“When you feel like there are too many "all about me" people in your life, how is that a mirror back onto you? Does it really mean that you’re actually an “all about me” kind of person, too?”
The short answer is: maybe or maybe not.
Once we commit to the self development path and realize our world is a reflection of ourselves—our thoughts, beliefs, limitations and efforts—we no longer look at things in the same ways. When something bothers us, we no longer point at other people and blame them for our feelings, we own how we feel and make it our business to figure out why. Once we know that, we know what to do about the situation.
The way I look at it, there are several possible reasons why the same type of person keeps showing up in our lives. Here are some options to consider:
- The undesired characteristic is an unacknowledged part of yourself that you need to face, and seeing it in others is the first step in seeing it in yourself.
- The behavior or characteristic is one you’re aware of and have worked to eliminate, but you haven’t fully let go of it because it represents a familiarity (or family tie) that is difficult to give up.
- The characteristic or quality is one you secretly wish you had—or you need. Even if it is manifesting as a negative thing to get your attention, the message can be that you need to embrace the positive side of the quality you’re resisting. In this case, maybe you need to be more self-honoring. Maybe it’s time for you to be a little “all about you” yourself in a positive way.
- The situation is a symbolic warning sign that things are not all right in your world no matter how much you will argue that they are. Back in my own dark days, I vehemently swore to anyone who’d listen that I was happy, happy, happy—and I’d bite the head off anyone who dared suggest otherwise. During that time period, I was constantly being treated badly by everyone. From the clerks who ignored me, overcharged me or otherwise treated me as insignificant, to other drivers on the roads, I didn't matter. I couldn’t pull out of my driveway without someone tail gating, cutting me off, pulling out in front of me going ten mph or otherwise putting their needs before mine and not giving a hoot about the consequences for me. I wasn’t doing those same things, but they were very much real world reflections of how I felt in my personal life at home.
- These are just selfish people being themselves and you don’t have to feel bad about not wanting to be around it.
Once you do, then you have to figure out what you want to do about it. If you’ve struggled to get over your negative ways, it’s really hard to stay positive around people who look for the bad in every situation. And quite frankly, the Gray Cloud Crowd doesn’t want to hear your new Suzy Sunshine spin about how the glass is really half full—they like it half empty.
Just like the recovering alcoholic has to get new friends who don’t drink to maintain his sobriety, we too need to be with people who support our new awareness and joy. Because, remember, we become who our friends are.
Sometimes, of course, when we gain greater understanding and change our perceptions, the actions of others no longer bother us and our existing connections may shift accordingly in a positive way. Other times, the situations may require a cold turkey approach to disconnect from people who are just a drain to be around. Some associations may simply fade naturally.
Whatever the case, it is all about you—as it should be! And the insights you gain from asking these kinds of really important questions are invaluable.
Keep asking those great questions—and taking the time to sleuth out the answers!
Paula Renaye is a certified professional coach, empowerment speaker and multi-award-winning author of The Hardline Self Help Handbook. She is passionate about helping emotional short-sellers become happiness moguls. Visit http://hardlineselfhelp.com for details on upcoming workshops and to get a FREE copy of her latest ebook: Tweet-able Tough Love Quotes.