In life, we sometimes deal with people full of themselves. Deeply self-centered people who consume our resources and mental energy. Dealing with them is exhausting. The conversation quickly turns into a monologue that revolves around the other. When we finally say goodbye, we can't help but feel like we've crossed the desert.
5 reasons why people full of themselves are unbearable
1. Their problems are always more serious than yours
Self-assured people often have a very self-centered outlook. This means that they find it difficult to put themselves in others' shoes and understand their problems or be empathetic with their suffering.
Therefore, if we talk to them about our problems, they will immediately bring out the rosary of their difficulties. In this way they shift the attention from us to themselves to become the center of attention.
If we tell them about a delicate situation, instead of finding validation, our words will be returned to us amplified. If we tell them we have been sick, their illness will be more serious. If we just broke up with their partner, they'll talk about their breakup. And if we talk to them about a project we're passionate about, theirs will be bigger and more interesting.
When we interact with self-confident people, we can get the feeling that life is a constant competition. This need to confront joys and anguish is exhausting, especially in times when we feel particularly vulnerable.
2. They are immune to subtle cues that you are not interested in a topic
Self-confident people believe that others are made in their image and likeness. Therefore, they assume that what interests them also interests others. They make the mistake of thinking that others share their values and outlook on life.
They are victims of the false consent effect, in such a way that they overestimate the degree to which other people share their ideas, attitudes and behaviors. They think their habits, preferences and opinions are shared by the vast majority.
This prevents them from noticing the disinterested signals sent by their interlocutor, which usually leads them to develop long monologues that end up tiring us. The problem is that when we have to pay attention to something that doesn't interest us, our brains have to work a lot harder to follow the path and grasp the details. This is why we are mentally exhausted after talking to these kinds of people.
3. They are extremely open to criticism
Nobody likes to make mistakes and get criticized. But most people are mature enough to accept criticism and try to improve or correct their mistake. However, self-confident people respond differently.
These people see criticism as a personal attack, take it too seriously and overreact. They are offended immediately and put themselves on the defensive, an attitude that ends up preventing any possible agreement.
This extreme susceptibility greatly complicates relationships because we are forced to continually move with lead feet. We feel as if we are walking on glass, with a continuous sense of tension or urgency. We are forced to measure the impact of each of our words and keep quiet many things, which is exhausting.
4. They force you to walk an emotional tightrope
Self-filled people are immersed in their world, their feelings, problems and plans, so that the relationships they establish with others are often inconsistent. Connecting with them is like walking a tightrope.
They maintain constant communication when they are very excited about a project or have a problem and need our help, but then they are not available to return the favor or they simply disappear because they have found support in another person. Alongside them, we can feel on an emotional roller coaster, away from the necessary emotional stability that we need.
With these people, it is difficult to walk on solid ground, so it is difficult to maintain an intimate and satisfying relationship. Their inability to make a long-term commitment leads to liquid relationships characterized by fragile emotional bonds.
5. They ask for preferential treatment
Although self-assured people are not very empathetic and have a hard time offering emotional validation, they often ask for preferential treatment. They tend to think that they are above others and that they have an obligation to listen to them and prioritize their needs and problems.
These people suffer from a self-centered bias that leads them to believe that the world revolves around them. According to psychologists at Tohoku Women's Junior College, they tend to classify other people's behaviors as unfair and theirs more equitable. They attribute successes and positive behaviors while projecting failures and negative behaviors onto others.
Sometimes they can also have Machiavellian traits because, to receive preferential treatment, they practice manipulative behaviors. The fact that we have to continually raise barriers to defend our rights ends up being exhausting in the long run.
A hint of self-centeredness is not bad. We all need to think about ourselves and, under certain circumstances, even prioritize ourselves. However, when this becomes a model and we feel the urgent need to be the center of attention, we have a problem that we need to solve as soon as possible.
Discovering and accepting that we are too full of ourselves is not easy, because self-centeredness is like a wall that hinders our capacity for introspection. But sometimes it is enough to honestly answer one question: How much did we learn or find out about the person we were talking to?
If we can't say much about that person and that pattern repeats itself, we've probably monopolized the conversation. And this could mean that we have talked too much and are full of ourselves. If so, we should try to practice more active listening. Talk less and listen a lot more.
How to help a person full of himself?
Self-confident people are usually not happy. Their self-centeredness is not the expression of a rich inner life, but rather of numerous shortcomings that they try to compensate for by projecting false self-confidence and artificially high self-esteem.
To help these people, we can make them notice their behavior, trying not to perceive it as a destructive criticism, but encouraging them to take a more reflective attitude in the face of the exhausting relational dynamics they generate.
For example, if we are talking about an issue that worries us, we can ask them to focus on that situation instead of shifting the focus to themselves. We could say: "I understand that you have been through a bad time, but I need your help, that you listen to me right now."
When we are not interested in a topic, instead of sending subtle signals, we may be more direct. Saying “I'm sorry, that topic doesn't interest me” or “I'm sorry, I don't have time to talk about that topic right now” might be enough.
The key is to point them out in a friendly but direct way that the relationship pattern they are trying to impose is annoying and unacceptable. Of course, these people won't change overnight, but if we persist in defending our assertive rights, the attempts could pay off, leading to a more rewarding relationship of mutual respect and understanding.