Making everything about yourself

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Ashariel
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01 Oct 2019, 7:41 am

I've never been told this personally, but have read that it's poor etiquette to 'make everything about yourself', especially when trying to empathize with other people's issues.

This baffles me a bit, because I genuinely appreciate hearing other people's experiences, if they've dealt with an issue similar to mine. It helps me to understand what they've been through, and how they dealt with it.

I also find it to be better than giving direct advice. Instead of saying 'this is what YOU should do, in YOUR situation' - simply say, 'this is what I did, in my situation' - which is intended in all humility, not presuming that the other person's situation is exactly like mine, or that my solution was necessarily the 'right' one.

From what I've read, it seems the 'proper' thing is to just stick with validation. Reflective listening, 'it sounds like you're feeling XYZ'... Which I personally don't find helpful. I come here because I want to find others like myself, who have been through similar things, and unless they 'make it about themselves', I will continue to feel alone in my problems.

Would be curious to hear other people's thoughts on this issue.



NorthWind
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01 Oct 2019, 10:13 am

I think there are different ways of making it about yourself. It can be helpful to explain what similar situations you have been in, such that the other person can understand where your advice is coming from and how well it applies to their situation or sometimes simply to show the other person that they're not alone in their experience.

Making it about yourself becomes selfish if you are taking over the conversation and it no longer is about their problem but about yours - if they don't get to tell their story, because you take the spotlight or you turn it into a who has it worse contest. It also can derail the conversation if your problem isn't in fact similar to theirs, but you just take every opening to talk about your issues.



kraftiekortie
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01 Oct 2019, 10:22 am

If one imparts one's own experience into one's advice, it's not necessarily "making it about yourself," though many people mistakenly think that it is.

I've been told that too many times.

Trust me----I'm not "making everything about myself" when I convey my own experiences.



Ashariel
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01 Oct 2019, 10:29 am

Ah, derailment - I'm totally guilty of that. Not intentional, but something I need to be more aware of. Again, it doesn't bother me when other people's issues supersede mine, but I need to realize it bothers others.



magz
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01 Oct 2019, 10:34 am

Sharing experiences and relating them to experiences of others is not making everything about yourself.

Making everything about oneself that I find inappropriate is something completely different. It's when one tries to redirect all the attention and support to themself.

I've seen it many times on WP but never by you. In all your posts I've read, you share your experiences in absolutely healthy way.


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Ashariel
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01 Oct 2019, 11:04 am

Thank you, magz - I struggle to understand how I come across to others, and ironically one way in which I 'make everything about myself' is to assume that any character flaw I read about applies me. (Which it might, or might not - it's so hard to know, without asking others for feedback.)

The only situation where I get annoyed by derailment involves my mom. Sometimes I can only get half a sentence out, and if that half-sentence reminds her of something in her own brain... Well, now it's about her. For 30 minutes.

At least on the internet you can scroll past people who do that. :)



magz
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01 Oct 2019, 11:10 am

Ashariel wrote:
Thank you, magz - I struggle to understand how I come across to others, and ironically one way in which I 'make everything about myself' is to assume that any character flaw I read about applies me. (Which it might, or might not - it's so hard to know, without asking others for feedback.)

I know too well what you mean :) I guess it is part of the masking experience.

And yes, it's easier to ignore annoying people on the internet :mrgreen:


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Last edited by magz on 01 Oct 2019, 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

jimmy m
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01 Oct 2019, 11:12 am

One of the attributes of being an Aspie or on the spectrum is

* tendency to discuss self rather than others (one-sided conversations)

I am probably guilty of that. I am so wrapped up into my various special interest, that when it comes to conversations with others, I inject my special interest into the conversation. And I generally go overboard, talking for a long time about my subject or special interest.


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magz
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01 Oct 2019, 11:15 am

jimmy m wrote:
One of the attributes of being an Aspie or on the spectrum is

* tendency to discuss self rather than others (one-sided conversations)

I am probably guilty of that. I am so wrapped up into my various special interest, that when it comes to conversations with others, I inject my special interest into the conversation. And I generally go overboard, talking for a long time about my subject or special interest.

Lol, making everything about your special interest is so hard to avoid!


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NorthWind
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02 Oct 2019, 10:41 am

Ashariel wrote:
Ah, derailment - I'm totally guilty of that. Not intentional, but something I need to be more aware of. Again, it doesn't bother me when other people's issues supersede mine, but I need to realize it bothers others.

Just for clarity, when I mentioned derailing the 'you' was a general you, not you personally. Since I come and go I can not know for sure what each member does, but I've never seen you personally be guilty of any of the potentially inconsiderate ways of 'making things about yourself'.
A lot of threads change topic at some point. That's just how this forum works. However, few times I've seen threads where the OP ask a question, someone else mentioned how their problem was worse than the OP's in the first few replies, but it was a different problem not closely related to the OP's and the rest of the discussion was about this person's problems and the OP got mostly ignored. That's the kind of derailment I meant can be inconsiderate.



Ashariel
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02 Oct 2019, 10:57 am

NorthWind wrote:
Just for clarity, when I mentioned derailing the 'you' was a general you, not you personally.


I assumed that - but made it about myself anyway! :) Thanks for clarifying, and yes it does cross a line when the OP's issues get completely ignored, and the entire thread is hijacked by others. I've seen that happen before too.