Get Over Yourself! Getting real with Brent Gambrell about our ME obsession
By Nancy Carmichael
One of my all time favorite movie lines (benchmarked by how often I find occasions to insert it into every-day conversation) is from the ultimate chick flick, sing along with Bette Midler tear jerker classic, “Beaches”. It’s when the divine Miss M, in an attempt to deflect and nurture her narcissism all at once, says:
“Enough about me, let’s talk about you. What do YOU think of me.”
Classic. Perfect. End of story right there. Take a bow, Bette.
It’s perfect, because I think it accurately sums so many of us up (not you, of course, I’m talking about the rest of us pitiable masses… ). On some level, we all KNOW the world does not revolve around us, that it’s not all about us… but gosh darn it, we just can’t seem to help ourselves. After all, if I don’t tell you about me, who the heck else will? I mean, it’s a nice happy Little House on the Prairie kind of thought, this whole, “put others first” stuff, but come on, man, they cancelled Little House years ago (as I recall, they blew the whole stinking town up. Horrible ending… but I digress).
This is the real world. A Dog-Eat-Dog world of self promotion, and though we don’t like it (ok, maybe we kinda do, but one layer of self examination at a time...), we often find it a necessary evil to resort to self centeredness as a, well, mode of self preservation.
We are weird this way.
What makes it weirder still is that it never seems to work. We know it doesn’t, either. And yet, we still do it. We still put ourselves first. We can’t seem to help it. Why? Instinct, perhaps? Our “lizard brain”, as some hip humanists like to call it? Ah, that ‘s it. It’s evolution. Survival of the fittest. It’s our Human Nature. Our sinful nature. Ah,now there’s that word no one wants to talk about. Why’d you have to go and bring THAT up? Seriously, do we have to go there? Can’t we just call it, oh I don’t know, quirkiness? Ok, fine. Call it a quirk. It’s a quirk that drives us to elevate our needs first, but somehow always (and I mean always) leaves us feeling empty. It’s the classic bait and switch. And we fall for it every time.
I had a chance to talk with a guy who knows a little something about this, from personal experience. His name is Brent Gambrell, and he has learned a thing or two about the false promise of living to please self alone. And wouldn’t you know, he wrote a book all about it, and about how we can get over ourselves, and on to something much better. And of course, as is our Isle of Misfits custom (that’s the name of my podcast, btw, if you’re new around here), we had a great conversation about it… which I’d love for you to listen in on, right here:
Get his book “Living For Another” here: