What does drink your own bathwater mean?

Discover the meaning of ‘drink your own bathwater’ and how it can impact individuals and organizations. Learn from examples, case studies, and statistics on the importance of seeking diverse perspectives.

The Meaning of ‘Drink Your Own Bathwater’

‘Drink your own bathwater’ is an idiom that means someone is overly self-referential, excessively self-reliant, or overly focused on themselves. It implies that an individual is so consumed by their own thoughts and actions that they fail to consider other perspectives or feedback from others.

Examples of ‘Drink Your Own Bathwater’

One example of someone ‘drinking their own bathwater’ might be a business owner who refuses to listen to customer complaints because they believe their product is perfect. This attitude can lead to a decline in customer satisfaction and ultimately harm the business’s success.

Another example could be a politician who only surrounds themselves with advisors who agree with their views, leading to a lack of diverse opinions and potential blind spots in decision-making.

Case Studies

A famous case study of ‘drinking your own bathwater’ is the downfall of Blockbuster. The company refused to adapt to the changing landscape of streaming services, believing their model was superior. This led to their eventual bankruptcy as competitors like Netflix dominated the market.

Statistics on the Impact

A study by Harvard Business Review found that companies that actively seek out feedback and input from a diverse group of stakeholders are more successful and innovative compared to organizations that solely rely on internal perspectives.


In conclusion, ‘drink your own bathwater’ serves as a warning against becoming too insular in our thinking. By seeking out diverse perspectives, feedback, and experiences, we can avoid the pitfalls of being overly self-referential and increase our chances of success in various aspects of life.

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