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To get irritated at people who have to make everything about them all the time?

(36 Posts)
chickenmadcat Mon 01-Dec-14 23:12:36

I have come across a few people like this, but currently am casual friends with a woman who behaves in this way too. I see her on the odd night out or lunch/coffee meet up, and also at the school most days.

She literally has to make everything about her! If anyone else says anything, she turns the conversation round into being about her. Someone might say they went somewhere, or have done something, and she will immediately launch into a story about when she went to that place, or did that thing. I recently told her that my grandfather had died the day before and instead of saying she was sorry for my loss or even really acknowledging my loss, she said "See that's what worries me about getting old, getting something like that!". He had dementia.....

Each time we all get together she somehow manages to make it all about her; changing the time at very short notice to suit her as she's popped to see another friend beforehand, or asking us all to send her a text once we're there. Or she'll be really late, and then interrupt the conversation and start telling us a story about why she is late. She can never just have a date, time and meeting place and just turn up. There's always a drama or another, or an adjustment to suit her.

That said, she is a nice enough person, and doesn't do it maliciously. I just find it a bit irritating. I've put it down to her being a bit spoilt as a child and continuing to think that she is the centre of the universe.

nocoolnamesleft Mon 01-Dec-14 23:17:10

YABU - unless you're being delightfully ironic. After all, posting this on yabu is making it all about you.... :-p

Blink1982 Mon 01-Dec-14 23:20:20

I get really self concious that i do this and try really hard not to. Im even doing on this post "i,i,i" yanbu

elephantspoo Mon 01-Dec-14 23:39:38

Why do you care? Why are you irritated? Does the conversation in social situations centre around her too much and you feel jealous? Or is it that the conversation flows with her control to topics you have no interest in?

chickenmadcat Mon 01-Dec-14 23:43:44

No, not jealous at all.

I find it irritating because she changes plans to suit her all the time and also because it would be nice to get to hear what others have to say without her jumping in and making it all about her all the time.

DixieNormas Mon 01-Dec-14 23:44:59

Well she does sound bloody irritating! She didn't even tell you she was sorry that your gd had died, just started on about her self.

Irritating and selfish sounding

LetticeKnollys Mon 01-Dec-14 23:49:06

Me too Blink!

UnacceptableWidge Mon 01-Dec-14 23:58:56

Me too!
I walk away from almost every conversation worrying, that I spoke too much, about myself and listened too little.
Have been practicing not saying 'I' lately. It is really, really difficult!

elephantspoo Tue 02-Dec-14 02:12:26

... and back to me.

I can see that if a group of you always change plans at her request to suit her, that's irritating, but aside from that, if the conversation flows and one person dominates the jumps from topic to topic, that is just a case that one person is dominant in the social environment and the others are content to submit. In business, if we can pair that with intelligence and focus it, we call it leadership.

Bulbasaur Tue 02-Dec-14 02:25:47

If not sharing your own experiences, how else are you suppose to relate?

That's the entire point of a conversation, to share stories and get to know each other. Unless she's monopolizing the conversation, then that's an entirely different story.

I do try to follow the rule of asking a question or two before chiming in with my personal opinion or experience though. By that I mean my adhd takes over and I say my bit which completely segways into a new subject.

Rabbitcar Tue 02-Dec-14 08:40:47

Yadnbu. But I've come to the conclusion that 90% of people are like this nowadays. I'm actually astounded when I meet someone who's not. People have no social skills any more. What happened to listening???

LastInTheQueue Tue 02-Dec-14 08:47:51

I've often found that people who do the whole I, I, I thing are the ones most desperate to be liked. People bond over common stories, so by saying "me too!" what they are often saying is "see? I'm just like you. Please like me".
Now, understandably, that does not excuse her lack of sensitivity about your grandad, for example, but it doesn't mean she's doing it on purpose.
People aren't necessarily malicious - just stupid.

I'm sorry to hear about your grandad.

GotToBeInItToWinIt Tue 02-Dec-14 08:51:46

My mum does this. It's so irritating. It's quite sad because I've stopped telling her anything about my life at all, I just listen to her stories about her.

hackmum Tue 02-Dec-14 08:52:20

Bulbusaur: "That's the entire point of a conversation, to share stories and get to know each other."

Well, it has to go two ways, doesn't it? If someone tells you their grandfather has died, the appropriate answer is something like: "I'm so sorry to hear that. Were you close to him?" or "I'm so sorry to hear that. How old was he?" It's not "Having dementia is what worries me about getting old." If that's your answer, then you haven't understood the basic rules of social interaction.

AnotherGirlsParadise Tue 02-Dec-14 08:55:58

YANBU. I find people like this monumentally irritating. Is she a 'two shedder', too? As in, you've done something, but she's done it bigger better faster and harder.

Kilfenora Tue 02-Dec-14 09:16:38

YANBU, this happened loads during my treatment for breast cancer. As soon as it got mentioned, so many people came straight back with "oh I had a breast lump once, but thankfully it turned out to be nothing." I used to really wish someone would just say "oh that's a shame, sorry to hear that" before banging on about themselves!

allypally999 Tue 02-Dec-14 09:25:53

I think she might be a relation of mine .. they are all like that

Funny I don't see them much anymore lol

Chatty987 Tue 02-Dec-14 11:01:02

YANBU. Very irritating behaviour and no self-awareness. Agree with the above, why can't people just listen sometimes. I doubt there's much you can do about it though. She won't change, so best to keep at arm's length and don't let her get to you.

elephantspoo Tue 02-Dec-14 11:21:00

It is natural for social animals to form themselves into hierarchies, and those hierarchical structures to be formed and affirmed whenever social groups collect. It may be an irritation to those who place themselves in a supplicant or diminutive role in social orders, but that is their choice to do so, just as it is the choice of those who dominate to lead the group.

People can complain about it, or judge themselves about their own actions, but both are pointless and either leave them with more things to complain about than they could otherwise have had, or leave them beating themselves up about how they may have been perceived others.

Why bother? I can't see the point to deconstructing group social dynamics and judging oneself and others, purely because one may feel not to have been sufficiently appreciated by a group of friends one spent a lunchtime or an evening with.

sparklecrates Tue 02-Dec-14 11:53:58

I feel for your friend. I do this when I am trying to share understanding. To say 'that's what scares me about getting old' would have been my way of saying 'it must have been awfully frightening for you here's your opportunity to say how dementia scares you' . I find it strange when people don't like other people talking about their experiences. I hardly ever mean 'ive done it better than you' if I talk about a trip to the same place. Some people may do but swapping stories is one way to share.

NewEraNewMindset Tue 02-Dec-14 11:58:16

My Mum also does this and I also rarely tell her anything important anymore. The easiest way to deal with these people is to just listen and ask them about themselves. If you have no expectation to having a real conversation you cease to be irritated, its quite enlightening.

fairylightsintheloft Tue 02-Dec-14 12:02:56

YANBU and I am quite surprised by the number of replies that say you are being U. Its not hard to allow each person to have "turn" in the conversation by asking a follow up question to what they just said and listening to the reply BEFORE chiming in with anything that starts with "I". elephantspoo your analysis may well be spot on from an academic sociological point of view but we are civilised animals with language and we can learn manners and social conventions that allow us not to dominate everything. My MIL is awful for this. She will butt into every conversation with her experience, her take, her view even if she hasn't really got anything relevant to add, in which case she will turn the conversation to something more "her" centred. We now wait her out and then say "so, as I was saying..." which I appreciate in itself can be rude, but if she is an integral part of the conversation and responds to what we have said first, that's fine and we respond to her and so on.

sparklecrates Tue 02-Dec-14 12:59:14

Hang on, hasn’t everyone responded with a story about themselves or their family???

scattercushion Tue 02-Dec-14 13:10:04

Enough about me, what do you think of me?

NewEraNewMindset Tue 02-Dec-14 13:20:23

Actually message boards are the worst place for the type of non conversation we are discussing so sparkle is right. Everyone does tend to chime in with their own story, although in a way I am glad as scrolling through hundreds of messages asking if the OP is ok and firing questions right and left would be quite dull.

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