It is really challenging to deal with people who seem to operate with this attitude. What comes to mind as a good metaphor is going to a pool, clearly seeing a “no diving” sign, looking around to see if anyone is watching, diving in the pool anyway, and then claiming you didn’t see the sign if you get caught. My experience has been that people who would do something like this generally don’t feel like they need to follow the rules or that the rules don’t apply to them. It irritates me when I see people parked in a handicapped spot who clearly don’t have a handicapped permit. I usually can’t help but wonder if they are a “me” person who doesn’t feel they need to follow any rules and always put their needs above others. And what are these people teaching their kids about the importance of following the rules? I think the same thing about parents who allow their kids to lie about their age to get an email or social media account. That just reinforces the idea that it’s OK to lie and not follow the rules.
Unfortunately, I think there are more and more “me” people in the world all the time. In my opinion, “me” people think of themselves first and will do and say whatever they need to in order to get what they want, even if it means they make promises they have no intention of keeping. And they usually have no qualms about lying to cover up the fact that they broke the rules or didn’t follow directions. They don’t think about how their actions and decisions affect others around them and expect others to always accommodate them. Consequently, “me” people often come across as being insincere, dishonest, deceitful, and untrustworthy. The kicker is that they don’t understand that their actions are not acceptable, partly because they may not realize that everyone else doesn’t think and behave the same way they do.
I expect my kids to be “me” people to a certain extent because they are kids, and kids tend to be pretty self-absorbed. However, adults who are self-absorbed don’t have that excuse. They should know better, but that’s assuming they were taught not to be. I am doing my best to teach my kids not to be so self-absorbed and hope by the time they reach adulthood they are not “me” people. I do see signs of that happening, so I am hopeful, but when they are exposed on a regular basis to “me” people, my job becomes much more difficult.
I do break a few rules like driving faster then the speed limit, but I am conscious of the example I am setting and think twice about breaking other rules or lying about things so that my kids don’t learn by example that these things are acceptable behaviors. I just wish more people would think about the example they are setting for their kids in this regard.
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