So Jerry and I were discussing 'ego' last week. It seems to be a theme with our sushi meals of late. We tend to talk about it because he's Mr. Eastern Philosophy Guy and I quite enjoy getting a dose of the 'its not always about you' talk q weekly.
During dinner he told me about a dear elderly friend of his who had died years ago that had made the observation to him that just about every conversation can be distilled down to the speaker saying (cloaked in anecdotes, humor, facts, etc.):
"I am kinda a big deal you know"
The listeners replying in equally cloaked social niceties various responses ranging from:
"Yeah you are kinda a big deal, but I am a big deal too--this is why"
"Well, you are not really that big of a deal, but I know this guy--HE'S a big deal--this is why"
"I am a big deal, you are a big deal, that is why we get along so well"
"You were a big deal that one time, remember that time when I was a SUPER big deal?"
and so on.
Of course the hospital abounds with places to take part in/eavesdrop on conversations that will show this to be true time and time again. I was stifling a giggle last night as I heard it play out over and over again in comments such as
"Remember that time I told MD so-and-so that I wasn't a nurse to be messed with and he couldn't talk to me that way..."
"So then I was the one that picked up in NSTEMI when everyone else missed it..."
"Oh my computer wallpaper? Yeah, that is my new (insert car, motorbike, horse, boyfriend)..."
"Well, you know I worked (insert ICU/CCU/ER at Huge Tertiary Hospital) for years where we did countless (insert impressive procedure here)'s."
Honestly. It is true. And I know I am not immune. I catch (or don't catch) myself mid-sentence falling into the "I am kinda a big deal" statements all the time now and it makes me cringe.
Is that all the majority of our discussions are about? Posturing? Ego primping? Ego pimping?
I know this is no new sociological discovery but still I have been finding it a fascinating exercise to be mindful of this pervasive theme and attempt to steer from it. The worst is it permeates every corner of our existence from the "I'm a big deal car" to "I'm a big deal handbag" to "I'm a big deal skis" to "I'm a big deal bookshelves" to "I'm a big deal snow pants".
Ack. Who am I kidding. Even my blogs are just one giant "I am kinda a big deal" exercise in internet pontification.
I hate that this is true and I loathe that I've been a sucker to it for so long. So now the question is how does one reprogram oneself? Or how long does it take to not notice again and keep playing along?