“And do you know who was there and made that event happen?” Asked the person standing before me.
“That would more than likely have been you,” I responded over the receiver of the phone I was speaking into. I tried to smile, but it was getting difficult.
Though I was engaged in cellular conversation, this individual continued leaning over me chatting about their accomplishments. It was all I could do to stay polite. This poor soul had, over the past few days, been reminding everyone within earshot of all that they had seen and done over the past years. It ranged from what they had accomplished to who they knew.
There were eyes rolling in the room, but the “sharer” never clued into the mood they were affecting. I cringed for them deep down inside. “How sad.” I muttered to myself. But there was no stopping them from their self-ruination. As far as they were concerned, they were establishing their legacy.
So, my point? Usually, if we stand back and take notice, we come to find that the loudest voice in the room (and I don’t mean volume), is generally coming from the neediest soul. For example, this particular person I mention above doesn’t have much to boast of personally. Now, don’t get me wrong, they happen to be independently wealthy, but after that, there’s not a lot to write home about.
I got to thinking about it while sitting in rush-hour traffic, and it made me realize, those people do need a listening ear. Not a sarcastic retort. No matter how much they get under your skin, they are not going to change. Their problem is from the inside out. You and I can do nothing to change that.
For some reason, they are not feeling loved, needed or relevant. Thus the reminder of their expertise and more. They are frightened they will be shoved aside and worst yet, forgotten. They need to acknowledged and appreciated, and as we can see, they will go to great lengths to secure both.
We bystanders too, need to be careful to watch for that tendency in ourselves. There is a Proverb that says it best. It goes like this:
Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips. (Proverbs 27:2)
I think I am going to focus on that one for awhile. But enough about me…