The Signs Of ‘Self-Centered’ People And The Lessons From “GROUNDHOG DAY” Movie

The movie, ‘Groundhog Day’ released in 1993, starring Bill Murray, is about an arrogant TV weatherman Phil Connors(Bill Murray), who goes to cover an annual event ‘Groundhog Day’ (A groundhog predicts the weather) in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

Phil, finds himself caught in a time loop, repeating the same day, again and again, unable to end the nightmare. He tries to self-indulge in pleasure-seeking activities, tries to seduce his producer Rita but ends up in failure. Being stuck and depressed, Phil looks for ways to commit suicide to end the loop. Unfortunately, nothing works.

Finally, he starts helping people around him and escapes the time loop. The film emphasizes that happiness comes from placing the needs of others above one’s own selfish desires.

Note: The below content is part of the following book

Business and Life Lessons From The Movies by Shah Mohammed M on Amazon.


In the movie “Pursuit Of Happiness”, Will Smith meets a stockbroker and asks him about the secret of success. The stockbroker replies, “You have to be good with numbers and You need to be good with people”.

The idea of Success and Happiness differs from person to person. One of the common factors for everyone’s success is “Presence of Other People”. A self-centred person often fails to notice the presence of other people around him.

Be it your personal life, any profession, any business, Scientific research has shown that road to success or happiness is how you deal with other people.(Merely getting along with them is not the road to happiness)

In the ‘Groundhog Day’ movie, Phil Connors is shown as an arrogant, self-centred and egotistical weatherman. He believes that he is highly talented than anybody else in his office and perceives that the TV station(his employer) is not fully utilising his talents. Phil is a type of character who simply considers his colleagues as a doormat and proceeds to walk over them. He has utter contempt for his colleagues, particularly the cameraman Larry.

Phil has the most disdain for ‘Groundhog Day’ event held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, which he has to cover for the fourth time in his career, along with the new producer Rita.

1) Rita is excited about the “Groundhog Day” event, feels that it would be fun and is eagerly looking forward to meeting the Punxsutawney city people. But Phil Connors feels that an interview with a Groundhog would affect his future and thinks that the people in that little town are morons. Phil cannot bear upon the idea of a rat predicting the weather.

Phil: Someday somebody will see meinterviewing a groundhog...and think I don't have a future

Self-centred people do not see the world from other people’s views and try to defend their own thoughts.

2) In one of the scenes — Phil and the crew arrive at a motel in Punxsutawney city — Larry and Rita unload the equipment from the van, but Phil instead of helping Larry, loudly complains about the motel. Rita, having aware of his attitude informs him that she had got him a reservation at a better motel. Phil seems surprised on hearing this and says

Phil: Great. I think this is the traitof a really good producer:
Keep the talent happy.

Instead of thanking her for her generosity, Phil shows that he deserves special attention. You could sense how Phil is ‘Self-centered’ and calls himself “Talented”. For self-centered people, the world is just about them.

3) Rita and Larry view Phil as one who has a personality problem. Personality problems are the problems a person has with other people -The problem arises when the person tries to superimpose his inner worldview on others.

In one of the scenes, Rita invites Phil to have dinner with her and Larry. Phil refuses the offer

Phil: No, thank you.I've seen Larry eat.

Phil teases the way Larry eats food. Self-centred people unconsciously devalue others.

4) Next day, a Chubby Man wishes Phil, but he doesn’t respond in kind — An old lady, matron of the hotel tries to engage in kind conversation, but Phil doesn’t care — On the way, to the event, an old schoolmate ‘Ned’ recognises Phil and tries to strike a conversation, but he dislikes him. When Rita asks Phil about the day, he talks about ‘Ned’

Rita: Where have you been?Phil: It was horrible.A giant leech got me.

Phil calls Ned ‘a Giant Leech’. A Self-absorbant person considers too highly of himself, has too much self-esteem, deems others as inferior to him. His too high opinion of himself forces him to be arrogant at times.

5) A blizzard forces Phil to stay back in the small city. He tries in vain to call Pittsburgh for assistance: “Don’t you have some kind of a line that you keep open for emergencies or celebrities? I’m both! I’m a celebrity in an emergency!”.

A Self-centred person always places himself first, only cares about his needs and wants, and uncaring of others.

6) Phil covers the “Groundhog Day” event with a tone of contempt. Rita prods him to repeat the coverage without sarcasm.

Rita: Want to try it againwithout the sarcasm?

But Phil throws the mike and exits, not bothered by anything. Larry utters “Prima Donna”. Prima Donna — a very temperamental person with an inflated view of their own talent or importance. (Ego-Centric).

It’s not that Phil alone is ego-centric, everyone has their own egos — There is something deep in every man’s heart that is important for him and demands respect. We would get into a problem if we trample those egos. People would go to any extreme to defend their egos. Phil unconsciously trampled egos of his colleagues and other people. The way to deal with people is to keep our egos and their egos remain intact in any interaction or relationship.

Note: The above content is part of the following book

Business and Life Lessons From The Movies by Shah Mohammed M on Amazon.

REFERENCES: How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie, How to have confidence and power in dealing with people by Les Giblin, 15 signs of self-absorbed people -an article by Casey Imafidon in, Groundhog Day movie script from

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