Taking yourself seriously by Matt Appling

I’m excited to have Matt Appling from The Church of No People guest posting for me today.

Many of you already know Matt, especially all you folks who found your way over here via some snarky comment I left over at Stuff Christians Like.

For those of you who don’t already read Matt’s blog, I would highly recommend it. He blogs about the Church, culture and how the two often clash–always with a healthy dose of sarcasm, humor and intelligence. I appreciate Matt’s ability to act like a jerk even though he’s not. I think you’ll see what I mean…

Here’s Matt:

Hey everyone, I’m really excited to be a guest on Kathy’s blog today. She’s been a dedicated reader and encourager of mine for three years, and writing for her is way overdue.

So when she and I decided what I should write about for her, we thought of the most serious, solemn, amazingly mind-blowing topic we could think of…


Lots of people like to take themselves rather seriously. Most of us think pretty highly of ourselves, even if no one else does. And when you’re as drop dead awesome at everything as I am, it’s really hard not to take yourself seriously.

But, taking yourself really seriously has a few drawbacks. If you want to stroke your own ego at all times, there will be a few things you will have to give up…

Religion, Politics, and Pretty Much Everything

Everyone likes to toss around controversial topics and have some friendly banter, whether it’s politics, religion, scandals, philosophy, diets or whatever.

If you want to have a conversation, or blog about controversial things like I do, you’ll probably have to have some facts or logic up your sleeve. Facts and logic come naturally to me because I am a genius. If people agree with me, great. If I encounter the rare person who proves me wrong, I am eager to congratulate them.

However, if you lack the necessary mental skills needed to have an intelligent conversation, there is an alternative. You can just be a big fat blow-hard, barge into a conversation and assault everyone with your overwhelming belief that you should be taken seriously.

People like this are stuck in a vicious cycle. They groin-punch everyone else’s egos. People give up talking to them because they cannot be reasoned with. Thus, they feel they win every argument they start, so it encourages their behavior. Then they get a talk show contract with MSNBC or FoxNews.

You Got Served

In olden times (why it’s “olden” and not just “old,” I don’t know), it was a point of honor that once a conflict started, neither man backed down until they had dueled and one of them was dead.

Even though most gentlemen don’t duel with pistols anymore (fortunately) or wear handlebar mustaches or mutton chops (unfortunately), many of us still go through life thinking that it’s a point of honor that we never back down from a disagreement.

I’m pretty sure the first qualifications for landing a spot on reality TV is a big, fat ego, a propensity for starting conflict, and a complete lack of ability to resolve conflict. Oversized fake boobs are the second set of qualifications, because they always help people take a woman as seriously as she obviously thinks she deserves.

Of course, the more seriously you take yourself, the more impossible it is for you to back down from a conflict…even when the likelihood that you are right becomes more and more remote. Go ahead and keep insisting that you are “winning.” Everyone else knows the only thing you are winning at is being an ass.

Being In On the Joke

The funny thing about taking yourself super serious is that it’s a zero sum game. The more serious you are about yourself, the less seriously others will take you. People don’t make jokes about funny people. They make jokes about Americans, Asians, Polaks, Mexicans, Christians, Muslims, Al Gore, Charlie Sheen, and anyone else who thinks a bit too highly of themselves.

Rather than being respected, you will be alienated. Rather than being offered constructive advice, people will talk about you behind your back. Rather than laughing with you, people will laugh at you. The more seriously you want to be taken, the funnier you will be to others. The less you laugh at yourself or admit your mistakes, the more others will do it for you.

You can be serious about yourself all you want, but you can’t ever make other people be serious about you.

Tell us about someone – a boss, a friend, a relative you know who takes themselves way too seriously.

To read more from Matt Appling, head over to his blog The Church of No People and follow him on the twitter, @MattTCoNP.

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