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Why Do We Have an Over-Exaggerated Opinion of Our Own Importance?

Jason knows that he should interrupt other people to interject a thought or related story. He's a work in progress.

Why do we think we’re such a big deal?

Why do we think we’re such a big deal?

I can remember a saying my father used to mention frequently throughout my life. “People have an overexaggerated opinion about their own importance.”

I didn’t quite understand it the first time I heard it. It just sounded like something kind of mean to say about people in general. As I grew older though and saw what many people were like through the eyes of a young adult and into middle age. It started making more sense.

People REALLY want to give their opinions. About life. About Parenting. Doubly so about religion and politics. About ANYTHING. It makes you wonder why it’s so important for some people to need to be heard.

I think for many, it gives them the feeling of being intelligent, educated, and well-versed on a given topic. Because they have strong opinions about it, they feel that qualifies them to make blanket statements on a given topic. Even when nobody asks for that opinion they’re so willing to share.

It’s often ignorant or inaccurate. Especially relating to politics. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been in a discussion online about politics only to have somebody ignorantly classify a certain topic or point of view as being, “Socialist” or “Communist”.

I’ve been ignorantly called a socialist and commie too many times on social media.

I’ve been ignorantly called a socialist and commie too many times on social media.

Certain types of people love throwing around those two terms. Most of the time, they’re using them incorrectly or out of context. They tend to be the same people who are wasting hours a day arguing online with others who disagree with their beliefs.

They say the empty can rattles the most. That thought and the idea behind it make a lot of sense. With the rise of the internet and especially social media, many people waste countless hours typing out sentences and paragraphs explaining why they feel the way they do. Why they are right, and the person they’re debating is wrong.

This feels like a lonely existence to me. So many seem to think others not only want to but NEED to hear their thoughts about everything. I personally have far too much going on with my Bride and kids, friendships, my writing, and hobbies to want to sit down and look for arguments and debates to get into online.

Social media has made this so much worse. People have gotten far too comfortable hiding behind a screen and saying too many ignorant and angry things to other people. There was once a time when people didn’t discuss politics and religion very often, face-to-face. I miss those times.

We don’t all need to hear your views about everything in the world. All of the people who have a constant need to interject their unasked-for opinions about every little topic should probably take a breath and relax a bit. You’d probably find you have a lot more time to invest in more productive things.

What’s on my mind, Facebook? Probably far too much. I should keep it to myself.

What’s on my mind, Facebook? Probably far too much. I should keep it to myself.

It’s gotten to the point where I don’t even care to post as often as I used to on social media. I used to post funny status updates, jokes, and sarcastic thoughts on Facebook all through the day. I tried to post them about every three hours. People seemed to laugh and really enjoy them. I gained quite a following from doing that, which was great for networking in business.

As time went by, it seemed like more people were volunteering their opinions about my jokes. There were so many times when someone would insert a “Yeah, but…” about a JOKE. I’d have to remind them that my posts were not autobiographical in nature but just supposed to be funny and humorous. When you can’t take a joke, you become the punchline.

Anymore, it seems like people argue just to argue. They never seem to get tired of hearing their own voice, be it in real life or especially their online voice. It definitely wears on me and makes me glad when I’m not using social media as often as I once did.

I recently caught a one-week ban from Facebook for making fun of a group of people who hijacked a plane at 30,000 feet and started a worship service mid-flight. I may or may not have called them a couple of unkind words and swearing was definitely involved. I said what I said.

The one-week ban from Facebook was actually a nice little vacation.

The one-week ban from Facebook was actually a nice little vacation.

The week off from Facebook actually proved to be a relief. I did miss being able to post about my writing on my page. However, I DIDN’T miss feeling the need to debate or argue with people. Yes, I do it too. It’s all part of human nature to want to talk more than to listen.

I struggle with listening to people tell a story and not wanting to interrupt them or interject a thought. I feel as though I’m waiting for them to finish a sentence so I can jump in with an interesting thought or anecdote about the story they are telling. I catch myself doing that sometimes and decide to relax a bit, maybe even forget about the thought I was going to tell them.

We should work on being more captive listeners. Perhaps not look for any and every opportunity to respond or comment on someone’s social media post. Especially if we’re commenting to disagree or debate. Nobody wants to hear that. Nobody is going to change their mind about who they’re going to vote for just because you comment that the person they support is a clown.

We have an overrated opinion of our own importance. Let’s take the time to relax once in a while and not feel the need to make someone else feel like they are wrong. It’s not our job to educate every other person about all these little details, thoughts, and opinions they might have. Nobody likes a “yeah, but” know-it-all.