COME IN…WE ARE AWESOME!
I know a gal who talks about herself constantly. It’s weird. I’m not exaggerating, but in every conversation I have with her—and I see her a couple times a week—she tells me in an indirect way how awesome she is. She invites me in to different stories of her past (or present) greatness. In every conversation she tells me stories of how she was the only one in the group who knew the answer. She was the only one in the family who could calm the crying baby. She was the only one at her job who could find a solution. She was the only one who knew where to find the lost item. She was the only one with the best and brightest idea. She was the one who was the crowd favorite. She was the only one the mean dog didn’t bark at. She was the only one the shy cat paid attention to. She was the employee of the month more than anyone else. She was the volunteer of the year more than anyone else. Over and over again, she paints herself as the problem solver, rescuer, hero, solution guru, deliverer, and #1 everything to everyone else. She’s apparently awesome…just ask her.
Like I said, it’s weird.
To look at her, however, you’d think everything BUT. She doesn’t look like anything special. She doesn’t act like anything special. She’s not outspoken. She’s actually rather quiet. But give her a little time, and she’ll let you know in her own subtle way just how awesome she is.
Again, weird. Weird, but fairly common. I read an article lately that said in 60% of our conversations with others, we talk about ourselves. Sixty percent! That’s over half the time we spend talking to someone, it’s centered on US. Apparently WE are our favorite subject.
But, there’s something I’ve observed about people over the last several years. What’s really interesting to me is that those who tell you how awesome they are, usually aren’t. The ones who feel the need to brag about some area of their life, job, parenting, ministry, skill, or hobby, or talent, usually aren’t as great as they tell you they are. And there’s usually plenty of evidence stacked against them.
I went into the DMV a couple weeks ago to get our tags renewed. I got a number, sat down, and waited like the rest of the poor souls in there who wished they were anywhere else but there. Bored, I looked around at the “interesting” décor of the place. On the wall, I saw a sign I won’t soon forget. It looked like a homemade sign to tell the truth. But there it was in big, bold letters, “COME IN…WE are awesome!” I had to look at it again…and again. I smirked, shook my head, and took a picture. My guess is that if I spent the day surveying the customers at the DMV and asked them if they felt their experience was “awesome,” very few of them would say yes.
You see, if you have to tell someone how great you are, you’re usually hiding the fact that you really aren’t. You’re probably covering up your weaknesses, crying out for attention, fishing for compliments, or very, very arrogant. In my opinion, the tellers of their own greatness need to tell themselves to begin living out their own greatness—that way people would SEE greatness rather than just hear about it. I guess my Missouri roots come into play far too often in these situations, for I’d rather you “show me” how awesome you are than hear your own stories about it.
In this narcissistic age we live in, if those of us who like to talk about our greatness would actually go out and accomplish a fraction of it (without bragging later), wouldn’t the world be a tiny bit better?
If you wanna be great, that’s great. Go for it. But, let me give you some advice: do more, talk less. Don’t just talk about it, be about it. Go be great in an honest, genuine, authentic, others-centered, servant-like, honorable, ethical, moral, humble, and upstanding way.
In the words of that great, and possibly arrogant, Apostle Paul, “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment…” (Romans 12:3).
So let’s sober up, y’all! Stop talking…and start doing!