It’s Not All about You

This is a blog written by Lee Gale Gruen aimed at helping baby boomers and seniors find more joy, excitement, and satisfaction in their lives after retirement whether it be from a job, career, parenting, etc. Her memoir, available on, is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class (Click here for the book website:

NEWS:  Click here to read the article I wrote: “The Secret World of Showbiz Seniors” which was published October, 2014 on

Now, on to my blog:

talking horseEveryone craves attention, even the quiet ones among us. In each encounter between people, there’s only a finite amount of it, and everyone deserves some. Human interaction is a competition with attention being the prize.

Have you ever been on a first-time encounter (date, business meeting, etc.) with someone who spends the whole time talking about himself/herself? That can get old very fast. A friend told me about a man she met recently who spent the whole date talking about himself and never asked anything about her. I’m sure when he called for another date and she turned him down, he didn’t have a clue as to why.

Everyone is vying for the floor, and the stronger ones usually prevail. When one person gets that coveted floor too often, others can become resentful.

Although not a hard and fast rule, we tend to choose our friends, partners, spouses, etc. based on our needs. Introverts often seek extroverts to be the entertainment committee or shield them from the world. Extroverts, conversely, find calm and relaxation with introverts. Needy types seek caretaker types, and vice versa. I’m sure you can think of many more examples. It’s subtle, but it exists. In this arrangement, there’s an unspoken agreement that one person gets more of the attention than the other. After awhile, though, the pauper of the duo can get tired of the arrangement and want to break that old treaty.

If you’re usually the main attraction, try to let the other guy have some attention. Ask, “How’s it going,” or “what have you been up to?” Then, watch his/her face light up as he starts talking about himself. And, remember not to jump in and take the floor back which usually goes something like this: “Oh yeah, when that happened to me I…” Just be a good listener for once.

If you’re the guy who usually ends up with a dearth of attention, be proactive and get some of it; it’s valuable stuff—makes you feel important. You might have to be bold and even rude by saying something as blatant as, “I’d like a turn to speak” or “I wasn’t finished yet.” Remember children, play fair on that playground of life. Everybody deserves a turn on the swing.

Please pass this blog along to anyone else who might be interested and post it on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media. If you want to be automatically notified when I post a new blog, click on the “Follow” button in the upper right corner of this page and fill in the information. To read my other blog posts, scroll down on this page or click on “Recent Posts” or “Archives” under the Follow button.


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4 responses to “It’s Not All about You

  1. Good point. It’s Not About Me is my mantra. I’ve discovered, as I grow into my ‘grown-up’ years that it’s all so simple and comfortable when we step out of the spotlight and let others shine.

  2. Right U R, LGG. I tend to think that a couple that gets their strokes from being involved in different areas might share the spotlight more.

  3. Gary Koch

    Enjoy the insight. My Mom is 98 and in a care facility and I am there every day. We watch Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune weeknights and my cousin and I visit every Saturday and Sunday during the afternoons.

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