Most people think that self-centered people have such glaring defects they must be easy to spot in the first date or meeting. So how can anyone with a shred of self-respect fall in love with a someone like this? The answer is that under the right conditions, self-centered people can make you feel really, really good about yourself – they can even make you think that its all about you.
Think about your favorite pair of shoes. You take really good care of them, you are careful not to scuff them, you polish them, you don’t wear them when it rains. You pamper them. You are super-protective of them, if somebody even comes close to scuffing them you are ready to fight. You love those shoes, but it is a very different kind of love than the take-a-bullet-for-them love you have for your kids. In reality, you don’t love your shoes at all – what you love is how they make you look, how comfortable they make your feet feel, how good they make you feel about yourself, the good things they do for you. You are not concerned about your shoes outside of what they do for you – they are part of your self-image, not part of your family. When you protect them you aren’t doing that for them, you are doing it because they belong to you, they are your possessions. So, no matter how ‘attached’ you are to those shoes, you are more than happy to put them in the Good Will box if you find a new pair that fits the same needs, matches the same outfits, are even more comfortable to your feet, make you look even better.
I think the “Brad’ commercial by Liberty Mutual demonstrates this concept perfectly. Here is the transcript –
“You owned your car for 4 years. You named it Brad. You loved Brad. And then you totaled him. You two had been through everything together, 2 boyfriends, 3 jobs. You’re like, nothing can replace Brad. Then Liberty Mutual calls and you break into your happy dance.” The announcer then says- “If you sign up for better car replacement we’ll pay for a car that’s a model year newer with 15000 fewer miles than your old one. See car insurance in a whole new light.”
To a self-centered person, you are just a new pair of shoes. To a self-centered person you are Brad. If you are in a relationship with a self-centered person you need to see the way they handle things with you and everyone else in their lives – family, friends, kids, business associates – in a whole new light. Instead of real love, all you get is the intense adoration of a possession, an adoration that will immediately evaporate once a better possession catches their eye.
Brad Commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSIHbt8tGQA