It seems there are several people I know who need to be the center of attention and have the spotlight on them as much as possible. They tend to monopolize conversations and talk about themselves a lot. It is often the same people who seem to need constant recognition for all of their accomplishments, even if it means they need to toot their own horn to get it. I’m all for giving credit where credit is due, but this gets old after a while. It would appear some of these people have low self-esteem, probably from being made to feel inadequate. Thinking about a couple of people in particular, I think this has a lot to do with either being raised in a very critical environment or one that was not very nurturing and loving, or both.
Thinking about other people who are like this, I would say they just tend to define themselves by their accomplishments and not the kind of person they are. I think this is true for plenty of people who don’t behave in this manner as well. We are so driven as a society to be the best, to be successful, to make a name for ourselves, to impress others, and so on that we lose sight of what should really be important. We should not be defined entirely by our cars, houses, clothes, jobs, awards, degrees, salaries, championships, grades, physical appearance, cell phones and other gadgets, projects we’ve completed, or anything else along those lines. What should also matter is our values, character, morals, leadership abilities, integrity, how we treat people, and how helpful, giving, empathetic, compassionate, and supportive we are. I have addressed many of these topics and others as well in my various posts.
I would much rather be around someone who has many of these qualities and knows how to be humble than someone who is always trying to make themselves look and feel better by being the center of attention and bragging about themselves and their accomplishments. What makes you feel like a good person is actually being a good person on the inside without needing to convince yourself or others how great you are. Your “goodness” should speak for itself. And that way you don’t need to worry about coming off as being cocky because while confidence is an attractive quality, cockiness is not.
I can think of a few people I know whose funerals are going to be packed, and they will be remembered for their huge hearts and how many peoples’ lives they touched in a positive way, not what kind of car they drove or how many degrees or credits to their name that they have. They are wonderful in so many ways yet are so humble at the same time, which makes them seem even greater. I sure wish there were more people like this and keep striving to be more like them myself.
I’m not saying that our accomplishments and possessions mean nothing, but they shouldn’t be more important than our character. If you are sacrificing your character in order to achieve success, is it really worth it? Unfortunately, I think there are too many people who would answer yes to that question because of what our society values. I am reminded of Albert Einstein’s quote, “Try not to become a man of success, but try rather to become a man of value.” That’s some good advice from a smart man. It is difficult to teach this to my kids though when they are being bombarded by the opposite message in so many other places, but I think I am getting through to them. Time will tell.
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