The next time someone tells you that you are "full of yourself" I have a response for you: 1) Why thank you, yes I am! or 2) I'm getting there!
Traditionally when you hear those three words from someone in that same sequence, it is not directed at you as a compliment. Generally being told you are full of yourself is someone criticizing you of being conceited or narcissistic.
In this post I would like to discuss why I think this type of thinking is inaccurate and unhealthy for anyone to absorb if they intend to live a life of freedom and enjoyment with people they care about.
I've always loved words. Some of my favorite books growing up were various dictionaries as well as encyclopedias (80's kid here). I admit I get slightly annoyed when words get abused and turned into forms outside of their intent, especially if they become hurtful. Let's talk about why I believe that being full of yourself is something you should strive for and be proud of...
When you become full of yourself you have much less need of validation from others. Some definitions from Dictionary.com regarding "fullness" include "completely filled", "filled to the utmost capacity", and "of maximum size, amount, extent, volume, etc." A Merriam-Webster definition includes "absoluteness, completeness, wholeness."
Why shouldn't you be operating at your max capacity or state of wholeness? Isn't it better to be full of yourself than full of someone else? Why does it sound great to "be all you can be" such as the Army slogan but not to be full of yourself?
You don't walk on eggshells around people when you operate from a place of absoluteness within you. You don't easily get offended by difference of opinion and you are willing to consider what others have to say. You don't feel the need to fight every battle. You do the things you enjoy without needing someone else's permission or someone else to tag along. If you take the time to be full of yourself you can easily filter what enriches your life and what adds no value.
If you concentrate on being more full of yourself you become less of a target of manipulation. Earlier I mentioned narcissism. The interesting thing is that true narcissists prey upon people who are not full of themselves. Why? Because they focus their behaviors on gaslighting you or attaching strings to their interactions with you. This is very hard to do with someone who is already self-assured and clear about what they will and will not tolerate.
Have you noticed how the more you stand up to or ignore someone who constantly goes out of their way to bully you or make you feel inferior, eventually they lose interest and disappear? They realize that someone who is complete without them will not depend on them and therefore fear tactics or victimization techniques will not be effective. It takes someone who is in fear of a relationship ending or other consequence on the part of the manipulator to keep the cycle of control intact.
A person who is full of themselves is able to put their foot down and handle what needs handled. You will not maintain friendships that have no measure of reciprocity or support. You will not constantly give up your plans because someone tries to make them seem insignificant to theirs. You will not apologize to the person who hurts you because they have convinced you that what they did was your fault.
Therapist Sharie Stines sums it up perfectly in a 2018 Time magazine article, "you need to know where you end and the other person begins." There is a difference between doing something you any not be interested in in effort to get to know someone or to bond with them versus doing it because you feel forced or backed into a corner.
When someone tells you that you are full of yourself, a primary reason you should be elated is it means that you are not slave to what other people think. I didn't say you don't acknowledge what other people think or you don't consider what other people think... you just don't up and change course without sufficient evidence that you should.
If you become full of yourself, your vision becomes more clear about what you want, who your are, and what sort of code you choose to live by. Jerry Maguire fans can relate this to the character Rod Tidwell. He was viewed as a selfish player who was advised to take what he could get and just play the game, despite the reservations of those around him about how good his skills were. He had a vision of value of himself higher than they had. In the end, he stuck to his code and it paid off with a much more grand contract.
Developing fullness of yourself helps you to overcome setbacks with resilience. You won't get your way every time but you will be confident your time is coming. You will feel empowered to speak up and speak out about your ideas or affecting positive change in causes you believe in, whether they are personal or community based. You will not rely on popularity in order to do the right thing and you will be open-minded about events that unfold around you.
Why else should you endeavor to be as full of yourself as you can get? Because fullness leads to overflow and abundance. People who are living daily lives of wholeness and their utmost capacity understand that they cannot contain it all or receive more without giving something away. They start finding things to give away with anticipation of more fulfillment on the way. They give away money, they give away time, they give away wisdom, or things they own that they don't want to see wasted.
When you are not seeking others as your primary source of pleasure or emotional stability, you have a much easier time making friends or enjoying your time at work. You become far less self-conscious or anxious, therefore creating opportunities to have more fun and be more relaxed. You don't feel the need for unhealthy competition or comparing yourself to others but instead find inspiration in the accomplishments of people you admire or love.
When you are living in your own fullness, you enjoy supporting others and do not feel as if you need to imitate someone else in order to be successful. Your network will naturally begin growing and you will begin attracting people that are just like you in their own fullness. You can like what you in peace and allow others to do the same. You will not have to engage in as much drama and hitting that unfollow or unlike button will come with a lot less debating with yourself.
If you find yourself feeling less empathy towards others or excessively admiring yourself to the point that you feel a sense of entitlement that hasn't been earned, then you are starting to cross into the lane of narcissism, my friend. If you start believing you are never wrong and can never say "my bad" so that you can begin correcting behaviors, it's time to get concerned.
If you find yourself micromanaging the behaviors of others to where they can't make their own decisions or you guilt trip them every chance you get, you are not yet in a place of wholeness. If you can't be happy for your friends or help someone without getting something out of it, you have some evaluating and perhaps some reaching out to do. You will be missing out on some gratifying experiences that won't require the need for control.
The best way to think of this is to realize that if you are full, the only way to receive more is to multiply what you have into an additional cup (thus sharing and supporting) unless you'd rather move backwards and empty yourself with destruction. People who are half empty don't really have much to offer themselves, let alone anyone else.
Are you happy yet? Are you open? Are you available to yourself and available to others? Are you going after what you want?
Are you full of yourself? I hope so. Share this post with someone who inspires you and someone you hope that you inspire to be full of themselves, too.