The title of the article has an uncertain meaning: But Enough About You…
I think this refers to the way that pathological narcissists characteristically show little or no interest in other humans. Sometimes you will get a word in, or sometimes better-perfroming narcissists will ask you how you are doing. After about 1/2 minute to a minute, in which they typically do not appear to be listening, they will rudely shut you down, with a line that is often jokingly referred to as, “But enough about you…let’s talk about me.”
It may also be a play on a famous aphorism about actors. The journalist goes to interview the actor.
An incredible number of actors and actresses are narcissists, but I guess it goes with the territory. This is one of the reasons that they have such unstable relationships – narcissists often can’t get outside of themselves enough to truly love another human being.
Partway through the interview, the actor shows some fake humility, “But enough about me,” he says, feigning interest in the reporter, “Let’s talk about you. What did you think of my latest movie.” I should not have to explain the joke to you. Even during feigned interest in the affairs of another human, the narcissist cannot resist turning the inquiry away from the other human and back to the all-important self.
As part of the therapy for mild narcissism with which many of us (possibly including me) are afflicted, I would suggest that if you suspect you have a narcissism problem, next time you are with someone, inquire deeply into some of the affairs of their live, their inner workings, feelings, value system, life history, relatives, etc.
Just throw yourself into the other person’s life with questions that show you are interested in them. I’ve noted that people really love this. People love it when you ask about them, sit down and talk to them, and show a real deep interest in the affairs of their lives, their life history, their values, feelings, psychological state, etc. You can even throw in some analyses, especially if they are positive.
The other day I told someone that they are not a Polyanna, because another person made a cryptic comment that suggested that they were a Polyanna. I said I knew them very well, had been watching them for years, and that was one thing they were not.
I also said that they seemed to have confidence and even a bit of egotism in the way that they carried themselves. I noted that many people appear weak, depressed, anxious, or with low self-esteem, but he did not seem that way.
He seemed the opposite – to project confidence, power, togetherness, and even egotism. I also suggested that he had a high opinion of himself, not a low opinion. I said I had been observing him for years and this was my conclusion. He agreed with me and seemed to be happy I was showing some interest in him.
So, if someone tells you their father left them when they were 3, or that their mother drinks too much or their brother hates them, ask what how they feel about that. Ask them why their brother hates them or why their mother drinks, or why the father left. Ask where the father is now. Ask if they still love their mother. Ask if, in addition to her drinking, she has good qualities too. Ask how she and the husband got along.
Did your friend use to live somewhere else? Ask what that place was like and how it differs from this place. Ask if they had friends of girlfriends over there. Ask why left and how they lived there.
Obviously, you can only do this with people you know well, but I cannot re-emphasize this enough: People love to talk about themselves! I think most of the time, they don’t get much of an opportunity. Most of us spend way too much of our time running around in our own minds hither and thither trying to fix or solve various problems, generally to no avail. Most of us are thinking about ourselves almost all the time, and we don’t need to be.
It’s great therapy for anyone to throw yourself out of your silly head for just a bit and into someone else’s. That’s it. Leap out of your mind and clear into the mind of another and just live there for a while. It will feel like a wonderful vacation.