Crucial Accountability QA

How to Work With a Self-Centered Person

Dear David,

What do you do about someone who is so self-centered that everything is all about him? This happens to be my 14-year-old son, but I’ve also seen this pattern with co-workers and managers where I work. Sometimes, I wonder whether the world is filling up with egotists.

Fed Up

Dear Fed Up,

I have some real-life experience with this challenge, because my mom and dad faced this same problem with their eldest son—me. I’ve used their ideas with others and I think they have value.

As a fourteen-year-old, I was an okay kid, doing well in school and staying out of trouble. But I was the center of my own little universe. It was pretty much all about me.

My parents had a saying, “If you think you need help, go help someone.” And that became their prescription for me. They signed me up to spend a summer 100 miles from home, working for a nonprofit that rehabbed houses in Kansas City.

Suddenly, I was on my own, with a lot of freedom and responsibility. I had to find transport (Greyhound Bus), luggage (dad’s old duffle bag), and supplies (I arrived without any toiletries—oops!). There were eight of us volunteering Finish reading