A quick look at the various definitions of the adjective “self-centred” does not reveal any positive definitions or connotations.
Cambridge Dictionary has this to say:
Preoccupied with oneself and one’s affairs.‘he’s far too self-centered to care what you do’
- having a swelled head
- on an ego trip
- stuck on oneself
- wrapped up with oneself
The only synonyms in this list that could appear to be somewhat positive are “independent” and “self-sufficient.” Since I relish the fact that I believe that these words could possibly describe some of my own behavior I wanted to throw out my positive interpretation of how a self-centered approach to communication might not be such a bad thing.
As well, I thought I’d fight a little in “self-centredness’s” corner mainly because I’ve been called or named as displaying many of these self-serving qualities by my parents, friends, teachers, colleagues, loved ones and… on occasion, random encounter’s with our fellow Global Citizens.
If you can have quick look at the diagram below:
I’ve learned to show up to meetings, events, talks, workshops and even personal get together if I can remember with the following intention.
Phase I: Firstly and foremost my intent is to connect to the people I meet. – Connect as authentically as I can. No pretense I don’t try to humble myself out as my southern American upbringing would dictate. I also don’t try to downplay what I’ve done and where I’ve been in order to water down my total life’s experiences. It’s not my fault or rather it is my fault that I’ve chosen to leave my home town and my country and run my own business that expanded to 11 countries and allowed me to live and work on five continents. I don’t make a big deal about bringing this up but when I meet people from other places I try to relate my story and my experiences in order to have a deeper and more meaningful conversation.
Phase II: Connect your mind to connect your heart. – I show my humanity and endeavor to exude care and compassion for my fellow man’s challenges and pain both mental and physical. We all feel deeply about things and situations and we should never try to scale one person’s pain over another’s. A child bereaving the death of her pet mouse should not be judged differently than someone else’s pain of a bereaved loved one. Love is love and pain is pain.
Phase III: Give of yourself. – Mind, Heart, Body, and Soul. Give what you can as freely as you can. Offer your guidance, your life’s experience, your listening heart, your hug and your depth of human perception. Offer what you are prepared to give as unabashedly as you can give it. If it’s accepted fantastic if it’s shunned then appreciate that your gift was not yet ready to be received. We have all predicted things before their time. When the time is right then your thoughtfulness will be appreciated. Don’t look for a reciprocal gift as it normally does not come from the individual you helped directly but from another person or another source somewhere else either in the past or sometime in the future. You cannot give what you don’t already have therefore the person in need will probably not be able to reciprocate at that moment.
Phase IV: Grow – By following this natural progression of connection, caring and giving you will ultimately be forging forward with personal growth.
Through this higher level prism of perspective, both parties will experience growth. The good kind of Growth that cannot be relinquished. What I refer to as “the sticky kind”.
I wish you Sticky Growth from now on!!