I am a genius. I am better than you. I can do no wrong. I am more attractive than James Franco. Are any of these statements true? Well, except for perhaps the James Franco one, I highly doubt any of my friends believe that those paint an accurate depiction of me. To my ego though, all of the points listed above can never be disputed. I know deep within my heart that I am no more special than any other person on this planet, yet I still find myself talking down to others. Ironically, the more I hate myself, the more elitist I become.
I am the piece of shit in the center of the universe. I heard that in a meeting a few weeks ago, and it immediately clicked. I have issues with the way I look; therefore I will point out your physical faults. I made a mistake which leaves me feeling shamed and stupid, so I counteract that with intricate verbiage and by ridiculing your intelligence. I am the epitome of narcissism. I become so self-obsessed that smashing dents into your self-esteem does not come even close to fazing me. If it makes me look just a little more perfect in the eyes of my peers and society, I will become a little more satisfied.
Despite this, the small amount of satisfaction I just acquired is never enough. I need to be flawless. As I can never attain such a state of utopian living, my ego will never cease to exist. This is true for every man and woman. We can never full remove the faults within us that make us human. All we can hope for is to diminish our egos into a manageable state. That is one of the main goals for working through the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous: The deflation of ego.
Every last defect that we possess is tossed in front of us during these steps. We see how every single one of these flaws affected our past, and are made painfully aware of how our ego operates in the present. It became quite more difficult to flaunt my supposed superiority when I knew the underlying motive behind such a gesture. I constantly pay attention to how I converse and interact with the relationships I presently have, and acknowledge when one of my defects rears its ugly head. The more aware I am of these defects, the better equipped I am to deal with them.
Now while I can shrink my ego into something that is controllable, I can ever get rid of it altogether. Our egos are what give us our self-image. Without it, we have nothing to be proud of; no reason to stand on equal ground with others. A delicate balance must be achieved. Somewhere between a narcissist and a codependent is perfect equilibrium. It is alright to be proud of your accomplishments, just as it is okay to feel down when you fail to reach a goal. We are human, after all. Just being aware of when these things come up in our daily lives is enough to manage our egos.