Think about how often you have been in the midst of earnest conversations when out of the blue, someone abruptly changes the subject, deflecting from the serious matter at hand to more subtle and self-centered content about themselves.
While being self-centered is downright annoying and frustrating, and is generated from outside influences that drive the person to seek self-sufficiency, excessive concern about affirmation, and sometimes even egocentricity.
Self-centeredness can also develop through the sense of loneliness, insecurity, or even troubled hearts and minds. Being self-centered can be destructive, eliciting attention from the wrong people, and equally for the wrong reason. It can also exhibit hidden manipulation and control, with the ultimate goal of making everything about themselves.
When your instincts tell you that someone is not who they appear to be, or that every single conversation has morphed into an “About Me” session, on every occasion, no matter what, you could very well be dealing with a “Me, Me, Me’ personality.
So now what? God is a God of love, forgiveness, peace, and wisdom. He rarely sees people the way we do and cradles growth opportunities, even when we don’t reserve it. What happens when people annoy others is that the issue at hand further isolates them from others, and no matter how hard they try, the island gets bigger and bigger.
Make room for people in your heart when you can. This doesn’t mean you placate or appease them, but have compassion and understanding and make peace with them through love. Loving and caring about a person doesn’t mean that you enable them; instead, be careful not to invite self-pity, inadequacy, uncertainty, poor self-image, or other emotional distresses as a substitution for getting that person to the help zone.
Humans have what are called life gifts. Those are the strengths and propensities to adapt—gifts such as perseverance, patience, hospitality, and mission work. If none of these are your God-given gifts, perhaps your life path is better suited to serve in another unique area. There are many ways to determine your gifts, and being effective at any of the above is a good starting point. Make no mistake about it; God left no one out! God had you in mind when he created the world, and unless you evoke change, you could very well spend the rest of your life not knowing what your God-given gifts are and how you were designed to help others.
Start with being compassionate, understanding, and showing human kindness, and that mindset helps to close the gap, assisting those who have lost their way, and are hopeless, and lonely. Remember, you can’t help everyone, but you can certainly help someone, and slowing down to recognize that every emotional issue has a source and every problem has a solution is vital.
Kindness goes a long way for someone whose inner soul has created misery for themselves. Maybe your job is to hand the person off to someone who has the fortitude to see the person through the process. What isn’t your job is to be harsh and judgmental, although it’s tempting at times, especially when we don’t understand cause and effect of self-centeredness.
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is suitable for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
When kindness becomes extinct, so goes the world. Graceson Ellison