The German word Nabelschau means “navel-gazing” or “staring at your navel”. But in this case, it doesn’t refer to anyone else’s belly button – just your own.
In a literal sense, Nabelschau means looking at your own navel for a long period of time. But most people probably don’t do that. In the German language, the term has a negative connotation and refers to self-absorbed pursuits, self-centeredness or excessive contemplation of oneself. The Nabelschau is a narcissistic activity – one that distracts from the things that are truly important in life.
The word is a paronym of the Greek word omphalaskepsis (“navel-gazing”) – a form of self-contemplation often practiced as an aid to meditation. But while omphalaskepsis is a positive practice that allows you to connect with yourself, the Nabelschau is usually not – at least, not in colloquial German.
If someone accuses you of exhibiting a Nabelschau, that person probably thinks of you as self-absorbed. Don’t take it as a compliment.