Author Topic: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts  (Read 6693 times)

OttoVonBisquick

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Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« on: July 23, 2015, 11:30:08 AM »
Hey everyone,

This post may sound mildly insane and non-sensical, but bear with me.

For those who haven't noticed, my posts typically tend to take a somewhat self-interested or self-promoting note rather often, and this is the case for a lot of my conversations, too. I often both try and involve myself in conversation by saying things like "oh yeah, like when I did x too" or "That reminds me of the time when y happened, it was awesome!" or "I just did z and it's had this effect". It's sometimes thinly-veiled social showing-off, sometimes a cool insight that I think someone might benefit from. I'm not 12, and I know that the only people who are actually interested in what I do are core family, and the rest tend to either put up with it or acknowledge it.

I'll often have really fun, happy and/or interesting thoughts about myself and the people/habits/work in my life and whatnot, and I want to express it, but have no way of doing so without being entirely random, odd-sounding, or outright arrogant and brash.

Is there some sort of online chat room or something where I can vent this kind of stuff? I keep a journal daily, but I'm sure there's something else out there.

3okirb

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2015, 11:50:37 AM »
Hey everyone,

This post may sound mildly insane and non-sensical, but bear with me.

For those who haven't noticed, my posts typically tend to take a somewhat self-interested or self-promoting note rather often, and this is the case for a lot of my conversations, too. I often both try and involve myself in conversation by saying things like "oh yeah, like when I did x too" or "That reminds me of the time when y happened, it was awesome!" or "I just did z and it's had this effect". It's sometimes thinly-veiled social showing-off, sometimes a cool insight that I think someone might benefit from. I'm not 12, and I know that the only people who are actually interested in what I do are core family, and the rest tend to either put up with it or acknowledge it.

I'll often have really fun, happy and/or interesting thoughts about myself and the people/habits/work in my life and whatnot, and I want to express it, but have no way of doing so without being entirely random, odd-sounding, or outright arrogant and brash.

Is there some sort of online chat room or something where I can vent this kind of stuff? I keep a journal daily, but I'm sure there's something else out there.

You sound like me.  Like you, I've realized that it's probably not the best quality to have, but it's hard to stop myself.  I guess somewhere deep down I realize that it's probably a confidence issue in that I feel like I have to "add value" to conversations and make myself look good. 

In my business, I've learned that the only way to avoid this is to make sure you're really good at asking questions.  Instead of giving your opinion/story/answer and piggy-backing on the topic they're talking about, ask them questions to keep the conversation going.   If you have something you want to talk about, bring up your own topic when it's your turn and get a conversation started about that.

I'm interested to know what other people will say.

OttoVonBisquick

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2015, 12:02:25 PM »
I guess somewhere deep down I realize that it's probably a confidence issue in that I feel like I have to "add value" to conversations and make myself look good.

I'm interested to know what other people will say.

I think that's probably it. It feels really odd just sitting and listening to a conversation like a ghost, but asking questions would definitely help.

I'm interested in what other people have to say as well.

NumberCruncher

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2015, 12:06:15 PM »
In my business, I've learned that the only way to avoid this is to make sure you're really good at asking questions.  Instead of giving your opinion/story/answer and piggy-backing on the topic they're talking about, ask them questions to keep the conversation going.   If you have something you want to talk about, bring up your own topic when it's your turn and get a conversation started about that.

+1

Conversations are give and take :)  Try to monitor how much you talk vs. others and hold yourself back sometimes. Are you good at reading social cues? It sounds like you can recognize when people are maybe not so interested in what you're saying, but you're not sure what to do about it?

You can read up on this - things like "How to Win Friends and Influence People" or "7 Habits of Highly Effective People."  I haven't actually read these, but I've heard a lot of good things. The Wiki for 7 Habits has this, for example:
Quote
5 - Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
Use empathic listening to be genuinely influenced by a person, which compels them to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to being influenced by you. This creates an atmosphere of caring, and positive problem solving.
Give and take. :)

trailrated

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2015, 12:10:46 PM »
People like talking about themselves, it's just natural. Notice that you do, and try to realize other people do as well. If you have enough self control to get the other person talking about themselves just sit back and listen rather than making the conversation about you. A little balance goes a long way, you're starting off in the right direction by realizing what you do. :)

OttoVonBisquick

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2015, 12:11:14 PM »
I'm reading a great book called "The Fine Art of Small Talk," by Debra Fine.  In it, the writer details different types of Conversation Criminals (cheesy, but hear me out).  It sounds like you would fall under The Braggart and The One-Upper, and that's probably why non-family members aren't really digging your style.  I think you should read that book.  It helped me realize that I was guilty of being "The Adviser": a person guilty of consistently giving unsolicited advice to people, when they wanted empathy, not recommendations.   You are actually asking for help here, so my advice is not unsolicited, so as you can see, this book works wonders.

Good luck!

A great suggestion. Also, I've noticed, in response to your earlier comment about the quality of my conversation skills, I felt a distant pang of "wow, whatever", but then realized you're actually totally right. Not only that, but you made an observation I needed to hear. I'll check that book out. I'm definitely a "One-Upper" and "Braggart".

My friend is absolutely and "Adviser". He answers literally every question you ask, even (and often) without knowing the correct answer or even having thought about it, saying "Yes" or "No", but then "umm... Yeah I think so" or "I'm pretty sure". It's never "I don't know". But what's more is that if I ask about anything vaguely actionable, he will almost certainly begin offering the best advice on what I should do about it. Even with things like craps and "betting odds" when it actually made no real mathematical logic haha.

iris lily

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2015, 12:13:52 PM »
Op, you are getting some excellent advice here. Now my comment which isn't as helpful: why don't you just start a blog since you sound like 99% of the lifestyle bloggers out there. They love to hear themselves talk. Some of them even get fangirls and fanboys to stroke their ego. You can always delete the non-adoring comments.

OttoVonBisquick

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2015, 12:18:04 PM »
Op, you are getting some excellent advice here. Now my comment which isn't as helpful: why don't you just start a blog since you sound like 99% of the lifestyle bloggers out there. They love to hear themselves talk. Some of them even get fangirls and fanboys to stroke their ego. You can always delete the non-adoring comments.

lol not a bad idea. "Today, I won in tennis. ADORE ME"

MissStache

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2015, 01:21:41 PM »
my posts typically tend to take a somewhat self-interested or self-promoting note rather often, and this is the case for a lot of my conversations, too.

Here's an important question:  Why?

Do you just like hearing yourself talk, or is it a need to be validated/celebrated/built up by the people around you?  Or do you think they will find it interesting?

Personally, I am the absolute exact opposite of you.  I have an awful fear of boring people, so I will not tell people ANYTHING unless specifically asked. It actually drives people crazy because I never volunteer any information about myself.   I have to make a conscious effort to share things with people, but mostly I just ask a lot of questions when I chat with folks. 

thd7t

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2015, 01:26:42 PM »
You should be glad that you're aware of this.  When I was in college, my first roommate told me about the most popular guy in his high school.  He told me that this guy always asked questions.  You should try this out.  It makes you think about what the other person is saying and you'll probably get more of the reaction that you may want.  In addition, it helps people to open up to you (particularly people who are a bit more shy).

Kaspian

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2015, 01:28:10 PM »
Try to use the word "I" way less.  The natural narcissistic approach is not as effective at having people admire/like you than its exact opposite.  Don't tell your stories--instead, ask people questions.  Ask them to elaborate on their stories.  I know inside you'll feel like a volcano of self-indulgence is ready to spew out of your mouth, but don't do it.  One thing I've learned:  People *love* to talk about themselves.  Give them the conversation stage and microphone and they'll adore you.

OttoVonBisquick

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2015, 01:37:37 PM »
Do you just like hearing yourself talk, or is it a need to be validated/celebrated/built up by the people around you?  Or do you think they will find it interesting?

Personally, I am the absolute exact opposite of you.  I have an awful fear of boring people, so I will not tell people ANYTHING unless specifically asked. It actually drives people crazy because I never volunteer any information about myself.   I have to make a conscious effort to share things with people, but mostly I just ask a lot of questions when I chat with folks.

Ego and remnants of my lack of self-confidence, almost certainly. I've really turned a new leaf in the last 4 months after something that really made me have to take a look at myself, who I was, and why I act so defensively/bragging-ly, and have done a ton to turn that around. This resulted in a big change and and a desire to become a better person.

You should be glad that you're aware of this.  When I was in college, my first roommate told me about the most popular guy in his high school.  He told me that this guy always asked questions.  You should try this out.  It makes you think about what the other person is saying and you'll probably get more of the reaction that you may want.  In addition, it helps people to open up to you (particularly people who are a bit more shy).

Try to use the word "I" way less.  The natural narcissistic approach is not as effective at having people admire/like you than its exact opposite.  Don't tell your stories--instead, ask people questions.  Ask them to elaborate on their stories.  I know inside you'll feel like a volcano of self-indulgence is ready to spew out of your mouth, but don't do it.  One thing I've learned:  People *love* to talk about themselves.  Give them the conversation stage and microphone and they'll adore you.

Both great points, and someone else mentioned it earlier, I thought. I will certainly practice that as much as I can with my social links.

epipenguin

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2015, 01:48:42 PM »
I think it's perfectly fine to sometimes say "hey, I just had this funny thought....XYZ....hahaha! Right?" Or whatever. It can spark a funny conversation. The key is I think not to make that your only utterance style. And to listen to others without necessarily having to interject something about yourself. Sometimes the most appropriate response is just "that sucks, I'm sorry" or "oh wow, that's great! Congratulations!" so that you're responding to someone but not taking the focus off them.

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2015, 01:56:33 PM »
Op, you are getting some excellent advice here. Now my comment which isn't as helpful: why don't you just start a blog since you sound like 99% of the lifestyle bloggers out there. They love to hear themselves talk. Some of them even get fangirls and fanboys to stroke their ego. You can always delete the non-adoring comments.
Oooh, super harsh. Also, true, can confirm. Source - am lifestyle blogger. :D

I'll often have really fun, happy and/or interesting thoughts about myself and the people/habits/work in my life and whatnot, and I want to express it, but have no way of doing so without being entirely random, odd-sounding, or outright arrogant and brash.

Is there some sort of online chat room or something where I can vent this kind of stuff? I keep a journal daily, but I'm sure there's something else out there.

It's called Twitter. It's positively MADE for entirely random, odd-sounding, outright arrogant or brash. Express your thoughts in 140 characters or less, don't worry about sounding like a dick and you'll probably be a sensation. Totally not even kidding. Sign up for twitter. Anonymously, if you like.

expectopatronum

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2015, 02:01:20 PM »
I often both try and involve myself in conversation by saying things like "oh yeah, like when I did x too" or "That reminds me of the time when y happened, it was awesome!" or "I just did z and it's had this effect".

I like what dobedo said about types of conversationalists. The book sounds like an interesting read. My first impression was that you sound like a bit of a "topper". Learning to recognize this would probably be very helpful. One of my friends in college was the same way, and it used to drive me nuts. Learn to give credit to other people's stories, to allow them the space to be original, and to be very careful about following up with something "better". There's a really fine line between "that's so cool, that reminds me......" and "I've done that too". The former is more of a conversation transition (although if this is a recurring statement, then IMO you'll still come off as a topper). The latter is like, "Cool story bro". Try to open up conversation, not shut it down. Be relate-able, not superior.

It's not that you shouldn't ever talk about yourself (it's totally weird and frustrating to have a conversation with someone that doesn't talk about themselves at all...). It's just an art of recognizing when it's appropriate to turn the conversation subject back to you.

OttoVonBisquick

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2015, 02:03:31 PM »
It's called Twitter. It's positively MADE for entirely random, odd-sounding, outright arrogant or brash. Express your thoughts in 140 characters or less, don't worry about sounding like a dick and you'll probably be a sensation. Totally not even kidding. Sign up for twitter. Anonymously, if you like.

Been considering that, too. Not a bad way to get my bragging done out in the vast internet!

3okirb

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2015, 02:04:04 PM »
I know I chimed in above, but thought of something else I once read that seemed to help me get this in perspective.  As a matter of fact, it's good you brought this up because it's something I need to remind myself of every so often.

Pretend that during a conversation, there's a spotlight (like on a stage)  Be cognizant of where that spotlight is.  Are you flipping it over to yourself too often, or leaving it on the person who's speaking?

Phil_Moore

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2015, 02:27:40 PM »
My first impression was that you sound like a bit of a "topper".

Topper is what we call it in our circle as well. It can be pretty irritating, but a lot of people do it.

OP - I usually try to combat the instinct by remembering that the goal of a conversation isn't generally to "win" it. When someone says something, listen to what it is they have said, ask some relevant questions, take the piss out of them a little bit. Job done.

If you are doing it for the kudos, aren't your accomplishments always going to be more impressive when people find out about them from a source that isn't you anyway?

vagon

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2015, 05:17:39 PM »
What do you want to achieve from your conversation?
I am assuming this varies depending on the participants, so who did you have in mind when you posted this?

Trifele

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2015, 05:05:26 AM »
OP you are getting some great feedback here.  I can't remember where I heard/read this, but one rule of thumb that sticks with me for good conversation is -- when someone tells you something about themselves, always ask them three thoughtful followup questions before you (1) tell them something about yourself, or (2) give any advice

The_path_less_taken

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2015, 07:20:59 AM »
In my business, I've learned that the only way to avoid this is to make sure you're really good at asking questions.  Instead of giving your opinion/story/answer and piggy-backing on the topic they're talking about, ask them questions to keep the conversation going.   If you have something you want to talk about, bring up your own topic when it's your turn and get a conversation started about that.

+1

Conversations are give and take :)  Try to monitor how much you talk vs. others and hold yourself back sometimes. Are you good at reading social cues? It sounds like you can recognize when people are maybe not so interested in what you're saying, but you're not sure what to do about it?

You can read up on this - things like "How to Win Friends and Influence People" or "7 Habits of Highly Effective People."  I haven't actually read these, but I've heard a lot of good things. The Wiki for 7 Habits has this, for example:
Quote
5 - Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
Use empathic listening to be genuinely influenced by a person, which compels them to reciprocate the listening and take an open mind to being influenced by you. This creates an atmosphere of caring, and positive problem solving.
Give and take. :)


1+

Conversations are like dancing...back and forth and some swirls.

If you do begin by asking more questions, the "how did you feel about x" one is often the most interesting reply. And it doesn't have to be a side bar: "Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?"

It can be the best part of any conversation. "so when all was said and done, what was your take away from that whole thing?" will tell you a lot more about what a person thinks---and who they are---than the things they probably were talking about in the first place.

It's not always about a cigar.

sser

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2015, 08:15:51 AM »
I'm reading a great book called "The Fine Art of Small Talk," by Debra Fine.  In it, the writer details different types of Conversation Criminals (cheesy, but hear me out).  It sounds like you would fall under The Braggart and The One-Upper, and that's probably why non-family members aren't really digging your style.  I think you should read that book.  It helped me realize that I was guilty of being "The Adviser": a person guilty of consistently giving unsolicited advice to people, when they wanted empathy, not recommendations.   You are actually asking for help here, so my advice is not unsolicited, so as you can see, this book works wonders.

Good luck!

This does sound like a good book. Definitely need to check it out!

On occasion, I've had similar suspicions as the OP. Potentially part of it stems from being a bit anxious in social situations, and also from how I grew up communicating with family - I think that we were more likely to share our experiences and feeling in an attempt to show how we empathize. This can work in the family environment, but I've realized that some folks don't appreciate it when you unintentionally try to imply that you can relate or that your vaguely similar experiences are appropriate to help them (hmmm.... am I doing this right now???). Pretty sure there is also a underlying need for validation or something embedded somewhere in all of this, hah. Once realizing these things, I have really be working on developing more ways to be an attractive communicator and better friend.

Recognizing it is a great first step, though it will take time to figure out and practice being a good conversationalist. As many have said: listening/ understanding/ asking questions is a great strategy. Also, give your full attention to the speaker/ group. I think that people really do pick up on this and it makes them more engaged.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2015, 08:42:13 AM by sser »

Trifele

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2015, 08:28:53 AM »

Recognizing it is a great first step, though it will take time to figure out and practice being a good conversationalist. As many have said: listening/ understanding/ asking questions is a great strategy. Also, also give your full attention to the speaker/ group. I think that people really do pick up on this and it makes them more engaged.

Agree -- full attention is critical.  Good listening is a tremendously important skill. 


DeltaBond

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2015, 10:21:25 AM »
You can find some great videos on Youtube of Thich Nhat Hanh talking about compassionate listening.  And really, are you interested enough in the other person to ask those questions about what they're saying?  On top of working on conversational skills, look for others who share your interests.

wordnerd

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #25 on: July 24, 2015, 10:29:48 AM »
I'm not sure if your goal is to become better at conversation or find an outlet to talk about yourself. If the former, I agree that asking questions is the best way to go. Be patient, and, if your companion is polite or genuinely interested in you, the topic will eventually swing back to you. You can choose whether to tell the related story or talk about something else, but, either way, it's socially acceptable.

If you want an outlet to talk about yourself and make observations, blogging and tweeting can be fun. Medium is a good platform to try out as a new blogger.

If, however, what you're really looking for is validation (in the form of impressing other people), I would recommend some introspection and, if needed, counseling to work on self-esteem issues. I'm not saying this is you (because I don't know you), but I've been there. And, there's really no substitute for self-acceptance.

Zamboni

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #26 on: July 24, 2015, 10:35:49 AM »
A coworker pointed out that my ex-boss had this issue. Even on celebrations of another person's achievement (a graduation party, for example) he somehow managed to make it all about him. She called him "Topper." We almost all do it sometimes, but it is true that you should be careful if you notice you are doing it too much.

I've noticed that this is a common conversation pattern among young men, so you've probably been somewhat trained to do it. For example, my son and his friends will have these bizarre conversations where they try to out brag each other. The funniest one I overhead was basically "my dad is better than your dad" and after several rounds of whose dad was oldest, tallest, best at martial arts, etc. it finally ended with the other kid saying "Oh yeah, well my dad can spin on his head!" (I'm sure not true, but really funny.)

So now you have to untrain yourself. It's not your fault, but you need to be conscious of it, and it sounds like you are now, which is a great first step. Sometimes when someone is telling an awesome story, or something happens and it makes you think of your own awesome story, just resist the temptation. Asking the storyteller questions is a good tactic, as it telling them that their story or whatever just happened to them (if positive) is fantastic. Try just saying "congrats!" if they achieved something and giving a pat on the shoulder.

The book sounds good; I should probably check it out as I'm sure I can improve in this skill as well.

Good luck!

Louisville

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #27 on: July 24, 2015, 10:40:09 AM »
People like talking about themselves, it's just natural. Notice that you do, and try to realize other people do as well. If you have enough self control to get the other person talking about themselves just sit back and listen rather than making the conversation about you. A little balance goes a long way, you're starting off in the right direction by realizing what you do. :)
Yeah. Just shut the fuck up sometimes. I've had to train my self to do the same thing. It gets easier with age.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #28 on: July 24, 2015, 10:47:31 AM »
What really helped me was learning "therapeutic communication" in nursing school. While you're not trying to develop a hierarchical relationship (which this can, if the provider is seeking specific information) but the principals are the same.

The phrase "that sounds like it was very ----- for you" is super useful. As in "that sounds like it was very frustrating for you" or "that sounds like that was a very exciting opportunity for you". It acknowledges without shifting the spotlight at all, and encourages continuation of the communication. It makes people feel understood, and know you were listening to the underlying message of the conversation- their emotional state regarding the topic.

I would also say, as you learn your new communication style, remember that it is a skill. You need to practice it, and just like learning a new sport- if you practice it with bad form sometimes that can affect your form all the time. So I would honestly caution spending too much time on the internet as you learn this new skill. Online communication is very different from in person, and since forums are such a large pool, they are fundamentally self-serving: you choose which topics you weigh in on, you post your views, they are often not continuous enough that you ask clarifying questions, you don't seek to deeply know most of those you interact with, etc. It's all about giving and receiving information.

Best of luck. (I will confess I am an "advice giver" like one of the posters above- that is why I like forums, since the advice isn't unsolicited. And why I like nursing- teaching is encouraged).

Blatant

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #29 on: July 24, 2015, 11:06:38 AM »
I do appreciate that you've recognized a negative trait and are making an effort to improve it. Bravo.

That said, why not just learn to shut the hell up for awhile? I don't mean to be harsh. We're inundated with words and thoughts that don't mean much. Mine included. You'll never be wrong just by being quiet.

Good luck.

bacchi

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #30 on: July 24, 2015, 11:16:47 AM »
What if the other person is trying to do the same thing? So by asking questions, they're feeling badly talking about themselves all the time?

They correct themselves and ask you questions. You do the same. The feedback loop grows until the conversation is entirely,

You: "What do you think?"
Them: "No, no, what do you think?"
You: "I'm more interested in your opinion."
Them: "But I'd like to hear your opinion."
etc., etc.

OttoVonBisquick

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #31 on: July 27, 2015, 09:11:15 AM »
Thanks for all the awesome input. I've actually come to an even odder realization: I find myself being self-effacing even more so for the boost to ego knowing that I'm not acting arrogantly haha. It's almost like saying "I'm the most modest person there is".

I practiced catching myself a couple times just saying "Yeah, that's like when I did x" or saying "Oh yeah, I did that too, but I did blah blah blah", and recognized that it really had no benefit either to my status to who I was talking to, nor did it contribute to the conversation.

I even just spent a conversation asking questions about how a friend's night was (he had a bad night at the nearby casinos), telling him "ah, that sucks" or "Oh that must have been sh*tty" when he complained about the people/outcome. It at least felt like it helped him a little since I was able to sneak jokes in and let him vent about it.

http://www.amazon.com/How-Win-Friends-Influence-People/dp/0671027034/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

This.

Definitely going to pick that up for only $8+

OP you are getting some great feedback here.  I can't remember where I heard/read this, but one rule of thumb that sticks with me for good conversation is -- when someone tells you something about themselves, always ask them three thoughtful followup questions before you (1) tell them something about yourself, or (2) give any advice

Yep, sounds like asking questions serves both the purpose of the following:

Recognizing it is a great first step, though it will take time to figure out and practice being a good conversationalist. As many have said: listening/ understanding/ asking questions is a great strategy. Also, also give your full attention to the speaker/ group. I think that people really do pick up on this and it makes them more engaged.

Agree -- full attention is critical.  Good listening is a tremendously important skill. 

... as well as forcing me to just not talk about myself and avoid coming across as brash/arrogant/annoying/one-up-ish at the same time.

What if the other person is trying to do the same thing? So by asking questions, they're feeling badly talking about themselves all the time?

They correct themselves and ask you questions. You do the same. The feedback loop grows until the conversation is entirely,

You: "What do you think?"
Them: "No, no, what do you think?"
You: "I'm more interested in your opinion."
Them: "But I'd like to hear your opinion."
etc., etc.

I kinda doubt it happens like that. If someone is asked a question, the compulsion is to answer it in order to keep conversation going. I highly doubt people just set "question mode" on Steamroller Mode and plow into it and completely carve against the grain of conversational flow.

But I suppose that would be an example of the opposite problem as mine ;)

scrubbyfish

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #32 on: July 27, 2015, 10:28:38 AM »
There is a flip side to all of this!

I LOVE when people volunteer stuff about themselves -including celebrations/wins- and prefer chatting with people who do this. I find it frustrating and boring and hard work to spend time with people who don't. Trying to think of the question that will finally stick, drawing them out, and (unless I'm specifically serving in a listening capacity) waiting patiently for their expression, ugh.

I'm also reluctant to "draw out" people who seem to prefer reticence. That seems aggressive to me.

I also prefer sharing stuff I've spontaneously decided to, vs answers to probing questions.

My favourite conversations are one of two types: One person is listening intentionally (ref: Parker Palmer, etc), or all people are blurting whatever they like out in a little talking party :)

Bragging is one thing, but volunteering your successes and joys and ideas is not necessarily that.

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #33 on: July 27, 2015, 01:05:48 PM »
I practiced catching myself a couple times just saying "Yeah, that's like when I did x" or saying "Oh yeah, I did that too, but I did blah blah blah", and recognized that it really had no benefit either to my status to who I was talking to, nor did it contribute to the conversation.

If you want to contribute and share your experiences, but are concerned about stealing the conversation or bragging, you can also downplay your side, and follow it up with a question for them.  'Oh I did that/when there, but I blahblah which didn't work out too well/I had a hard time with, how did you like the blurpblurp?'

OttoVonBisquick

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Re: Help an egotistical young guy express his thoughts
« Reply #34 on: July 27, 2015, 01:20:01 PM »

how did you like the blurpblurp?'


blurpblurp

hahaha never heard of blurpblurp as a filler for something, had me dying. I just imagine some awkward person blurpblurp'ing their way out of an awkward statement.