Ever notice how some writers, especially bad ones, may start an essay with the words, ‘Ever notice?”? (Did I need a second question mark there?) Ever notice there are some people who can talk about themselves in an entire conversation but not even once ask you anything about yourself? I have known certain people for decades, who have never asked me where I was born or what I do for a living or (in extreme cases) what’s my name? I had a friend for years who thought I was someone else. (I don’t know what that means.) You know the type? – People who will talk forever about themselves, but never take any interest in you. I call those self-centred types – ego amigos.
These people have self-images the size of prize winning pumpkins (and about as useful.) I think it’s important that any relationship be a two way street; it’s polite and thoughtful. (This is the longest I have gone without attempting humour. Yeah, yeah, I know. Don’t sell yourself short, Vic. You have been unfunny for way longer.) You know the type – After a while they may appear to “open” the second lane to take a feint interest in you, but side swipe you with, “Enough talking about me. What do YOU think of me?” or “You are right about what I am saying.”
Self-centred sots can learn a lot about social interaction from observing dogs. I am not suggesting we should, upon first meeting, sniff each other’s butts (although I would love to see that as the rule with politicians) but dogs do have a very unselfish streak when it comes to interacting with others. If dogs could talk, they would be all over you, asking questions like Anderson Cooper without the tail-wagging: “Oh, so nice to see you. How was your day? Did you get everything done that you wanted? Did you sniff anyone’s butt? Details, I want details.”
Cats are more like egomaniacs. Their basic mantra is: “Feed me and pet me or I will move next door where the food is better and the residents don’t realize I have already moved in.” My cat is so self-centred that even when I agree to pet her, she will move to the other side of the room just to make me work harder.
A wise man once told me, “You need people and you should always ask questions,” to which I dutifully replied with a question: “Huh?” For all you me-me-me yahoos out there, here are some signs that you are alone in a room filled with people you think hang on your every utterance:
You take credit for anything you can: When sometime says to you, “Nice day, huh?” you say “You’re welcome.”
You believe in status symbols: My neighbour takes his Corvette out of his garage every two days, just to wash it. Then he puts it back in. I believe his annual mileage is about 360 feet, but he does change his battery and starter every six months. I keep my cars until they are so rusted, you can no longer tell what make they are. I would ride a horse drawn cart if it weren’t so much for the clean up.
You spend the most time around others exactly like you: Specifically – mirrors.
You know everything and only your opinion counts: In conversation, you act like you were just stopped for a few words on the red carpet of the Oscars. Ego amigos even think that by just clearing their throat they are providing valuable information to others.
Your ego’s no amigo,
In fact, it’s just a zero.
Have another day.