A Guide and Resources to Getting Over Yourself

Are you a person who has to look at the person next to you to decide if a song is good or a joke funny?

Are you the kind of person that gets all butt-hurt if someone jokes about something you feel passionately about?

When you see someone do something that you wouldn’t feel comfortable doing in front of other people, do you just act shocked wonder why they can’t be as cool as you?

Do you worry more about how you appear to others than how you appear to yourself?

Then perhaps you need to get over yourself!

One thing you learn as a performer, being on stage every night spilling your soul on the floor for an audience, is that you have to get over yourself quickly.  You can’t be too concerned about what other people will think of you.  Yes, we want to entertain the audience, but some people don’t want to be entertained, or don’t get it, or are too drunk to pay attention, etc.  Those people get pushed out of our minds.  A character, joke, song, soliloquy has to be committed to entirely or it won’t fly.

Now, everyone is guilty of being self-absorbed or too up-in-you-head as some point.  Me too, and more often than I’d like.  And it never works out well.  It’s much more fun to present your real self to the world and say, “Take it or leave it.”  Easier to say than do sometimes, but with practice it becomes easier.  And I’ll tell you a secret among performers.  If we see an audience that looks like they’re going be “too cool” to be a good audience and feed some energy back to us, some performers will say, “I want to make this audience hate me tonight.”

“Cool” is a figment of our imagination.  Social acceptance is an agreement among groups of people about what is acceptable.  And we need that so idiots don’t go too overboard.  But remember, it’s flexible too.

Here’s some resources to help you get over yourself.

www.HotOrNot.com – Post a picture of yourself and let the general populace take you down a few notches.

Hobbies are interesting way that people get judged.  Some are accepted in the mainstream (sports, fashion) and some would be thought of as really weird to most people (flashlight collecting, frisbee golf)
But, everyone has a hobby and they’re all stupid.  So says Paul Stoecklein in this outstanding blog.
http://paulstoecklein.blogs.com/you_had_me_at_idiot/2009/04/hobbies-uniting-the-world-through-stupidity.html

And her’s another discussion on stupid hobbies.  But don’t blow them off.  Go read about some of them.  People connect with these things for a reason and maybe it’s something you’re missing.
http://www.yelp.com/topic/santa-monica-stupid-hobbies

Do a stupid dance like these guys… at a party.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlfnwaCu_vw

Molly Gordon has a great Top 10 list of ways to get over yourself.
http://www.mollygordon.com/newleafarchives/getoveryourself.html

Travel to a distinctly different country.  You’ll find out that what you think is cool to you, probably isn’t to them.
http://www.travel-ticker.com/Theme/International

Get off your politically correct high horse.  People don’t need to be mean or exclusionary to each other, but it often goes too far.  I saw a sign for a car wash benefiting “intellectually disabled” people.  It’s not even “mentally disabled” anymore?  “Intellectually disabled” doesn’t even make them sound like it’s a disorder.  It just makes them sound stupid.

Here’s 10 Politically Incorrect Truths from Psychology Today
http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200706/ten-politically-incorrect-truths-about-human-nature

Jokes are just that.  Don’t get bent if someone makes fun of you or something you like.  You wouldn’t believe how many casinos I’ve played on Native American reservations where they Natives plead with me to “drunk Indian” jokes.  If they can laugh, so can you.
http://home.att.net/~fiddlerzvi/Jokes.html

Let me amend this with two points.  First, the people that proclaim themselves “Proudly Un-PC” and get up in arms about “Feminazis” and “them gays” are just as stuck up and idiotic as the ultra-crowd.  The middle ground is the way, my friends.  People who fight over the minutae of Star Trek episodes are just as dumb as those who fight over sports statistics.  The idea is to embrace what you love, but don’t take yourself so seriously!

And second, you may be thinking… “Phil, aren’t you just as self-absorbed to be writing this, thinking you know everything?”  We all are at some point, so yes.  But also, I went and looked up these links because I didn’t have the answers.  Now we all learn something.

So, in that spirit… Get over yourself!

Phil Johnson
www.RoadsideAttraction.com


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