What’s a “Me-Monster,” and how can I be sure that I am not one?

Good questions!  If you got the impression that being a Me-Monster is an unfavorable thing, you’re off to a good start.

You may not recognize “Me-Monsters” at first glance, but you certainly know them when they speak. From the moment a Me-Monster enters a conversation, it’s clear that things will never be the same.

They will commandeer the discussion.

They will always have a better story than you. They don’t realize it (but wouldn’t care if they did) that they strong-arm everyone around them into paying exclusive attention to what they have to say.

The famous comedian Brian Regan tells this story best, warning all party-goers to “Beware the Me-Monster!” They will swoop in and cut you off at the pass every time with a bigger and better story that will make yours look like nonsense and leave you feeling foolish for even trying to compete for a moment in the spotlight in the first place.

So how can you tell if you’re a me-monster? You may be completely unaware that you’re a repeat offender, but fear not! Here are a few tips for determining whether or not this monster dwells inside of you.

First, think about the last time you had a conversation with someone. Did you spend a majority of the time talking, or did you give opportunities for the other person(s) to contribute to the discussion?

If you’re always talking, but rarely listening, you may be a me-monster.

Second, are you an active listener? Are you paying attention to what others are saying, or are you just formulating your next talking points while they speak? Do you ask for information about other people, or do you only talk about yourself?  

You must listen to what’s being said in order to exchange meaningful dialog with each other.

If you’re not an active listener, you may be a me-monster.

Third, when others share their stories, do you trump them with more elaborate stories of your own?  Maybe you embellish the truth just a bit to ensure that your story retains the highest rank?  Do you feel the need to impress others or fear that you won’t be accepted unless you “wow” your audience with legendary tales?

If you seek to leverage your own tales by stepping on stories told by others, you may be a me-monster.

If you read these points and realized, “I am a “Me-Monster,” you might be wondering what do next. The answer is really quite simple. Dial it back a bit. You don’t have to be the driving force of every conversation. Let others tell their stories. Let them glory in their two wisdom tooth tales, even though your four wisdom tooth tale is much better. You don’t have to share every experience you’ve had in life.

Engage in meaningful conversations as an active listener. When the conversation is reciprocal (complimentary), you won’t come off as a big windbag. Others will want to hear your stories – and they will find you to be the interesting and entertaining person that you are!