The Worst (Me)

You know those people who always make everything all about them? They are the WORST. It’s so annoying. You try to tell them about your amazing weekend at the beach and they can’t even wait for you to finish before they’re telling YOU all about THEIR amazing weekend at the beach…never mind that it was three years ago and you’ve already heard the story 50 times. Or you write a heartfelt blog post about your struggle with weight loss and they leave a 500 word comment about THEIR struggle with weight loss…and then say “But now I’m a size 2 and everything is awesome!”

I am one of those people. (Well, except for that size 2 bit because AHAHAHAHAHA.)

I realized this about myself a few months ago, and although I’ve been making a conscious effort to fix it I’m afraid it’s not going very well. I want so badly to show people I understand and empathize with them I turn into a big Jerky McJerkface Selfishpants almost any time I talk or comment. Even when I KNOW I am doing it I have a hard time stopping. I think “But my experience really does relate to theirs!” or “But I want them to know we have so much in common!” or “But my kid does something cute too!” when I should really just shut up and nod.

But it’s hard to shut up and nod! And on the internet no one can see me nodding! And I feel like comments that just say “I love this picture!” or “Great story!” create a big giant echo chamber of nothing. So where is the balance between building a community and being a self-centered douchecanoe? I haven’t figured it out yet, but I’d like to officially apologize for all the times I’ve gotten in the canoe.

Please forgive me for my faults, and I promise I’ll keep working on them.

(Also, in college I was often accused of being kind of a snotty bitch when really I was just painfully nervous around new people and my attempts at humor were so awkward people thought I was insulting them. So basically I really AM the worst.)

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25 Responses to “The Worst (Me)”

  1. Swistle says:

    I think “making it all about me” is an expression that’s gotten kind of warped. Like, it’s supposed to be about people who try to take other people’s experiences (throwing an emotional fit when someone else’s mother dies), but it’s sometimes used to mean anyone who tells about their related experience—-which I’d say is “conversation,” not “making things all about me.” In a blog post comments section, I think it’s not only okay but actually useful and interesting and fully appropriate to tell one’s own related story. Conversations don’t go well if it’s “one person telling a story while the other person nods”—unless then it switches to the second person telling and the first person nodding!

  2. MKP says:

    Not to do that thing but I DO THAT TOO.

    Carolyn Hax had great advice for ppl who do this and want to reform — say “I’ve been there!” and go back to listening, then the other person can ask you about your experience, if they want to.

    I think the blog equivalent is to err on the side of undersharing and see if ppl ask for more :)

    BUT I HEART YOU and LIKE when you tell us about you so THERE.

    • bebehblog says:

      I HEREBY DECLARE everyone is allowed to chime in with their own stories, comments, etc on my blog forever and ever and I will NEVER think badly of them. I’ll also allow it in person. Carry on.

  3. Krista says:

    Um… not to “do that thing” but I totally do that too. Especially in comments. So I’m stopping now, but I don’t want you thinking you’re a douce canoe. Because you’re not. :)

  4. Other Erin says:

    I’ll do it too! When I meet new people they always think I’m snobby or think I’m better than them but really I’m super shy and never know what to say.

  5. Sarah says:

    Ugh. I feel this way a lot. And in most recent history – our convo with Jamie yesterday! Gah! I really struggle with this, how much is empathizing and where does it cross the line into one-upping. I think the key is knowing who you’re talking to, and determining whether or not the point is, “Dude. I’ve been there. I feel your pain, let’s talk if you need to.” versus, “Oh my God! I have a story for you.” Does that make sense? I don’t think you’re a one-upping jerk, I think you’re sweet and want to empathize with your friends.

    • bebehblog says:

      EXACTLY like the conversation yesterday with Jamie. I’ve had a version of this post in my drafts for two weeks, so even though I vowed not to do any one-upping I literally did it yesterday. But thanks for liking me anyways.

  6. Jeni says:

    I do this too! Obviously because here I am making this about me :). But really, I had this epiphany about a year ago and EVERY time I have a conversation I am actively monitoring myself to make sure I am not cutting in with my stories. At least not a lot :).

  7. Brigid Keely says:

    I don’t know about you/your readers here but a big part of why I love the internet & blogs is because I like the conversations that ensue. So when I share a cute kid story or a vacation story or whatever, I LOVE IT when people chime in with their own cute kid or vacation stories or whatever. Obviously it’s possible to take that too far, but I think a lot of people who are introverts or a bit Anxious tend to over-analyze themselves/their behaviors and self diagnose malignancy where there isn’t any. If you find you tend to dominate all conversations forever even among other chatty people, or that people tend to just say hi and then run away before you can start talking, then maybe there is an issue. But maybe you’re just feeling interactively weird and are really all right.

  8. the grumbles says:

    I think EVERYONE does this to some extent. It’s a pretty normal human thing to want to relate someone else’s experience to something you’ve experienced. I try to keep it in check too. Sometimes it is less annoying than others, and sometimes I walk away from a conversation like, “crap, that was really jerky of me I suck.” I don’t mind it as much when friends do it vs strangers. It’s more of an active listening thing.

  9. DON’T STOP! I think blogging is that kind of space. It’s not like when you’re face to face with someone and they say, “You know?” And you reply, “Yeah. Wow.” And then they have the floor again to keep talking about whatever it was they were talking about. If you don’t offer up some tidbit of similar experience, or funny anecdote or whatever in the comments…what ARE you going to offer up? If we were all intently listening there would be no commenting because…well, you can’t talk if you’re listening, right? I think it’s the nature of the medium.

  10. Meghan says:

    Um, YUP! Me too. Only I’ve found recently I inturrupt people ALL THE TIME to do it! What an asshole. But just remember, if people didn’t chime in with their Me toos! conversations would probably be kinda borning anyway. Right? That’s what I’m telling myself anyway.

  11. Amy says:

    Just adding voice another to the chorus of I do it too!

    But a lot of the time it is appropriate. If someone tells a personal story, you are (for the most part) explaining how you relate to it personally, which a lot of the time is telling a story about yourself or your kids. You certainly don’t go around Jezzing yourself on blogs if that’s what you think you do.

  12. Audrey says:

    You mean the way I’m always like “OMG DEL DOES THAT TOO!” on your Caroline posts? I’m totally aware of what I do..but I can’t help myself. I’m kicking myself that we missed an opportunity to meet last summer and now my family might not be going on anymore CC vacations in the future! It’s bumming me out big time. (note: the husband and I hope to figure out how to plan our own vacation sans extended family out there in the next few years, because we absolutely love the beaches there. So there is actually hope..but SO FAR AWAY)

    • bebehblog says:

      But I do the same thing on YOUR blog! I seriously feel like I can’t stop myself, even when I know I’m being very ME ME ME ME.

      And one of my goals in 2013 (this year is going way too crazy fast for me to say 2012) is to meet as many of my favorite internet people as possible. Maybe BlogHer13 will be in Chicago and we can both make it happen – with kids & husbands, obviously, so Caroline, Del and Leah’s Wren can begin their evil plan to take over the world.

  13. It’s SO HARD not to do this in comments. Because what else are you supposed to comment? “Cute pictures”? I think blogs & comments follow a different set of rules than real-life conversations because you NEED to hear other stories or all the comments are lame.

    Or at least I tell myself this because I do it all the time on blogs. I try not to do it in real life, though, but I’m sure I do, especially when it comes to cute things my kid does.

    And EXCELLENT use of the word “douchecanoe”. You get a gold star.

  14. I am often too helpful and advice givey. I get the you are a know it all bitch a lot. But I really want to help and a REALLY dont think anything good or bad of people who dont listen to me because I am not telling them what to do, just talking way to much and hope they glean something useful out of it. So I feel you but… er… not one upping you! Or at least not trying to! I fail at humanity. And I love your worst. Be my friend.

  15. Leah says:

    But, Suzanne, it actually IS all about me. Muwhahahahahahaha.

  16. Meagan says:

    I actually know people who don’t do this and sometimes they make me feel bad because I totally do it all the time. It’s really, really hard for me not to relate a story to ME! But in blogging I think it’s totally normal to be all me, me, me!! Isn’t that why we blog?? :)

  17. Kimberly says:

    My husband used to point out that I did that and it gave me a bit of a complex when talking to people that I don’t know super well. I think that’s why I fell in love with blogs- I can take the time to word what I want to say so that it (hopefully) doesn’t come across all ME ME ME. But it’s so hard when I’m reading your stuff because there are so many similarities between us and our kids. I have to hold myself back from writing ME TOO on your posts almost every day.
    PS- My college roommates called me The Ice Queen because of my snotty bitch rep. They gave me a crown and everything.

  18. Megan says:

    I am still reeling from the awesomeness of the word douchecanoe. That is a new one for me.

    And, you are not one.

    And, I do this too, and used to really worry about it. Until I came to the conclusion made above that if people don’t do this to at least some extent, then conversations are sort of boring and terse sounding. At some point I decided to just try to limit the length of my interjections (because I can be a really unfocused story teller, seriously, even I get lost in my own stories sometimes), and make sure to invite people to continue their oIwn stories so they don’t think I was trying to change the subject on them. So now I worry about it less…

  19. Jen says:

    Long time reader, rare commenter. I am exactly the same way. I also don’t see a problem with that. I mean, if you were constantly interrupting people in a spoken conversation, to make it all about you, then it might be a problem. But I doubt that is the case. As for blogs, have at it. That’s why people blog, to share.

  20. Miranda says:

    Hi, my name is Miranda, and I’m guilty of the comment vomit. I have typed and untyped so many comments that are just like this (sharing personal stories when I feel they’re related) and half the time I end up clicking off the page thinking I don’t want to be a douche by leaving a comment that seems all about me. But the thing is, I *mostly* like it when people leave comments like that because then it gives me something to respond to instead of a “Cute pictures!” “Oh, thanks!” exchange. Except for when people leave their horror stories like they did on my “I want to VBAC” post. Then I find them to be completely unhelpful.

    Basically, leave your comments. I love them.

  21. Julie S says:

    I do this too. I think we just want to be relateable! Makes us feel we aren’t alone. It’s validating. But I know what you mean about word vomit people. There’s a fine line!

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