what do you do when they won't shut up about themselves?

serenity_now_2007November 1, 2008

Here's a question for EVERYBODY ---SP, SK, BP, BK---- who deals with any individual who exhibits this behavior:

WHAT can you say or do ---if anything--- or just how do you personally cope/stay sane when the individual-in-question has a bad habit of CONSTANTLY reverting the conversation back to themselves? And not only that but explicitly, and again constantly, PRAISING THEMSELVES. In my case, it's my SM who does this, but it could be anyone in a person's life, so it's not really a step issue. Sometimes it's directly said to me, sometimes it's to my Dad, in front of me. Examples: "I'm the best thing that ever happened to you", "you love my sense of humor", "I've got great legs, don't I", "how could you ever function without me?", "everyone loves my Southern charm", "I don't make mistakes", etc. etc. etc.

So how does an innocent bystander deal with this sort of ear torture?

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smile and nod... What else are you going to do or say? She's insecure & hopes listeners will agree so she can feel better about herself.

That reminds me of something that happened recently. My stepdaughter walked into the room the other day, lifted her shirt to show me her belly, sucked it in and said "I'm skinny aren't I?" and at first, I had no idea what would be appropriate to say. I pretended I didn't hear what she asked and asked her what she said. When she repeated it, I said, "well, being healthy is important." and talked to her a little about the difference between just looking healthy & feeling healthy. (skinny doesn't always mean healthy, nor does fat always mean unhealthy, etc.) But, that was one of those 'what do you say?' moments.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 1:32PM
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So how does an innocent bystander deal with this sort of ear torture?

smile and nod...

Then vomit!!!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 7:24PM
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There's a book, "Why Is It Always About You". It's about NPD. Sounds like this could be her; and it explains how to deal with those who have the disorder. Geri

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 7:58PM
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I would be temped to say "......You're a legend in your own mind!"

I had a friend like that once. She wasn't really pretty and a bit over weight but every man she came into contact with flirted with her shamelessly, according to her. I finally told her that I could not imagine what it must be like to have such a harem of men at my disposal. She really drove me nuts.....we are not friends any longer. It really wore on me. Don't miss her at all.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 8:21PM
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I think I'd be tempted to throw it right back at her. "Funny, I thought I was the best thing that ever happened to him" or "Wow, I was just thinking about how great your legs are too!"

If I was in PC frame of mind I'd say to let it roll off as she's just making an a$$ of herself to those around her, but I'm testy tonight so I'm telling you what I would love to see you do instead!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 12:13AM
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I have a colleague like this. Not only she is the best...She also likes to talk about how everyone is after her, does nto appreciate her and is out to get her when in relaity she is the best. also about how she is single mother and has health problems and everyone should be considered of that. Yawn. I know it is not the same as a family member, but I am forced to spend a lot of time listening to her. My way of dealing is avoid her like plague and barely talk to her. Or keep it short. My other colleague however got fed up and told her last Friday that it is exausting listening to how everything is about her. Enough is enough. Now they are on bad terms. i would not say anything like that directly to a person but I would just stay away. In your case though you cannot stay away BUT you only see her once in awhile. at least you do not have to see her 5 days a week!

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 9:42AM
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I wish I knew "what to do when they won't shut up". We have next door neighbors who have only one subject ~ themselves and how great they are/what they paid for something/how many friends they have/what they said to somebody that didn't please them/what they would do to them, etc., etc. We can't go outside without them coming over and there is no such thing as them leaving, we have to walk off and leave them. If they come inside it's a VERY long visit. Twice they've come to borrow money but while they were here we had to listen to how much they had paid for something (much more than I ever have). Oh, and the money was to file bankruptcy. We don't want bad relations because we have to live by them but it sure gets weary. I suppose most everyone has someone like this in their life. If anyone has a solution let me know.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 9:36PM
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Oh my goodness. That's my biomom!! She would come home and say, well, they just love me at the _________. I did this, and it was so great, then I did that, and they thought I was so great, and that reminds me of when I was in college and they thought I was so great.

You get the picture. It makes me crazy!!!!!!! And then she gets really upset if someone says she didn't do something right! One time she did something at work, and someone said, don't say that to a customer because it's not company policy and she went nuts when she got home. I finally told her, why does it matter? They have a way of doing things and you have a way of doing things. But it's their business, so you follow their rules!

And, everyone was always flirting with her, liked her, wanted her to move in.

I have no idea what you do. JNM had a good suggestion "Funny, I thought I was the best thing that ever happened to him" or "Wow, I was just thinking about how great your legs are too!"

Only if you can get away with it as gently teasing though. Otherwise it would just make you look bad to your Dad.

I think, since it's your SM, maybe she's totally insecure and wants your approval. My SM is the opposite, she is the insecure type that questions why people don't like her, etc... and then we have to boost her up all the time. So tiring.

Can you preempt her? Start off right away telling her how great she is because she _________ or how nice her legs look in her new shorts, or how lucky your dad has her to take care of him? Maybe if you gush enough she'll stop?

Problem with that is your dad catching on to what you are doing. I know my dad's antenna would go up in a flash if I started doing that, even if I had my "sincere" face on!!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 10:23AM
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I arrived back home from my trip yesterday, but the final one she uttered I think I had a pretty good response to. It took all my strength not to laugh a rageful laugh out loud, b/c this was after a full week of her trying everything under the sun to get me to lose my s**t and start a fight so she could go whining to my Dad. So on the morning I was leaving, when she started talking about how she should be the next President of the United States, I said jovially and with just the merest hint of sarcasm: "Well, write yourself in and see how it goes!"

The only other response I thought of that a person can say in that general situation is "I guess MY greatest traits are my humility and being a good listener."

(Wish I'd thought of that one years ago, my situation is far too volatile & touchy to dare say it now, unfortunately.)

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 11:44AM
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I answer those questions honestly, even brutally so...

I'm the best thing that ever happened to you - no, being born was, but go ahead and flatter yourself if you feel you need to.

You love my sense of humor - well, I had to find something to love.

I've got great legs, don't I? - for your age & level of activity, I guess they are ok.

How could you ever function without me - much cheaper & peacfully to begin with!

Everyone loves my Southern charm - ok, if you say so!

I don't make mistakes - really, well you better watch out or they'll be nailing you to a cross pretty soon!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 1:56PM
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OMG ROTFLMBO!!!!!!!!!!!

"I've got great legs, don't I? - for your age & level of activity, I guess they are ok."

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 3:08PM
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