selfish

365 Challenge: Day 172 – Me

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Me: used by a speaker to refer to himself or herself as the object of a verb or preposition

me.png

Some people are born without any selfish bones in their body or thoughts in their mind. Many are absolutely incapable of thinking about other people, reserving every moment of the day for themselves and themselves alone. I’m willing to bet that a majority of people out there fall somewhere in between on this scale of extremes. I know I certainly do, hopefully somewhere right in the middle, but definitely aware of the times when I am too focused on myself, feeling like ‘it’s all about me.’ Having a healthy ego or confidence in focusing thought or action on yourself is a good thing when managed properly. But there needs to be a fair balance, which is why today’s 365 Daily Challenge word is ‘me’ and comes, of course, with suggestions for a change in our approach to each day. I’m sure you ask: “Will this guy ever shut up about himself, always with advice?”

I’ve decided to institute a NON ‘me’ day each month, rotating it into my schedule so that I purposely focus on other people and not myself. I think it will do wonders for my outlook and humility to see and understand things from other people’s perspectives — and not just my own. It certainly won’t be easy, at least not the way I have this planned in my mind, but I believe it’s important.

I’ll share a few examples but am ultimately curious what others think of this exercise, as well as how they handle things in their own life. The most obvious illustration I can share is my WordPress blog: ThisIsMyTruthNow and the 365 Daily Challenge. It was created as a way to help me identify what I wanted to do in the future and as a method to connect with people from around the world. When I choose the word each day, I relate it something specific about me and my life. Many wonderful people comment on it each day, and we have an interactive dialogue regarding how the word fits in both of our lives. It’s a great tool to get to know someone, but there is a downside. Shocker, I know!

The discussion and online friendship is being kicked off because I started talking about myself. Not because we randomly met and began a conversation about something other than either one of us. On the flip side, I try to read everyone’s blog that I follow to learn more about them; sometimes I have little time to comment, and there’s just a “like” after I’ve read the post. While that’s fine for most days, given how busy we all are, I think it’s important to learn more about other people and build on relationships by clearly focusing on other people and their blogs. What I’m planning to do is pick 1 day a month where I have a very tiny post to cover the 365 Daily Challenge, which will reduce the time I would have used for both writing my post and responding to comments. In its place, I plan to respond to as many other blogger’s posts from that day that I can fit in.

The comments will be all about them and their post. Not me or how I felt about it, but something to let the blogger know the value they’ve brought to the table. It might be hard, for instance, if it’s a book review we both read. How do I comment without indicating how I felt about the book? But isn’t that the point sometimes? Your feedback, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, should be about the person who wrote the post sometimes too, not just your own opinion. {Aside: I am not referring to when someone comments on my post — it’s ALWAYS been an equal balance about both of us, so please don’t change how you interact with me — this is just about how I want to change my interaction on other people’s blogs!}

It’s only fair to spend time focused on that person and their words without introducing your own experience as the primary response. I’m not saying this is how it should always be, but it’s a healthy exercise to train ourselves to stop being so “I” and “me” in our responses. Sharing experiences often leads to a strong relationship, I fully agree, which is why I wouldn’t do this all the time. But picking 1 day a month where I focus only on the other people in my life seems like a fair thing to do. And it’s not only online in my blog or my social media connections. It should be everywhere. For instance…

Phone conversations. I want to pickup the phone to ask others how they are doing. Focus on what’s good or new, or sad, in his/her life. See if I can do something to help them or brighten their day. Hopefully no one interprets this as me saying I’ve not done this before, as I definitely do think and focus on other people. But as we get busy, we often forget a bit of our manners, falling into traps of relating everything back to ourselves and our own experiences. I think it will be a great way to re-energize and engage with someone who maybe felt a little distant lately, or in need of a pick-me-up in the form of a good conversation about their life with a friend they hadn’t chatted with in a while.

I’d apply the same to letting someone else choose where we went for dinner or what TV show we picked to watch that evening. It’s often the little things in life that go a long way, especially as we all get busier and use technology to do the work for us, rather than good old-fashioned intimacy between real-life people. I’m generally aware of balancing the conversation equally among both parties, but not always. This is simply a way to ensure I’m being less selfish, more open and bringing about a little positive change across other people’s life. You never know when someone needs a bit of extra attention, but even more important, when they deserve it. The world is too small (sounds kinda funny, huh?) and life is too short (really, it is) to not put in the effort that might make it a better place for someone else.

How about you? Do you find that you talk about yourself more than you should? Do you have tools and tips and tricks to balance out your interactions? Share with ME please!

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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365 Challenge: Day 86 – Only-Child

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Only-Child: a person with no siblings, either biological or adopted

old child

As I awoke this morning, two ideas scratched the surface of my sleepy mind: (1) you are an only child, and (2) you wish you could dance [thanks for a certain someone for putting this in my mind yesterday]. Since I’m not prepared to discuss dancing, we’ll go with me being an only-child as today’s 365 Daily Challenge topic, despite it not being a characteristic; instead it is a noun, but I’ve allowed this a few times in the past.

The first thing I did, so as not to create my own suggestions as to what it means to be an only-child, was to google only-child syndrome. There’s no hyphen, by the way; but I’m being a bad-ass today and including it! The first article I stumbled across noted 12 things people assume about us only-children. The link is included, as they own the original idea, but below are my thoughts and impressions of those 12 items:

http://aidanneal.com/2014/08/14/12-things-you-should-know-about-only-child-syndrome/

1. People automatically assume we’re spoilt.

  • I was not spoiled during my childhood. I did not get everything I wanted, nor was I smothered. I didn’t ask for a lot, so I did get most things I asked for unless they were too expensive. But we really didn’t go on a lot of vacations. We split the cost of my first car, a used ten-year Oldsmobile. I didn’t get new clothes all the time. I had to help around the house and in the yard.

2. People automatically assume we’re selfish.

  • I am in the middle. I am a very generous person, but I can be selfish when it comes to things being equally divided. I was much more focused on this when I was younger, e.g. inspected everything to be sure we each got 50% or we took turns all the time. Now I’m less focused on selfish things, but I probably was considered selfish when younger.

3. Most every reaction we have is attributed to misconceptions of our upbringing.

  • Um… no. I hardly ever think about it. I have a few things I attribute to the way I was raised or what it was like being an only-child, but definitely no more than anyone else.

4. We’re most likely achievement oriented.

  • Yes, I base everything I do on how much I accomplished. I’m very goal-oriented and need to track progress, often to a fault.

5. Patience is just not our virtue.

  • This one is similar to being selfish. When I was younger, I was not patient. I’m much more practical about it now. If I notice myself getting frustrated over things taking too long or not going my way, I do things to prevent it or calm it. It doesn’t happen often, and it’s usually over very very big things or extremely minor things.
    • I lost my patience a couple of weeks ago when I was dusting. Yes, dusting. I had cleaned an entire bookshelf and by the time I got to the last one, I noticed dust floating back up to the top one. And I couldn’t get it to go away. I was not a happy camper for a few minutes. So I went and stood outside, looking at the flowers until I relaxed. Silly, but it happened.

6. We have a total disregard for anyone’s feelings or thoughts but our own.

  • Absolutely not. Quite the opposite. I’m so caught up in pleasing other people that I often let my own feelings sit on the side.

7. Alone time and/or moments of silence are detrimentally essential.

  • Yes, very true. I can’t be around a group of people for more than two hours without needing a break. I’m very uncomfortable in large gathering places, rarely going to music concerts or sporting events. Even when I’m having fun, I need to step away to not feel overwhelmed. Silence and solitude have always been my friends.

8. We’re not anti-social and we’re not altogether introverts.

  • Exactly! I’m in the middle. I claim to be an introvert, and when I want to be alone, you better leave me alone. But if I want to play, you better want to play.

perfect

9. Attention seeking behavior is nonsensical to us.

  • I’m not sure I understand this one, but I know I’ve done a few things in the past to seek attention. I was likely feeling too alone or too needy over something, so I attempted to find ways to get a little focus on me. Nothing extreme, but I’d act silly or push myself to be something different. It’s not nonsensical, it’s more peculiar and unusual.

10. We’re really good at keeping secrets.

  • Quite true. I’m a lock-box when it comes to secrets. It goes in one ear and doesn’t know how to come back out. Gets lost up in there. Too many distractions and places to hide. Cobwebs also keep things intact.

11. We’re unforgiving.

  • Oh, unfortunately, I do need to admit this one. I actually can hold a grudge, even over small things. I’ve always lived by the “do unto others as you wish done to you” mantra. And in the past, if you did something I didn’t think was right, you were knocked down a peg on the scale. After too many pegs were chipped away, I distanced myself from you and found new people to climb the ladder. Foolish, I know. I was young. Now, I still have an initial reaction to push away people who don’t live up to my expectations or hurt me, but I am less harsh about it. And it takes much longer.

12. We’re more mature.

  • I think this is true in 90% of the cases. Apart from some personality flaws (things mentioned above), I tend to be very mature in most everything I do. I’ve always been a good 10 to 15 years older than my true age. But there is definitely a case for 10% of the time when I still act like a child or a party boy. Maturity for me started early. As a toddler, I wanted to be in school. In middle school, I wanted to be done and working. In college, I wanted to be married with children. Now, I want to be retired. But it’s really my mindset that I find is mature. I often think about things as though I’ve had more experience in life than I actually have had. It’s why I call myself an old-soul.

syndrome.jpg

How about you? Are you an only-child? Do you have only one child? Do you think these are accurate, or are tools like this really not pertinent since we’re all different?

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.