05 Jan JUST ME and Just What It Means
I came up with a new word to add to my vocabulary last night. It was after watching a mind-numbing interview on television.
I won’t offer specifics.
We live in a polarized world – and whether it’s our government, business, or the local PTA it sometimes seems that civility and respect for one another has taken a backseat to making certain what “I believe is right” becomes the norm for everyone.
The “I’m right and if you don’t agree with me you must be stupid” movement is now fully underway and it’s rising.
Unlike other initiatives that actually stand for something positive (example, Me Too and women’s rights), the Just Me Movement is self-serving and is dependent on bullying or manipulating others to make certain your view of life is the only one.
And contrary to my wide spectrum of friends on both the conservative and liberal sides of the ledger, it is not tied to party affiliations…or socioeconomic status…or education levels. (Though I will concede there are some superstar examples of the Just Me Movement that come to mind.)
Few of us are guiltless when it comes to our intolerance of others’ viewpoints.
The abyss is widening.
I count myself in the culpable category. More and more I find I grow angry when I interact with people who are clearly (in my mind anyway) off center in their thinking and their actions.
“Fools,” I mutter quietly to myself. “How do people like this even function?”
Which takes me to the new word I am adding to my vocabulary.
The definition should be self evident – the individual so absorbed with themselves and their views that they become blind to everything else, and as a result function in a way that brands them as something less than brilliant.
No, it’s not very creative but I’m going to use it anyway – the next time I find myself fighting the urge to toss my shoe at the television, or when I lapse into a discussion at a dinner party with someone whose views are clearly moronic in my opinion, or maybe when I watch the pro athlete that manages to alienate his or her team through actions that I (in my infinite wisdom) deem incredibly inappropriate.
Narcissidiot has a certain flair I think.
I met a few in my decades in industry. Egomaniacs who couldn’t get out of their own way and wrought destruction to company cultures – and profits – and people.
I could say more but common sense suggests I tread lightly. Maybe it’s because when I look in the mirror I realize I’ve demonstrated my share of “narcissidiocy.” My crafting a word that points towards others speaks to my own deficiencies – which frustrates more than a little bit.
It reminds me of Michael Caine’s character’s famous quote in the movie Goldmember.
“There are only two things I can’t stand in this world: People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures, and the Dutch.”
Confronting my own hypocrisy isn’t quite as comfortable as I would want.
I’m not sure there is a long-term remedy for narcissidiotic tendencies. In my case I’ve resolved to do 3 things better.
- Listen more – seek to understand others and not just tolerate them
- Talk less
- Acknowledge I’m continuing to learn – and commit to making that a life time endeavor
Feel free to use it yourself when the need arises. It seems to help me – maybe it will help you.
Of course if you don’t see its relevance well then you’re just stupid.
“The only thing I know for certain is that I know nothing at all, for certain.”