyone about their problems, whereas the introvert being self-absorbed will tend quietly wallow in self-pity. Obviously neither extroverts nor introverts have to be self-absorbed (and luckily most aren't).
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  13. #13
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    The examples above of extros vs intros is just a difference in how the two different types deal with their problems. An extrovert being self-absorbed will tend to whine out loud to everyone about their problems, whereas the introvert being self-absorbed will tend quietly wallow in self-pity. Obviously neither extroverts nor introverts have to be self-absorbed (and luckily most aren't).
    Self-absorbed people really annoy me. I could care less what they do in their own time but they affect me when I am doing my important things. Like this one time I was preparing an important report for the city manager - the city manager relies on me that should tell you how important I am -anyways this guy was like "hey I have a headache". I was all "shut up with your problems already can't you see how important my time is!". But no. He was too self-absorbed and totally self-unaware to see how he was impacting me and my super important work.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by otterpop View post
    I've got a friend who's been one of my best friends since high school. He used to almost never call me and now he calls me a couple times a week. He's been going through a rough patch: permanent disability that prevents him from working, a divorce, his dog is getting frail and old, and being alienated from his stepkids. So he calls to keep me informed on his daily woes.

    I know why. I am empathetic and an introvert. I am a good listener.

    No matter what the subject is, he is skilled at turning it back to himself. Of late I have amused myself by picking some obscure subject, then listen while he finds a way to make it about him. I figure if I have to listen, I might as well get some fun out of it.

    My best friend ever, may he rest in peace, used to do the same thing. He was the ultimate extrovert and when we were together he could talk about himself for hours. He knew there was very little chance I would interrupt his self-love fest.

    I am really amazed at people who are so obsessed with themselves. Former girlfriends have critcized me for not opening up more about myself. I just figure the only person interested in the stuff going on inside this head is me.

    Still, sometimes I think about that Toby Keith song, "I Wanna Talk About Me."

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxUuDPNbkJk
    If it bothers you so much then why keep taking the call? I have friends that mostly talk about themselves but they also realize that when I need to vent that they need to listen. Honestly, they tend to give the best advice. If its always about them then I end the friendship...its a two way street.
    "You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it,..." -Bane

  15. #15
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by otterpop View post
    ...sometimes I think about that Toby Keith song, "I Wanna Talk About Me."

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxUuDPNbkJk
    Feel free to call me any time & sing as long as you like.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Seana View post
    Feel free to call me any time & sing as long as you like.
    Wooo Hoooo!


    Brocktoon "If it bothers you so much then why keep taking the call? I have friends that mostly talk about themselves but they also realize that when I need to vent that they need to listen. Honestly, they tend to give the best advice. If its always about them then I end the friendship...its a two way street."

    It doesn't bother me that much. I take the call because he is my friend. Been my friend since I was 17 years old and that was a long time ago. Most every good time I had between the ages of 17 and 29 was with him. Canoeing, hiking, hanging out. Once we were so baked, I stopped at a stop sign and we both waited for it to turn green, then laughed ourselves to tears when we both realized the stop sign wasn't ever going to turn green.

    I was just musing about being the ever-receptive ear of my friends. I don't think there will ever come a time when I won't take the call. Sometimes your friends are your friends just because they are, not because of who they are.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I've mentioned her before, but my brother's wife is incredibly self-absorbed. There is no world outside of her little family orbit. None. She has no interest in local, national, or world news or what is going on in anybody's lives. She has no interests besides working out and how her children look. And that's all she can talk about. I've managed over 30 years of this, I guess I can take a few more decades...

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Vancity's avatar
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    I worry that I can sometimes be like this.

    I don't know though.

    There are 3 I's in this post.

    I do have a friend that is definitely like this though, and it can be hard to talk to him sometimes for sure, which is sad, cause he's a nice guy.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
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    *bump*
    Quote Originally posted by otterpop View post
    . . . I take the call because he is my friend. Been my friend since I was 17 years old and that was a long time ago. Most every good time I had between the ages of 17 and 29 was with him. Canoeing, hiking, hanging out. Once we were so baked, I stopped at a stop sign and we both waited for it to turn green, then laughed ourselves to tears when we both realized the stop sign wasn't ever going to turn green.

    I was just musing about being the ever-receptive ear of my friends. I don't think there will ever come a time when I won't take the call. Sometimes your friends are your friends just because they are, not because of who they are.
    When you wrote ^this^ in 2013, you seemed to be OK (enough) with your long-time friend, and also OK (enough) about "being the ever-receptive ear" of your friends.

    Has anything changed since then?

  20. #20
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Shellac And Vinyl VelocitY View post
    *bump*
    When you wrote ^this^ in 2013, you seemed to be OK (enough) with your long-time friend, and also OK (enough) about "being the ever-receptive ear" of your friends.

    Has anything changed since then?
    He calls me less now. But he did call me on Sunday because he saw this band on TV that he thought I would like. And he was right - the Quebe Sisters. And, yes, he did talk about himself quite a bit. But we also shared some mutual past good times. We talked about our encounter with Constable Beasley, who busted us for beer in a dry county.

    He really is the best friend I have. I've known him just about longer than anyone I know other than family. Many of my other friends have just faded away from my life. Three died. One just more or less told me he didn't want to be friends anymore. But he has been there for all this time. Good times. Bad times. Times I barely remember because we were pretty baked.

    My ever-receptive ear remains. Now my wife bends it more often than not. Used to be my son bent my ear a lot, but he is a teenager now and I am lucky to get a grunt or "okay' from him.

    As Al Stewart wrote in a song: "The more it changes, the more it stays the same."

    And thanks for asking. But tell me, how are you doing?
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  21. #21
    Cyburbian RandomPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    I think some people do it because they are:
    • nervous in interpersonal communication
    • feel judged by the person they are talking with (whether real or imagine is irrelevant) so overcompensate to show they are worthy or are trying to relate to the other person and don't know how
    • basic self esteem issues
    • or maybe they just do feel they are better than the other person

    but yeah, the one-up-manship is what drives me crazy I have to admit - stop, right?
    1) I have a classmate from high school that I run into every couple of months when I'm home. She talks and talks and talks... about herself. Not once has she asked about me or my life. So I made it into a game. How long can we go without ever talking about MY life?? It's going on a couple years now.

    2) My father-in-law was a one-up-man. Everything you told him, he had something something bigger, better, or more dramatic.

    My favorite: When going through my grandparents' attic, I found an old wallet that had been my dad's in his teens and early 20s (back when he was crazy). In it, I found a handful of speeding tickets -- one for a 120 in a 30 (for which incidentally he had to pay a $10 fine). I told my father-in-law about it. His response? "That's nothing. I once got a ticket for doing 130 in a 12 mph zone."

    A 12?? Really, man? Really??
    How do I know you are who you think you are?

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RandomPlanner View post
    My father-in-law was a one-up-man. Everything you told him, he had something something bigger, better, or more dramatic.
    I had a great aunt like that, but only about health issues - whatever it was, she'd had it first and worse.
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Plus dvdneal's avatar
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    Maybe I'm lucky with my brother. He and his wife are both self absorbed and can only talk about things in their little world and they won't ask how you're doing, but for the most part they don't want to talk to you in the first place.

    I called my brother after I heard about a hurricane and flooding in Houston years ago. You know, just to make sure he's okay. Basically all I got was, what do you want, I'm busy.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian The Terminator's avatar
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    Im pretty self absorbed.

    "Look at me! Im a Planner and Im Punk! Beer!! New York this, NYC that, Hey girl, ur cute, I can speak French, may I have this dance?!"

  25. #25
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Did you say something?

    Anyways, I was talking to this person about my amazing life....
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    The ends can justify the means.

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