I’ll bet you know someone who believes the world revolves around them. Maybe you are one of these special people. But I have to tell you, that if one more person is trying to get into the trunk of my car while driving at seventy miles per hour I think I am going to scream.
I don’t care if it’s someone’s impatience when standing in line or waiting for a returned phone call. Or, people who believe that when they text or email you, you should have your cell phone or laptop available at a moment’s notice and respond before you take your next breath – these people need to understand that other than them, we have a life. Or, is it parents in a restaurant that let their kids create chaos all around them while they scream and yell and you are trying to have a romantic or business meal?
Know anyone like this? Come on…. It seems that most people today feel that they should be the center of everyone else’s world.
Maybe a customer feels they are your only customer and you should respond to their every request immediately or a supervisor who expects you to drop all of your routine tasks to immediately respond to a request of theirs regardless of its urgency.
I could give you dozens more examples where people believe that they are the center of the world, but I’m sure you don’t need more examples as we all have to deal with these people sooner or later in a variety of settings.
Why do so many people work themselves into a twit when life doesn’t go the way they expect or according to their schedule and agenda?
Is it ego or arrogance? Is it narcissism or selfishness? Is it their stress level or insecurity? Or is it just their need to feel important in some way?
There’s a book here, but I won’t bore you with numerous causes or reasons for this behavior, but I will give you four causes that I believe are at the core of this behavior. But, before I do, consider – are certain mindsets, positions, professions, age groups or different cultural backgrounds a contributor?
Well – how about – politicians or wealthy people? Or certain races, genders or age groups? I’m not suggesting everyone or anyone in these groups falls into one of the four categories listed below, but after travelling the world speaking and working with a variety of clients in numerous industries, I have come to believe that the following tend to be indicators of how someone will tend to approach life, relationships or careers from a position of – “control obsession” (just made that up).
Low self-esteem – Self-esteem is simply how you define yourself. With low self-esteem we will tend to always belittle ourselves in some way especially in the presence of others. Out conversation will tend to be self-demeaning and apologetic. I’m sorry is one of our favorite phrases when we have a low self-esteem issue. The opposite is just as bad as when your self-esteem is too high you will tend to approach life and others with conceited, haughty, arrogant, snooty or puffed up attitudes. Either one – low or high self-esteem has its drawbacks and causes us to, in some way alienate others.
A lack of a patient mindset – A major cause of stress is impatience or the need for things to happen on our schedule and according to our agenda. When they don’t well, you’ve seen how these people can behave whether in traffic, a meeting or a restaurant. Patience is the ability to flow and accept life. It doesn't mean you have a victim mentality, but that you understand that stuff happens, that you often can’t control. The key is to learn to deal with what you can control and let go of the stuff you can’t
The need for validation – Many people suffer from a need for appreciation, acceptance or validation. In order to receive these they will often make themselves the center of attention in some way. Whether it’s the way they dress, talk, brag or just inject themselves into conversations or situations – their goal is to be noticed and sometimes appreciated regardless of their status, position, background or any other life or career circumstance.
Over the top ego – We all have an ego or the need to feel important, successful, smart or any other trait that sends the message to the world that we are better than others in some way. This is normal behavior. The problem arises when this need becomes the single or major focal point of our life and we can’t admit failure, mistakes, bad decisions or any other action that might make us look unimportant, unsuccessful or just not up to other’s standards or expectations. When ego becomes the major life driver we will tend to create distance between ourselves and others and send the message that we are just better or smarter than the rest of the world.
So, what do you think? Anyone you know that is a control freak fall into one of these four categories? Do you? I’ll leave it there for your consideration or evaluation.
If you have a problem with control, patience or any of the above or you know someone who does – let me recommend a really great book – The Power of Patience by PJ Ryan.
“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing; it was here first.”
Make it a great day, Tim