Why Oprah Says Being Called "Full of Yourself" Is a Compliment

Elena Nicolaou
·7 min read

On the evening of Thursday, April 1, Oprah and Gayle hosted a live edition of The OG Chronicles, held over Zoom. Tuning in from their homes, the duo gathered to give advice to Oprah Daily readers, talk about Oprah's "rooster problem" (more on that later), and the joys of a bathtub. (While this event was open to all, future installments of the OG Chronicles live will be accessible only to Oprah Insider members. More on how you can become an Insider here!)

But before the Q&A began, Oprah celebrated the legacy of O, the Oprah Magazine, which ended after 20 years in December of 2020. Over the course of two decades, Oprah posed on a total of 245 covers. She recalled how detractors would say she was "full of herself" for appearing on so many.

"I may be full of myself, but putting myself on the covers was not my way of indicating I was full of myself. You should be full of yourself, so you have more of yourself to give to other people. You should not be afraid of being told you're full of yourself: That means others see something in you that is full," Oprah explained.

Oprah also said that her vision for Oprah Daily—our new destination for digital storytelling that includes a quarterly print edition and a special membership-only community—is for it to be a space where anyone can find inspiration. "We want this to be a joyful place on the internet," she said.

During the hour-and-a-half event, Oprah and Gayle heard from readers who were in a variety of life stages. Nischelle Turner, who recently became the first Black woman to host Entertainment Tonight, dropped in to ask a question—and to show off the tremendous bouquet of flowers Oprah sent. Turner joked that she wouldn't let anyone sweep up the blooms: "Those are Oprah petals! Leave the petals alone."

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When it came to receiving guidance, the evening's participants were in good hands. According to Gayle, Oprah is an expert advice-giver. "I've been to five different marriage counselors. No one has given better advice to me than Oprah," she said.

In some instances, they were perfectly aligned in their responses. Oprah and Gayle first heard from Melody Humphries and Tatiana Pinillo, newlyweds living in Queens. Instead of the dream wedding they were supposed to have in September 2020, the couple hosted a small, socially distanced ceremony. They were divided about their next step: Humphries wanted to throw a large wedding in 2021; Pinillo wanted to use that money to invest in a down payment on a home.

Gayle and Oprah instantly had the same answer to the marriage or mortgage dilemma, both recommending that the couple invest in a home over a wedding.

"I always say to people: Focus on big anniversaries. Focus on getting the spiritual partnership correct, then have a big anniversary. Have a big party to celebrate your life together and your new home," Oprah said. "The real thing has happened: Now move on."

Gayle shared an anecdote about her own daughter's intimate wedding, which took place at Oprah's home in Hawaii before just a few guests. "It wasn't the wedding we’d dreamed of or planned, but we talked about it later, and it was actually a perfect day," Gayle said.

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They were also aligned on how Skyler Thomas, who has compiled copies of O in a binder since she was 12, should approach her relationships with relatives who believed in conspiracy theories like the 2020 election being rigged or the COVID-19 vaccine altering DNA.

While responding, Oprah addressed her own experience being the focus of conspiracy theories at the start of 2020. "It was very hurtful and very shocking at first. And then I thought, 'You cant deal in that reality. That’s a different reality.'"

Similarly, Oprah said that Skyler had to accept that she couldn't change her relatives' minds. All she had control over was her approach to them, whether that meant seeing them less frequently or avoiding certain topics. "Make the decision after you've accepted that there’s nothing you can change about it," she said.

Like all friends, Oprah and Gayle have their differences; they had a slight disagreement over how far to take quarantine protocols. Oprah explained that her policy, prior to the vaccine, was that guests had to quarantine for two weeks. And she stuck to those strict rules: Though Gayle tested negative for the virus, she wasn't allowed inside Oprah's house for her daughter, Kirby's, wedding. "I didn't even get to zip Kirby up," she said, referring to her wedding gown.

Now, Oprah asks vaccinated guests who travel on a plane to see her to quarantine for 5 days. "I do think that's extreme," Gayle said, citing Dr. Fauci's guidance that vaccinated people can be in the company of other vaccinated people without quarantining. Oprah responded, "Dr. Fauci can do whatever he wants to do. I'm just talking about my house. Mama don't play."

For all the laughs, the evening got emotional, too. After retiring from her job as a school principal five months ago, Cathy Force said she felt a loss of purpose. "I wondered, 'Where do I fit in? What is my new role?' I'm not ready to just sit back and let life pass me by."

Oprah felt similarly unsettled after ending The Oprah Winfrey Show after 25 years and not having her familiar schedule. But then, she reframed it. “What I've since come to understand is that one of the great luxuries of the world is to be able to wake up when your body wants to wake up. Be fully present for that. Be grateful for that. You've done the work. Put in the years. Now, you get this luxury. You now are living a life of true freedom."

Moving forward, Oprah and Gayle said that Cathy should ask what she wants from this next chapter. "How do I want to use my skills, my time, my wisdom? How do I use that going forward?" she said. "The most important question now is what do I want? Every answer will come from that. You're not supposed to know the answer now. You're supposed to be answering the question. You're exactly where you're supposed to be."

Due to technical difficulties, Gayle answered the evening's final question, about flirting, on her own—which was fitting, because Gayle said she "loves flirting." Gayle spoke with Robyn Schall, a comedian whose viral video about her 2020 goals (darkly ironic, considering the turn of the pandemic) was something Oprah watched multiple times in a row and shared with friends.

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"Number one, it just starts with Hi!" Gayle said of the first step to masterful flirtation. Then, she offered her go-to pick-up line: "'I think we should go to lunch, your treat.' That just cracks people up," she explained. "I find it to be quite effective."

Though Gayle added that meeting potential romantic partners has been challenging during the pandemic. "I will admit to you: It’s hard out here for a pimp," she said.

Photo credit: OWN
Photo credit: OWN

After saying goodbye to Schall, Gayle and Oprah wrapped up the event with an unscripted moment. Since her computer crashed, Oprah FaceTimed in via Gayle's phone. "This is our hope: That you will take time out of your day to give something back to yourself. To connect, to listen, to celebrate what matters most to you," Gayle said.

Oh, and regarding Oprah's rooster problem we mentioned? Oprah explained that people have recently taken to dropping off their roosters at her gate in Hawaii—and now, they're attacking her hens. "Only the Oprah Insiders are going to get rooster updates," she said. You can sign up below for that news, plus updates on future live installments of the OG Chronicles, additional members-only content, and much more.

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