I know I can be self-absorbed, and as soon as I say that, defensiveness rushes in. At least I'm interested in myself, since no one else is. What about all those frenemies that I've supported and sacrificed for, only to have them ignore me when I needed someone? Why do I always have to be the polite one trying not to offend? No one seems to care if they offend me. What an ugly stream of thought that is when I see it written out, and yet that's how I feel.
One of the things I love about blogging is that I'm free to express myself without worrying about whether or not I'm being selfish. I just say what I want to say and no one is forced to listen if they don't want to. There's no way I can monopolize the conversation - if a reader is bored, they can move on to someone else's thoughts.
I think about this a lot because I realized a few years ago that I've been irritating people with a bad conversational habit. When someone tells me a story, my first reaction is to empathize or tell them what I think, because that's what I want from a listener. I love reading the comments on this blog and hearing a different perspective, or that someone else out there has the same quirks that I do. I'm genuinely interested in other people's reactions.
Unfortunately, this comes across as really, really rude and narcissistic. While I've thought I'm being supportive, others see this as me turning every conversation to myself. I feel awkward a lot of the time now, because when I want to support someone I don't know how. I've started lamely saying "and how do you feel about that?" like a therapist, not a friend.
I don't have this resolved and writing about it makes me feel sad. How many people have walked away from me in the past, thinking "what an egotistical bitch"? What I like about this quote is that it strikes a balance by addressing the need for a global perspective while acknowledging our natural self-interest.
And how do you feel about that?