Stealing Someone’s Thunder


Image ID : 44118396 Copyright : bowie15


Have you ever had a conversation with someone which almost feels more like a competition than an equal interchange?  Perhaps you’re excited about starting a new yoga class and you mention it to someone, only to have that person redirect the conversation by talking about her own experiences with yoga, to the point where you have been completely edged out of any chance to speak.

It turns out that many of us engage in what’s been termed by Charles Derber as conversational narcissism (check out his book, The Pursuit of Attention which is available on Amazon).  What’s the difference between a normal conversation and one in which you have been railroaded by a conversational narcissist?

Here are two examples, one from a normal exchange, and one from an experience with a conversational narcissist:


Sally:  I just got an offer to travel to Spain and I am so excited!
Chip: That’s so cool! I’ve always wanted to go there.  We have ancestors out there.  What part of Spain are you visiting?
Sally: Barcelona.
Chip: That’s amazing.  Hopefully you’ll have some time to explore.



Sally: I just got an offer to travel to Spain and I am so excited!
Chip: Cool.  I have ancestors out there.   In fact, there’s a town named after us.
Sally: Wow, that’s neat.
Chip: Yeah it is.  I really need to visit there.  My cousin says she can hook us up with the best accommodations out there.
Sally: Wow, awesome.  So do you know any good places to visit out there?
Chip: Well, when I go there, I expect the red carpet to be rolled out, you know what I mean?  We deserve that, you know?

In the second example, Chip took over the conversation, diverting the attention to himself.  He even ignored Sally’s question about whether he knew of any good places to visit in Spain.  In an instant, the conversation became all about Chip, and not Sally.

It is common for conversational narcissists to rather quickly jump in with their own personal stories rather than allow the other person to finish a thought.  The person’s story or complaint becomes swallowed up by the conversational narcissist’s story, which is the new focus of the conversation.  It’s also not unusual for a certain amount of bragging, boasting or name-dropping to occur with someone who has developed a strong tendency towards conversational narcissism.  Often, the conversational narcissist isn’t even aware that he has taken complete control over the dialog.

In this distracted age of social media and those irresistible handheld computers we call our phones, it seems that the art of conversation is deteriorating.   We’ve become impatient, entitled, and egocentric.  And many of us now exhibit behaviors which define conversational narcissism.  The art of truly listening needs to be relearned.




Traveling By Air Has Gotten Ugly

You might want to think twice about booking a dream vacation ANYWHERE these days after all the recent mishaps with air travel.

Below are several links to news stories pertaining to airline passengers who in some fashion were mistreated or misinformed.

One woman was bumped from an overbooked Air Canada flight and missed a $10,000 Galapagos cruise which she had booked well in advance. Another passenger, traveling on United Airlines, flew to San Francisco International Airport when she believed she was flying to Paris. A third incident involved a family who deplaned after the parents were bullied into giving up the seat which they purchased for their two-year old.

Then there’s the woman who was denied restroom access while mid-flight, and the United employee who cancelled a traveler’s ticket after an argument ensued regarding fees on his checked bag. I have also included a link to the now famous story of the Vietnamese physician who was dragged off an overbooked United flight.

Even our furry friends aren’t safe while traveling these days, as evidenced by the story of the giant rabbit who sadly met his demise while on a United flight. He was then cremated by the airline without permission from the rabbit’s owner.

What in the world is happening with air travel?

United Reaches Resolution with Simon the Rabbit’s Breeder as Owners Seek Answers, Compensation in Animal’s Mysterious Death

Time Zones, Reasonable Hours And The People Who Ignore Them

World TimeZones (analog)

I appreciate being able to meet people from other parts of the United States and the globe because they broaden my perspective and remind me that the world is much larger than what I am aware of as I navigate through a typical day in Southern California. As a result of my travels, I communicate relatively regularly with people who live in time zones that are 3 to 19 hours ahead of me. Whenever I attempt to communicate with them, I try to remain acutely aware of what time it is for them in their corner of the world. That is why I become very irritated when I get text messages and messages on Facebook Messenger in the middle of the night from people who are on the other side of the globe and think it’s a good time to initiate a chat with me. Some people are so clueless that when I respond to a message stating that I am trying to sleep, they KEEP MESSAGING me, causing my phone to clang repeatedly like a bell. I realize that I can (and DO) turn off my ringer, turn off my phone or ignore the messages, but there are two reasons why I respond to such communication attempts:

1. If I don’t respond immediately, I must deal with and endless stream of lengthy messages the next morning, scolding me for not responding.
2. I feel strongly compelled to inform the person that it’s late and that I must put an abrupt end to the conversation stream.

To be honest, I know that I test people when I tell them that it is late and that I am going back to sleep. The way to pass my test is to register a quick apology and allow me to rest, but some individuals seem to lack the sense to drop the conversation. One person who was an acquaintance I knew through Facebook contacted me last night past midnight and kept sending messages and images which woke me up repeatedly, so I told him to please stop. Instead of stopping, he explained to me that it was 12 noon where he was. Okay, that’s fine, but why did he keep messaging me, trying to engage me in a conversation I wanted no part of? I told him to please stop sending messages so that I could go back to sleep. His reaction was to KEEP MESSAGING ME. I have been in situations where I had miscalculated the time zone where a friend was, but as soon as I realized my mistake, I sent a quick apology and then stopped communicating with them. Unfortunately, this guy didn’t have the sense to realize how much of a pest he was, so my reward for his persistence was to block him.
I deal with people who think that because I am in the public eye and a physician, I must be on call 24/7. Not so, ESPECIALLY if someone pressures me to take care of their needs immediately when I have no professional responsibility toward them. The sense of entitlement some people have just blows me away! So-called “quick questions” become long, drawn-out consultation requests, and when I don’t have answers, some individuals cop an attitude after I have taken time out of my busy day to be cordial and helpful. It’s enough for me to consider telling everyone that they must submit questions to me during normal business hours, otherwise leave me alone. I must draw a line in the sand because I tend to sacrifice a great deal of my time and resources to help others, and run myself into the ground as a result.

Say Thank You

thank you
I truly believe that many people these days lack manners. It is relatively rare to hear those under the age of 40 say “thank you” when a gift or favor is bestowed upon them, and utterances such as “please” and “excuse me” also seem to be increasingly rare. Is this new generation of rudeness and self-entitlement here to stay? Failing to show gratitude is, in my humble opinion, a major character flaw. How hard is it to say THANK YOU, when someone does something nice for you? I don’t know how others were raised, but I was raised to say thank you even if I was given a gift I hated. My brain is programmed to say thank you whenever someone gives me something. Yet I have repeatedly witnessed younger individuals accept gestures and gifts without saying those two small words that carry so much positive energy.

Another thing I am hearing with less frequency is “excuse me” or “pardon me” if someone accidentally bumps another person. Some incredibly rude people have almost mowed me over because they weren’t paying attention to where they were walking or pushing their shopping carts. When this occurs, I can’t help but loudly say, “EXCUSE YOU!”, because I want them to at least be aware of how rude they are. This will at times get a “sorry” or “pardon me”, but at other times, the person angrily continues, spreading negative energy and bumping into people and store displays. I think some people honestly don’t know how to be happy, and that they cling to their anger and misery because it is all they know.

If you have a habit of neglecting to use the phrases mentioned above, try using them to see if they reframe how you see the world. Slow down and stop being so angry at the world. Be nice to people and appreciate their efforts when they do something nice. Express gratitude and spread joy. It’s amazing how powerful and healing saying thank you can be.

Respond To My Text!

texting and IG
I cannot figure out why people these days are prone to ignoring texts. I understand that it can be difficult to respond to voicemail messages and email messages throughout the day, but is it so difficult to respond to someone’s text? I have a tendency to be quite brief with my texts, and I am by no means the type of person who engages in small talk via text, simply because I don’t have the time or the inclination to do such a thing. However, if someone texts me with an important or time sensitive question or issue, I am courteous enough to respond as quickly as I am able to. Accordingly, if I text someone about something important, I expect a response. If I have to keep texting, my irritation increases exponentially with each follow-up text, and I think to myself, why am I expending all this energy to follow up when this person is being so damned rude?

There was one situation I dealt with recently which irritated me to no end. It pertained to a poorly functioning central A/C unit in my home during triple digit weather, creating an ugent situation. I texted the property manager regarding the situation, and waited three days. When I got no response, I sent another text and also included a note with our rent checks. Instead of getting a text response, I received a call four days later from someone else at the management company who wanted to send someone that morning to look at the A/C. I agreed to it and someone was dispatched to our place that day. If you’re doing the math here, it took 7 days to address an urgent issue. When I returned home I saw evidence that the service technician had been in our place, but there were parts lying around so I texted the manager with questions regarding the parts. I then waited another WEEK before getting a call from the associate who finally addressed my questions regarding parts which were lying around, then told me that the manager was often out of town. Excuse me? If that was an issue, he should have sent a quick text or called me to clarify his situation instead of ignoring me like that. In my estimation, that shows a glaring lack of consideration.

It seems so strange to me that people avoid texting when it is the quickest and most convenient way to communicate via communication devices. I think it is downright RUDE when a person ignores a greeting or an expression of positive vibes which are sent via text. More recently, I have been blocking people who have repeatedly shown a lack of consideration and a complete absorption in themselves. Life is far too short to deal with such insults!

Don’t Take It The Wrong Way…Friend Requests On My Personal Facebook Profile


I get a lot of Facebook friend requests each day, anywhere from 20 to over 100. I have maxed out on my profile a number of times over the years and have endured the weed-out process that some people will do in an effort to keep a personal profile truly personal or industry-related. This time, however, I am no longer able to clean up my friends list because I truly know the people on it. Despite being almost maxed out, I get random requests from people whom I do not know, and I have to delete these requests. Let’s do the math here: even if I wasn’t already right at 5,000 friends, how could I possibly add all the requests I get daily? If I had a friend-free profile, and received an average of 80 requests a day, I would max out in two months.

Some people are nice enough to message me beforehand, asking permission to send a friend request. What amazes me though, is how pushy and sometimes rude people can be when I kindly say no. Some people will cuss me out, saying that I am not that special and that they didn’t want to be friends with me anyway. Others will keep messaging me repeatedly, pleading with me to add them. Some will mention that “we have a few mutual friends” when I can see that the mutual friends are random. I have had to resort to blocking people who became aggressive or threatening. I have also gotten requests with messages along these lines: “You’re very beautiful. We should be friends.” This tells me that the person has no clue who I am, but just saw my avatar and thought I was hot.

Persistent FB guy

I will be very clear and say that a message stream similar to the one you see above will never be endearing, only extremely annoying. Anyone who dares to scold me for not responding shows his or her insanity and gets blocked. What I don’t understand is how a complete stranger can conjure up notions that anyone with even the smallest bit of celebrity status is somehow a messaging buddy, a kindred spirit, a best friend, or a virtual lover? Sorry, but that just spells crazy, and I will not tolerate it.

So if you and I don’t know each other and you send a Facebook friend request which I reject, please don’t take it personally!