8 Ways to Be Less Self-Obsessed
Far too many of us are self-obsessed.
Self-obsession is an epidemic in the modern world. New technologies and the comfort of modern life give us too much opportunity for self-obsessing.
Self-obsession is a trap it’s all too easy to fall into. And it can bring us great harm.
Self-obsession is a straightjacket that can prevent us from being our happy, spontaneous best-selves.
Most of us would benefit from being less self-obsessed. The less self-obsessed we become, the freer we become.
Here are 8 ways to be less self-obsessed.
Learn About History
Learning about history teaches us perspective. Our little worries seem so petty when compared to the hardships humans suffered throughout history.
Tragedy and brutality were the norm in human history. Deeply understanding this allows us to put our self-obsessive thoughts into perspective.
A great example of compelling history content is the Hardcore History Podcast by Dan Carlin.
Other subjects that can provide us with a healthy dose of perspective are physics and astronomy.
Contemplating history, the cosmos, or nature allows us to see how insignificant our self-obsessions are. In seeing this, we become free.
Become a Parent
Becoming a parent makes people less self-obsessed. Animal instincts kick in and a person becomes far more interested in their child’s well-being than in their own.
People can certainly be parents and yet remain self-obsessed. But caring for a child will usually (and ideally) necessitate at least some reduction in self-obsession.
The same effect can come from caring for any dependant, such as an adopted child, an old or vulnerable person, a pet even.
By putting the wellbeing of others above your own, and taking responsibility for others, you can learn to be less self-obsessed.
Volunteering for a charity can make you less self-obsessed. Working with people who are less fortunate than you can give you some much-needed perspective.
Apply to volunteer with a local charity… keeping old people company, feeding the homeless. Volunteer in whatever way speaks to you.
With the new perspective that volunteering will give you, self-obsessing will seem pathetic. And this is a good thing.
Stop Looking in the Mirror
The more you look in the mirror, the more self-obsessed you become.
Many environments in the modern world contain lots of mirrors. Public bathrooms, shops, the gym; mirrors everywhere!
Looking in the mirror forces you to think about yourself. It breeds self-obsession.
Whether your reflection provokes a positive or negative reaction in you, it always makes you think about… yourself. Not looking in the mirror will allow you to (at least somewhat) forget yourself.
Your physical appearance is important (to an extent). But you want to ‘set and forget’ your appearance management. Stay in shape, dress decent, be clean, groom within reason… and then forget about it.
Avoid self-indulgent mirror gazing, and reap the rewards of being less self-obsessed.
Get Off Social Media
Social media usage breeds self-obsession. You take a picture (or write a remark), edit it, post it for the world to see, and wait…. “Do they like me??” “Do they approve of me??” “How will people respond to me??” Clearly, this type of behaviour encourages self-obsession.
Social media is addictive as all hell! It is a drug that too many of us use to escape from feelings of boredom, apathy, and depression.
Getting off social media will make you much more psychologically healthy. It will also make you happier and less self-obsessed.
Stop Consuming Personal Development Material
Putting too much focus on personal development can lead to self-obsession.
Personal development material can be very valuable. But it can also make you over-analyse yourself and your life.
With personal development, less is more. Take in some good material… and then stop. Put what you’ve learned into practice instead of just moving on to the next book or course. Avoid becoming a personal development junkie.
Read widely in subjects that interest you and take you out of yourself, such as history, science, and economics. This will encourage you to focus on the world outside of yourself and to be less self-obsessed.
Do Novel Things
Self-obsession can be a deeply ingrained thinking habit.
You can change this self-obsession habit by deliberately doing novel things that shock your system. When you change how you act in the world, your thought patterns change also.
Exposing yourself to new sights, sounds, smells, and realities will rejuvenate your thinking.
Meet new people, move through your city by different routes, travel to new places. Novel experiences will snap out of your dreamy autopilot state of self-obsession.
Watching comedy is a wonderful way to forget yourself. Comedy drags you out of yourself and shows you the world from a different perspective.
Comedy reflects reality from a novel and often bizarre angel. Basking in great comedy will provide you with a beautiful breather from stifling self-obsession.
Regularly laughing at comedy, funny friends, and yourself will make you less self-obsessed… and happier.