The first step to solving any problem, is recognizing that there is one.
The second, is identifying it correctly...
...and early this morning, I was able to do just that.
You see, after posting the 26th knot yesterday, I took a nap. I then woke up to find that someone had commented on my post: It's Not About the Nail. It was a little snippet from an ex-professor of mine. Something about how my post had reminded her about a song I'd never heard of.
Well, I spent a few minutes listening to this song, and it kind of changed my life! Not so much the song, but more the chain of investigation following it.
You see, the song itself is very much like my article: about responding without thinking, out of love. But right at the end, the artist begins this little spiel about egos... and at one point he goes:
...and it's hard to feel real gangsta, when you're always getting kissed.
But you jump at every pucker, cuz you fear of getting dissed.
I tried not to fight the parts of me, that want to kiss her back.
Egos should be illegal, mine just don't know how to act...
It tells me I don't need her, that I should walk this path alone.
Just make believe, just up my sleeve, that I'd do, better with a clone.
But could it be? It seems to me, that she's my other half.
My inner Tarzan, monkey girl, who's raised mainly by giraffes.
And besides she makes me laugh, cuz deep down, I think she's stupid.
But deeper down, I'm just a clown, starting barroom brawls with cupid.
Like "Fuck that nigga, baby angel doll. Yo, chew my buttery nipples..."*
Now besides that last sentence, which made me LOL , 😆 the rest of it rang pretty true. But in particular, the line about egos, caught my attention. I had heard that term before... No! Not from this:
But from my brother:
After cooking a soggy pot of rice one night, my brother had come home from work to meet me at the stove. He had then made jest of my soggy rice, with a light joke about how bad it was and how was I going to eat it? To which my immediate response was: "Don't worry, I like it like that."
I'm a lazy cook for sure, and I've made (and eaten) tons of soggy rice, and noodles in my time... but I wouldn't go as far as to say I like it. It's just edible at best. But in response to his light criticism, that was my immediate fallback. After which, he politely told me, that I have a big ego.
Yet, until today, I had always thought that he was full of shit and didn't know what he was talking about (in relation to that particular statement, anyway). Because I most certainly don't think of myself as bigger than I am... if anything, with all my self-criticism, I think of myself as less.
So to find myself agreeing with this artist who seemed to know that his problem was egotistical, made me question what I knew of big egos - and what I knew of big egos, was of someone with an over-inflated sense of self, because they think they are more important than they are...
Come to find, that this definition while correct, is incomplete. Big egos can be equally the result of a person feeling overly self-important, as of a person being overly self-critical. See here for the deets.
...and that was when the flashbacks began:
- Of the one time with my brother...
- Some other times with my ex
- Things I joke about: Like never being wrong, and being terrible at giving compliments.
- Things I've noticed: Like self-involvement, expressing my opinions as fact, and lowering others' expectations of me
- And things I'm working on: Like appreciating differing opinions, and learning to accept compliments myself.
Every one of those things, is on the well-known list of big ego faults. Every one of course, except the ones that are self-deprecating. So even though, I project a highly confident self-image, the truth is I'm a lot more fragile :- and the further complication in my experience, may be that I actually have a few real accomplishments, that back up my projected self-image.
Thus, when I tell people (in all honesty), that I don't think I'm that smart, or that good at whatever they've complimented me on, they always think I'm being humble, or in the worst case, condescending.
But no, guys! I honestly don't think I'm all that... and furthermore, as a call back to friendships & relationships: When I have reacted defensively, it was never actually planned.
So to all my old friends and family who have experienced my reactive nature, both those who got used to it... and those who got away from it... Let me just take this time to say: I'm sorry 😳
How's that for a Twist huh? An apology without justification. Wonders shall never cease! 😆