| Home | Ask Dr Matt | Call Dr Matt | Meet Dr Matt | Quotes | Book | Answer Archive |


Social Psychologist & Personal Advisor

Dr Matt's Archive of Answers
to Burning Questions

Come visit Dr Matt at Facebook


Talk to Dr Matt!
 Complimentary Consultation
When you buy
 Changing Your Stripes 

Living Life on Center Stage:
Selfish Ego-Centered Living Is Hell on Earth

Dear Dr Matt,

My name is Rulon. I am 25 yrs old. I live in Deltona, Florida. Never been married and no children.

In my twenty five years of living on this earth I would say 90% of it has been absolute hell. I have been extremely shy ever since I was a child. Shyness is not something that just started. When I was little I didn't think that much about it. It wasn't until my teenage years that I realized it was a big problem. I wanted to talk to someone really bad, but I have been unemployed for over 2 yrs now and just can't afford it.

I am a virgin. I have had a few girlfriends and the longest one lasted about 3 weeks. Just to tell you some of the things I do. I went in Walmart the other day and thought I saw someone I used to work with. I avoided her and went back out through the garden section. Why I avoided running into her I don't know.

I change clothes 3 or 4 times a day and my shirts have to fit my neck just right or I won't wear them. I look in the mirror more than most women. My shyness is probably one of the reasons I am still unemployed. I live with my mother and grandpa and rarely go out of the house, except to go to town. When I walk through a store its I feel like everyone is watching me. I do fantasize a lot

I used to smoke pot everyday and live out my fantasies in my head. I have been off of pot for about 7 months now. I used to take every kind of pill I could find. Drugs seem to be the only friend I had. Life is just not worth living without people in it.

One day I wanted some ice cream but did not want to go in the store and get it because I was scared of what people would think of me. In my mind I have created this persona where to me ice cream is for kids. I don't know what is wrong with me. I was looking at some of the symptoms of Avoidance Personality Disorder and they seemed to fit perfect — but I am not a doctor.

All I know is that this fear has ruined my whole life. Any feedback would be appreciated.


Related Articles: The Cure for Narcissism and the Key to Joyful Living!
What is Narcissism? Are Humans Selfish by Nature or Nurture?
What is the Cause Narcissism: Can Extreme Selfishness be Overcome?
Taking Care of your Body: Vain or Virtuous - Selfishness vs. Preparation

Dear Rulon,

You are like a million other people in this world: When you think that "everyone is watching" you, fact is, the majority of people you think are "watching," are spending little time even noticing you — and even less time forming an opinion of you.

If people really did take the time to form an opinion of you, surely they would do the same for the hundreds of other people they pass along the streets, or at stores, or at school. And if this really were the case, then people couldn't get much done, because they'd constantly be noticing other people and forming opinions about them.

Here's the Truth: People DO get things done precisely because they don't spend much time thinking about strangers that enter into their line of vision. For example, when you are watching a movie, how much time do you spend noticing people in a crowd in the background, while the main actors are portraying the story of the movie in the foreground?

SEE through the eyes of other people for a moment: YOU are "one person in the crowd" in the background, and the "main actors" in the foreground are comparable to the plot of each person's Life. This means that the overwhelming majority of people are really watching the MAIN PLOT of their own Life Story — and are NOT noticing one person in the crowd in the background — you.

Rulon, you only think that others are "watching" you, because YOU are being SELF-CONSCIOUS — meaning, you are living Life with YOU on Center Stage. Thus, you erroneously imagine that the audience is taking time to watch YOU with bated breath, to see what YOU will do next. This is the false assumption of SELF-CONSCIOUS people.

"What other people think
of me is none of my business.
One of the highest places you
can get to is being independent of
the good opinions of other people."

                ~ Wayne Dyer

Rulon, you need to get off Center Stage and join the audience, realizing that people in the audience are focused mostly on their own show, their own Life — just like you.

"Those who live ego-centered lives tend to shape their thinking and behavior
around the good and bad opinions of others. So here's the question that will indict you:
'Who are You thinking of, when You invest time, attention, and emotion upon what other people are
allegedly thinking about You?' Bingo!
It's YOU that occupies center stage of that mental performance.
Thus, escaping an Ego-Centered Life means humbly shifting focus to The Creator's view of You."

~ Matt Moody

I'm NOT immune to being self-conscious on occasion. I too live Life on Center Stage, at times. Recently, I walked to the Post Office. The temperature in my town was about 20 degrees — that's pretty cold. But because I lived in Canada for a couple of years, I know how to bundle up.

In Canada, the temperatures get extremely cold, like 35 below zero; and when the wind blows, you can experience wind chill temperatures of 50 to 80 below zero. As a result, Canadians do not expose any skin when they walk outside in winter — they only expose one small opening around the eyes, and everything else is covered up.

Well, here I am bundled up like a Canadian walking to the Post Office. In Canada, being bundled up is a matter of survival, and everyone knows it. But here in Utah, people don't usually wear scarves to cover their face.

So, as I'm walking, I'm thinking that the people in every car that passes by me is surely noticing how stupid I look with a scarf around my face.

I entertained this thought even though, if I had to bet money on it, I'd bet that most people did NOT notice me at all; and even if they did notice me, they really don't care because they are focused upon what they are doing in their personal world.

I tell you this story only to illustrate that what you are thinking and doing is NOT unique: there are literally millions like you, and sometimes I am like you. Self-Conscious & Living on Center Stage.

The fact that you feel like 90% of your life thus far is "hell," means you are not living Life Right; it means you need to make an adjustment and experience a Change.

You will NOT be able to make your Life better simply by THINKING your way into a new direction. Why so? Because of truth taught by Albert Einstein: I call it Einstein's Mind Bind -- You Can't Change Your Mind using the Same Mind that Needs Changing. Learning about Einstein's Mind Bind will be KEY to escaping the Self-Defeating Trap that YOU are in — and millions like you.

Said in another way: It is your present Mind that is creating and harboring "this fear" that is ruining your whole life. When you get a New Heart and a New Mind through Christ, you will no longer "fear." Consider these words from the Bible:

"God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God,
and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect:
because as He is, so are we in this world.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear:
because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love."

1 John 4: 16-18

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Therefore be not ashamed of the testimony of our Lord."

2 Tim. 1: 7-8

So get going! While you Can't simply THINK your way into a new direction, it IS up to you to choose the Change process: You do this by choosing the Author of Lasting Change. It is Jesus who makes the miracle of personal transformation possible:

"Old things pass away, and all things become new;
you become a new creature in Christ."
2 Cor. 5:17

Best Regards,

Matt Moody, Ph.D.
Social Psychologist

* * * * * * *

Dr. Matt offers telephone counseling that will fix your problems fast!

The Greatest Prize
for Life's labors isn't
in material possessions
or impressive accomplishments,
but in the progress of personal character.
You labor for your own becoming, this is your richest reward.
Who You Become is your greatest possession,
make it your Masterpiece!

(Changing Your Stripes, 2nd Edition, page 274)

The book, "Changing Your Stripes" presents principles for getting out of
the ditch in which you've been dumped (the difficulties of which you are a victim), and
the ditch in which you've jumped (the difficulties for which you volunteer).

"Mastering a challenging situation
is ultimately a matter of
mastering yourself!"

- Matt Moody 

"Changing Your Stripes," teaches you the principles that lead to lasting change,
making you a new kind of creature capable of communicating
with calm, even as storms of contention swirl.

If these principles resonate and ring true,
then . . . this book is for you!

Sold Exclusively
through this website

Changing Your Stripes is a
unique reference book that will help
you understand, . . . and solve all of
Life's ever-appearing problems.
Here are more reasons to buy
Changing Your Stripes

Social Psychologist & Personal Advisor

| Home | Ask Dr Matt | Call Dr Matt | Meet Dr Matt | Quotes | Book | Site Index |