When we are going through a crisis, a bit of a rough patch or we simply have a lot going on, it can be easy to get caught up in our own little world.
It can be easy to become a little (or a lot) self-absorbed.
I’m sure we’re all guilty of this at some point, but what happens when we get so focused on our own lives that we neglect the people around us.
Here are some things to look out for so that it’s not all about you.
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Doing all the talking
When you catch up with friends, do you take notice of who is doing all the talking?
Conversations are more intimate, fun and interesting when they are two-sided exchanges, instead of one person talking about themselves for hours.
If you are doing all of the talking, you are not taking the other person into consideration. You are not allowing them to add their input.
While it can be wonderful to have someone to listen to us, try not to monopolize the conversation.
Make sure your friends can express their thoughts and feelings openly as well.
If a friend does start talking about what is happening in their life, give them the floor for a while.
Don’t cut them off after a couple of minutes and then go back to talking about yourself.
Related content to help with your conversations
- How to Have a Two-Way Conversation
- 12 Best Books on Having Better Conversations
- Want to Have Better Conversations? Stop Doing This One Thing
Being asked all the questions
If your friend, family member or work colleague is asking questions about how you are, make sure you return the favor.
There is a big chance that if they are asking all of the questions, you are having a one-sided conversation.
Show a genuine interest in what other people are involved in.
Related post – 20 Ways to Show Genuine Interest in People’s Lives
Your problems are bigger
I know it sounds odd, but some people seem to be competing to have the biggest problem.
Remember the movie, Shirley Valentine? There is a classic scene where Shirley is talking about her neighbor by saying, ‘If you’ve got a headache; she’s got a brain tumor’.
Certain people, through their own insecurities, like to up the ante, so that their problems are always worse than yours.
The truth is there will be times when your problems are bigger.
You could be going through a death in the family or a significant loss. This is when we need our friends the most. It is important to be there for each other during these difficult times.
The key is to make the support reciprocal.
Related post – How to Maintain Your Self-Confidence During Times of Adversity
You think your friends are mad at you
This one is a bit of a double-edged sword because if you are acting out the above behaviors, talking about yourself and showing no interest in your friend’s lives, they could be mad at you.
On the other hand, you might simply be focusing too much on yourself. If someone is upset, your first thought is it somehow relates back to you.
People have a lot going on in their lives, so there is a high chance this isn’t the case. Ask them how they are and you might quickly discover that they have a lot of issues on their plate, all which have nothing to do with you.
Need help with your friendships? These books can help.
- Friendships Just Don’t Happen!: The Guide to Creating a Meaningful Circle of Girlfriends by Shasta Nelson
- Frientimacy: How to Deepen Friendships for Lifelong Happiness by Shasta Nelson
- Messy Beautiful Friendship: Finding and Nurturing Deep and Lasting Relationships by Christine Hoover
You have no idea your friends are mad at you
The other side of the spectrum is that you have no idea your friends are mad at you.
You are so wrapped up in yourself, you are totally oblivious to their feelings.
If any of the above points hit home or made you feel a tad uncomfortable reading, it could be a sign that you are a bit absorbed in your own world.
Stop being the center of attention and start showing interest in other people. Ask people questions and honestly care about what they have to say in return.
Related post – 5 Communication Mistakes That Can Mess with Your Life
It’s not all about you
None of us are the center of the universe. We live in a world where we need to converse, interact and relate to other people.
Your life is important- there is no doubt about that. You need to focus on your own life but you can still do that while taking other people into consideration.
Take the time to be interested in other people and remember – it’s not all about you.
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Read Next – 10 Behaviors That Stop You Growing as a Person
Yikes. I thought of some very specific people while reading this. I have a family member who gives me clipped answers to all of my questions about their life, but never asks me about mine, a friend who does all of the talking (though they’ve gotten better recently), another friend who tries to one-up me all the time, and a family member who either thinks I’m mad at them when I’m just busy or is too oblivious when I’m actually annoyed. Sigh. Family and friends: can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em. (;
Aside from relationships, though, this is also true when it comes to writing articles. I’ve heard a lot of authorities say you should use the word “you” often in your articles and refer to yourself as little as possible. I think it depends on the subject, and I also think it’s often an advantage to show a little of your own experiences when addressing your audience. It’s definitely hard to walk the line sometimes, though.
So glad you enjoyed the It’s Not All About You post. I think a lot of people can relate to this one. As soon as I read about the person that tries to one-up you all the time, I was like yes. Not yes that it’s a good thing, but yes that I totally know where you are coming from. I have a friend who does the same thing. Sometimes when I am feeling a bit vulnerable and tell them about something I am struggling with, the response is “I’m great at that’. Hum. Yep that makes me feel so much better. It also works the other way, whenever you tell them about a great achievement, they always come back with something better that they have done. Can be a tad frustrating but all part of life’s rich tapestry 🙂
I like your take on the writing articles angle. You are right it can be hard to walk a fine line. I have had to look back over some of my blog posts and make sure the I, we, you parts are saying what I want them to.
Again grateful for your fab input.