Posted by: CJ | December 30, 2009

Unbearable Self-Centered Egoism II: More Quirky Talking

There are a few other general principles about interacting with me, unrelated to how to convince me of something.

  1. Introvert. I’m an introvert. I get tired talking to people, and I get tired faster when I’m around more people or around people I don’t know well or when I’m closer to being the center of attention. By tired I mean not only mental weariness but, eventually, actual physical exhaustion. Here are two small primers on introverts: an old Atlantic Monthly article and a description of a day-long meeting by an introvert.
  2. Self-importance. I’m a prideful little academic. It manifests in many ways, but wording is one that most people don’t expect. For example, I dislike being told I “can’t” or “won’t” do something, or that I’m sure to like something else. Anyone saying that can’t know for sure. They’re not only abusing language, but also assuming they know me better than they do. Or at least better than I (probably) think they do. Which annoys me. What is more honest, if troublesome, for someone to say is, “I’d be surprised if you chose to do X” or “I really enjoyed Y, and the parts of me that enjoyed it most I associate with you, so you might also enjoy it.” The change of emphasis from putting the action on me and instead on the speaker makes a difference to my overweening self-importance.
  3. Grass is Always Greener/Jealousy. I have a strong tendency to feel sorry for myself when I hear what fun adventures or lives other people are leading. I’m starting to learn how to deal with this aspect of myself. But it’s still a long-standing issue of mine. I will compare myself against anyone and everyone around me, and inevitably will move goalposts in such a way as to find myself lacking, even when no one else would. Again, this is something everyone does but seems to be noticeably worse with me.


  1. ummmm… #3 while holding #2 firming in mind….need me to draw it on a white board?

  2. firmly–not firming.

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