A Makeup artist to a world famous celebrity interrupted a photo session with a nation’s President to ask if anyone had a blender (food processor) for mixing her special health mix. She then went on to ask every dignitary she met if he or she could find a blender for her. I won’t tell you who or where, but I know people who witnessed this ridiculous and self-indulgent process.
These antics are laughable, but reveal a level of arrogance and self-absorption that goes along with Western culture. It is summarised in the phrase “It’s All About Me!”
It’s All About Me!
Most people who live by the “It’s all about Me!” philosophy would probably deny that they live that way. Most selfish, self-absorbed people cannot see their behaviour through other people’s eyes.
This post is an attempt to prompt you to look again at what you do and what you say, to see if you are guilty of the “all about me” mindset.
Westerners mostly act on impulse to satisfy inner promptings which are their reactions to various stimuli. Rather than living with restraint, learned responses, consideration for others, submission and the like, Westerners are taught to view life through their own lens. Westerners are likely to say what they think, without thinking. They will speak their mind first, and possibly never consider the inappropriateness of what they said, or the selfishness of their perspective.
It’s All About Selfishness
The “all about me” mindset is actually selfishness at work. It is pride, arrogance, self-focus and self-indulgence. Those are evil things, morally. Mankind was not created to live selfishly. When we live with our own interests, thoughts, plans, intentions, will and self-expression as our focus we are living in pride. We are living in sin; since we created to live for God not self.
Using “It’s all about me” as a reference point we can get a clearer picture of selfishness at work.
“Me” the Destroyer
Millions of friendships and marriages are destroyed because of the “It’s all about Me” mindset. “Me” is a destroyer. Relationships involve two people in agreement. When one of those people is centred on their own self then agreement is hard to achieve. The only way two can be in close agreement in such a case is for one person to idolise and become slave to the other.
When a relationship is anchored in one of the parties it is not a relationship at all. Being a “Me” person denies others any real relationship with you. It also stops you from opening yourself to them.
“I’m annoyed with you” is a statement of the ‘Me’ mindset. “How dare you treat me like that” is a statement of the ‘Me’ mindset. “You make me so angry” is a statement of the ‘Me’ mindset.
Every time someone looks at life from their own perspective the “It’s all about me” mindset is revealed. They may never say “It’s all about me”, but their focus and statements clearly betray that they see everything from their own perspective.
Some people don’t actually ‘talk’ their “Me” focus. They let it be heard in their body language. Sub-vocalisations (grunts, sighs, etc) are often used to express exasperation, disgust, disapproval, disagreement, and so on. Body language such as frowning, scowling, turning away, shaking the head, and so on, may be used to “voice” the “Me” focus.
“Me” Gets Personal
When a person has a “Me” focus they are already very ‘personal’ about things. They impose their own personal perspective on the issues at hand, and so they will invariably attach their feelings to their dealings with other people. It will all get very ‘personal’.
Everything is already ‘personal’ for them. They start out personal and that’s where it all bogs down. If a “Me” person is offended or upset they will be offended or upset with another person. This is extremely damaging to relationships, because the “Me” person will berate, scold, or otherwise deal harshly with the person they see as having upset their “Me” perspective.
No Me At All
Another way to unearth the “Me” focus is to see what life and conversations would be like if there was no “Me” in the picture at all. Imagine a situation where one spouse has forgotten to do what they promised to do.
In a “Me” situation frustration, exasperation, disappointment or sore feelings would likely steer the words or tone of response to express how the “Me” person felt about the other’s failure. The person who failed would be seen as and be treated as the “problem” in the situation.
Words of rebuke, scorn, anger, frustration or the like would be dumped on the person who failed to do what they promised to do.
If there was no “Me” in the picture, the only response would be to solve or deal with the problem created by the forgetfulness. The problem would be the problem, not the person. The issue would be assessed and fixed. The relationship would continue undamaged. It would not get ‘personal’.
If forgetfulness in the other person was a problem then forgetfulness would be dealt with as a problem. Forgetfulness would be the problem. The forgetful person would not be the problem. It would not get ‘personal’.
Looking for “Me”
I’ve said enough here to get you thinking and hopefully make you aware of the “Me” elements in your life. I challenge you to start looking for “Me” in your thinking, attitudes and relationships.
If you are Western you have a “Me” problem.
Even if you are life’s victim and never get to raise your voice at anyone, you will have a “Me” problem, probably something like “Pity poor me”. There is no escaping “Me” in our selfish Western culture, unless we have “died to self”, “crucified our flesh” and are now living by the power of Christ within us.
But that’s not an escape clause for you. You have no alternative but to be like Christ. And that means you have to stop being a “Me” person. It’s not all about you. It’s about Christ being formed within and God’s Kingdom coming on the earth.
I pray that God open your eyes to see yourself as He sees you – so you will be transformed to be the way He wants you to be.