Do You Have "I" Problems


Self-centered is defined as being egotistically concerned with self. So a self-centered person is one that is not concerned with another person's feelings, ideas, points of view, etc, (even though narcissism is closely related to self centeredness, we won't go so far as to put our characters in that category). I guess you can say a self-centered person has "I" problems. Let's put this statement under a microscope in the next few situations.

Do you think you're more than you are?
Do you think you're more than you are?

Is Life All About You?

Perhaps you're involved with, or know someone whose every conversation begins with "I." Maybe you are that person. Is it your habit to always focus on your own life and totally ignoring that of your listeners? Do you have to make your presence known with loud declarations?   Do you walk in and join the largest crowd and instantly take over the conversation?   You either use the occasion to promote your supposed grandiosity, impress with your knowledge, or to complain about your maladies, or slights, etc. At any rate, when you enter a room it becomes all about you. When you walk into a room, all eyes are on you, however, unknown to you not always in a good way.

Are you the mate, friend associate, family member, etc? Do you find yourself dreading being in the same room with them, either alone or in the company of others? Have you learned, without realizing it, to tune them out?

I'd like to go about this hub in one of my customary fashions, using my own invented characters. So let's get started.

Situation One

Let's begin with Bragging Bill. Family members are visiting from out of town. Bill comes over to visit his cousin, let's call him Accommodating Adam, who is with his in-laws. Bill walks in, not knowing a single soul, except for Adam. After a few pleasantries, Bill begins bragging, I mean really bragging. Bill, in so many words, begins with, "I am a Stockbroker, (true), I've made millions, for myself and others, (um), I own a mansion near the Mayor's home, I own a boat, I'm contemplating buying a plane, (ridiculous)." Poor Accommodating Adam, all eyes are focused on him, incredulous at the outlandish claims of his cousin. With every word coming out of Bill's mouth, Adam is slinking lower and lower in his seat, blushing with embarrassment. When Bill leaves, the biggest laughs ensues. All of these claims, except for the Stockbroker claim, proved not to be true, and even at that he was not a very good one. Every subsequent encounter with Bragging Bill was the same, until he was unmasked. This was an actual event.

Now this was outright lying. But what if there is a grain of truth to what the person is saying.

Situation Two

The next few characters are contrived.

First we have Very Boastful Barbara. Now Barbara is very beautiful, highly intelligent, very successful, and believe it, she's very aware of all of these attributes, and she makes sure everyone else is also aware of them. And we have Modest Millicent. Millicent is not "as well put together," but equally successful. When Barbara enters a room all eyes focus on her, just the way she likes it. She never misses an opportunity to, as she puts it, "keep Millicent in her place." Both work for a very successful Fortune 500 company. Each was hired for what they had in their heads, not for what they look like.

At the annual company awards dinner, both were given awards for the outstanding work done for the company. However, Barbara was given the top award. As both are surrounded by co-workers receiving congratulations, Barbara uses this occasion to make sure everyone knows that she's the best. Millicent is just as happy for Barbara as everyone else, and lets her know it. That's not good enough for Barbara.

Barbara begins her not so veiled put downs with, "you see Millie, being a visual society, let's face it, physical appearances go a long way in this world, and that's why I am number one, just kidding,(not).But anyway, I'm very conscious of my weight, thin is always in you know. Going to the best schools, not a state school makes all the difference. I make sure that I'm seen with the right people, that's not hard for me to do, because I'm naturally a magnet for the who's who. I always buy my clothes at Neimans, like this dress, it cost $500.00, and I only wear Prado shoes, see, all of these things make a difference. When I walk into a room all eyes are naturally on me, and for good reason, I know what it takes to make things happen for me." Millicent says, "You know, you're right Babs, (no one calls her that), and I'm happy for you." As Barbara walks away certain that she's kept Millicent in her place, and polished her own image, all onlookers shake their heads in disgust and, I might add, a tad bit of humor.

Situation Three

Next we have Bearing The Burden Bradley. Bradley, as he puts it, has to always carry the load of his whole family, his friends etc. Bradley, on one of his rants about how no one appreciates him for what he does, or have done for others, begins with. "I can't believe it, after all I've done for this family, and my cousin's sister-in-law's sister didn't even invite me to her son's wedding. So what, I don't know them, but I deserve to be at this wedding, after all when my cousin needed a ride to the store last year, who did she call, ME." Mind you now, Bradley says no, more times than he says yes, when asked for a favor, but let him tell it he's always there for everyone. "And my mother knows she should have spoken up, after all I do for her, after all when she needed her medication 3 months ago, who sent his son to pick it up, ME. Nobody appreciates me. Speaking of appreciation, my wife, asking for a new dress, I just bought her one last year, does she think I'm made of money, (actually he is, well to do that is). Let's not even mention this country club, what's this about donating money for the homeless, I already donated to that other charity, after all I'm one of the biggest contributors in this club." One by one, all of Bradley's listeners ease away, after all no one could get in a word edgewise.

Situation Four

We've already met Complaining Calvin (OH WHAT A BEAUTIFUL DAY...YEAH BUT). When Calvin enters a room an audible sigh is usually heard. Oh here goes. Patient Patty and a group of co-workers are discussing Battered Benjamin's terrible accident. All are in agreement that after work they'll pay a collective visit to him in the hospital. Calvin, overhearing this, chimes in with, "I don't think I'll be able to make it, my rash is particularly bad today, not to mention with this weather my arthritis is acting up, (he doesn't have arthritis yet, just a bum knee, from an old childhood football injury, and he uses that to the max). And oh, did I mention I think I'm catching the flu. I woke up this mornings with the worst cough, (not heard yet by anyone). Did I tell you about the time I had the flu so bad that I took to my bed for three days and it was so bad,(just about a hundred times), that I wished that I was dead. It started with a flu shot, I guess it was a bad strain. Within minutes of taking the shot I wanted to die, and I had a temperature of over 103 Fahrenheit. I'll never forget that, (neither will anyone else). And so on, and so on.

Just one more

What about, Know It All Ned. I'm not going to give Ned any dialogue, I'll just tell you about him. He's the guy that is never surprised about anything, he already knows it. You tell him about something you just heard or read about concerning this heretofore unknown ailment, and guess what, he already knows it. You even tell him about an ailment that you just found you had, and again, he, as he says, figured as much. But yet when he tells you something that he knows, you're supposed to be surprised, and when you are, or acts surprised he makes you feel like an idiot, saying in his most incredulous tone, " you didn't know that." Even in a group, no matter how many scenarios are presented, he already knows it. OH, so maddening!


Now if you find yourself in any of the situations above, and you wonder why no one stays around long when you enter a room or a conversation. Guess what folks, you're not fun to be around, and more times than not you're the fodder for jokes when you leave the conversation. But all is not lost, this can all change. What do you think should be your course of action? Um, could it be you need to examine yourself honestly, and possibly change the way you do things. Of course this sounds so simplistic, but aren't some answers to what ails us is that, SIMPLE.

For instance, how about you, Know It All Ned, couldn't you let someone else have the spotlight for once, can't they know something you don't know for once. Even if you do know it, let them bask in the spotlight for a change, after all they, like you have spent years acquiring knowledge. Can they, this once tell you a thing or two. I'm just saying.

What about you, Very Boastful Barbara, look around you, unfortunately for you, that is, beautiful, smart people come a dime a dozen nowadays. It's true, must be something in the water, I see them everyday. So jump down off that horse and take a look around you, you'll find that you're not that special after all. Along with all that beauty and knowledge, acquire a little, character and humility. Again, just saying.

I won't belabor this any longer, if you find yourself in any of these situations or even close, as Michael Jackson said, "take a look at the man in the mirror," and ask him to change his ways.

I tell you what, give this new way a test the next time you're tempted to perform in your same old way, and see what happens. At the very least you will be happier with yourself.

More by this Author

Comments 51 comments

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

There are definitely a lot of 'I' people about - a lot. You described them so well. Thank you for a very good hub. The trouble is that these people won't get the message who need it.

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California Author

Hello, hello, you know you're right not getting to the right people. Thank you though for reading and commenting. Please come back again soon.

chinweike profile image

chinweike 7 years ago from Glasgow, UK

Hi Fastfreta, you did so well in this hub. Hello Hello made a point that those that need this most may not come acros it. To this end, i will like to reproduce this article in my blog in the motivation niche. Hope you don't mind?

let me know what you think

shyonegb 7 years ago

Fastfreta, well done on this hub and yet so true. When the "I" people lose everything in life (financially) how would they cope? Would they appreciate what little they do have? Society seems to think that having everything means your something and that is further from the truth. Having little and appreciate what you have makes you a better person. No one wants to hear people bragging about themselves, how boring.

RevLady profile image

RevLady 7 years ago from Lantana, Florida

One of the things that sends me running is when a conversation is over saturated with "I." It is apparent that the speaker's world consist of only themselves. What a lonely place it must be.

This is one of the reasons why staying in God's Word is a Christian's way of life. Like Paul, we have nothing to boast in except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

Great hub fastfreta!

Forever His

Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 7 years ago from Delaware

Very good hub with very realistic scenarios.

I'm glad I don't identify myself in anything written. It means I don't have to change a thing because I'm doing really well!

Just kidding, wanted you to know I get the point. ;-)


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 7 years ago

Thank you FF. Hey - were you talking about me...cause I...

tobey100 7 years ago

Once again, you've nailed it. I loved this hub for more reasons than I can say. I do believe I know one of each category. Sadly, they never seem to realize how others view them. Sorry to say, we live in an 'I' world don't we?

Ok, now let me tell you about what an amazing person I am!!! Just kidding.

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California Author

Thank you all for taking the time to read and weighing in on this hub. I totally agree with all of your assessments. Please, all come back soon.

Yes chinweike I do give my permission to reproduce this in your blog, give me direction to it so I can read it for myself, thanks for that high compliment.

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 7 years ago from Bishop, Ca

I do believe I've known all the folks you've mentioned, fastfreta, and unfortunately I have seen a bit of myself in all of them. What is necessary is to learn to listen and value other human beings, as you have so beautifully pointed out!

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California Author

Thank you so much lorlie6 for taking time to read my hub, and for your honesty on this issue, and I do agree, listening and learning to value others is what's necessary for change. I couldn't have said it better myself, thanks for that. Please come back.

Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 7 years ago from London, UK

Beautiful Hub. I like the Scenario's - Particularly Ned. He made me laugh. It's nice to listen to people and hear them.

Wishing you a Happy New Year.

Best Wishes. :)

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California Author

Thank you Lady_E as always I appreciate your comments. Thank you and I know your year will be happy. See you soon.

HubCrafter profile image

HubCrafter 7 years ago from Arizona

Dear fastfreta:

Love the opening picture! Nice touch.

You're a powerhouse in this Hub, my dear.


Veronica Allen profile image

Veronica Allen 7 years ago from Georgia

So nice to see another one of your - what I endearingly call - life lesson hubs. You made me laugh and think all at the same time. Thanks so much for helping us all stop and think about how we come across to others, and how we truly are as individuals.

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California Author

Thank you both for stopping, and for your encouragement. Thank you Hubcrafter for your compliment. And you Veronica, I'm glad to see you, I always look forward to your critique of my work, and as always I thank you for it. Again thank you both for reading my hub, please come back soon.

habee profile image

habee 7 years ago from Georgia

Great hub, as always. Love the "I problem" term!

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California Author

Thanks habee, great to see you as usual, by the way congrats on your 100 score the other day. See you again soon.

profile image

patspnn 7 years ago from NYC

you've said a mouth full and those are the words I've been looking for-I'll watch to see I don't become one of those folks. I better watch out for the I business. excellent hub

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California Author

Thanks patspnn for stopping by and reading, your comments are cute, thanks again. Please stop again sometime.

AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

I, lololo am a we person but I do know Ned's and a Burden Bradley or two , they will drive you nuts! This is such a wonderful hub and I (we) hope that many will learn from it! Happy New year! :)

Jeffrey Neal profile image

Jeffrey Neal 7 years ago from Tennessee

Well, fastfreta, *I* think that this hub was very good and informative, and *I* shall need to review some negative behavior traits of *my* own. Hopefully *I* have not been as unpleasant as some of your characters, but *I'm* sure there have been times...

:-) I really did enjoy this, great hub! Happy New Year!

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California Author

Dear AE and Jeffrey I so appreciate you two for stopping and reading my hub.

AE, I know you are a we person, an I person could not have done what you did for us hubbers, so I applaud you for that and for being who you are.

Jeffrey I don't really know you from your hubs yet, but you seem like a genuinely nice person.

Thank you both for stopping again, please stop again and read more.

2uesday profile image

2uesday 7 years ago

Good hub- but now you've done it - next time I have to listen to one of these type of 'I' people I shall think of your hub and have to stifle a giggle. Thanks for making me smile, I like how you write. Opps four 'I's in my comment.

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California Author

Thanks again 2uesday for visiting my hubs, and thanks for your comments. See you soon?

chrismarva profile image

chrismarva 7 years ago

I liked the hub

I thought the topic very interesting

I see that many would agree

I was hoping it was about eyes

I have a real problem there

I have to tell you something

I think your great


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California Author

Oh, Chris I think you're great too, you can make poetry from anything. Thanks for that, I'll keep it close to my heart. Please do stop over again soon.

tim-tim profile image

tim-tim 7 years ago from Normal, Illinois

We all know some of "I" people. I tend to avoid having conversations with them. Great hub,well written! Thanks.

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California Author

Thanks tim-tim for stopping and reading, please come again.

chinweike profile image

chinweike 7 years ago from Glasgow, UK

Hi Fastfreta, I have reproduced this article in my motivational blog and here is the link

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 7 years ago from Southern California Author

Thanks chinweike, I'll go over and take a look.

christryon 6 years ago

Hi fastfreta, I really related to most of the people you mentioned. I know one personally that fit more than one of those descriptions, which is precisely why I not longer have a relationship with that person.

I do have an issue or two to work on. I am far from perfect. I am enjoying reading your hubs.

Enjoy your evening.

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California Author

Thanks christryon for validating this hub. We all have something to work on, ergo the purpose of the hub. Thanks again for stopping, hope to see again you soon.

lisadpreston profile image

lisadpreston 6 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

This was one of the most brilliant hubs I have read. Geez, this was good. I know all of these people that you gave examples for and at certain immature times in my life I have been them myself. Dagnabbit, you're insightful to people and all of their illusions of themselves!!!!!!!!!!!!

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California Author

Thanks again Lisa. I'm humbled by that comment. Again welcome back. I'm coming over to see your latest hubs. Thanks for stopping and stay well.

mquee profile image

mquee 6 years ago from Columbia, SC

You covered a lot of ground here and hit the nail on the head. Very entertaining, but factual as well. Thanks for sharing.

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California Author

Thank you mquee for the encouraging comment. And thank you so much for stopping, please come again.

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 6 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

I had to laugh because these types really do exists in various shades. I know I'm a little me centered because I relate everything back to me like I'm doing right now :-)

The worst one is probably Know it all Ned, he makes an enemy of everyone.

Good hub, makes one think, especially the one writing this comment who uses "I" all too often in his comments. (I know, writing in the third person doesn't count!)

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California Author

Well if using "I" too much, I guess I'm guilty too. But I'd rather do me, especially in my comments, than anyone else, because I might offend if I use others too often.

Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 6 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

You can use me as a "bad" example as long as your intention is not to make me feel bad about myself!

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California Author

Hey Alexander Mark I wouldn't do that.

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Loved this hub. Unfortunately I know so many I's in this world. You can be talking to them and if it does not relate to them it is as if everything you are saying just goes over their head or it is as if you have never said anything. Drives me crazy!! Up and Awesome. Great Hub!

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 5 years ago from Southern California Author

Ah, Susan, you're so right, it's these ones you shy away from when you need to talk about something serious. Thank you so much for stopping, taking the time to read, and leave a comment. See you later.

Powerpoe1 profile image

Powerpoe1 5 years ago

"I" really enjoyed reading your hub. Congratulations! on your success with HubPages. "I" will continue to follow your hubs. Have a great day! : )

"Do you have 'I" Problems? ~ Excellent Hub

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 5 years ago from Southern California Author

Thank you very much Powerpoe1, for taking time to read and leave a comment. I'll be back over to read more of your hubs.

Ashantina profile image

Ashantina 5 years ago

A thoroughly entertaining read FF!

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 5 years ago from Southern California Author

Thanks Ashantina so much for reading, please come back.

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

OMG - I know 2 people just like this. It's always all about them. Unfortunately one is related to me so I just put up with it. But it really bothers me and I don't know what to do about it.The one who is related to me has been like this for 30 years. Urgggggggggh. Very frustrating. I just usually, sit back and let her have at it. Great hub and voted UP!


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 5 years ago from Southern California Author

Thanks vocalcoach, I wrote this because I also know a few like that. I have a trick that I use at times, I break in and make it all about me, and sit back, and watch them shut down, and suddenly have somewhere to be or something to do. Try it sometimes. Thanks again for stopping and reading, come back.

EGamboa profile image

EGamboa 3 years ago from West Palm Beach

Oh my dear, you've really spelled it out. Um, my spouse may be one of these, I'm not saying which… maddening!

fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 3 years ago from Southern California Author

Thanks EGamboa. Just from your comment, I think I know which one, Hahaha.

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