Put down that mirror, you self-obsessed asshole. Don’t you realize how stupid you look?
Some might label those violating humble protocol as narcissists, or by its scientific definition, ‘Narcissistic Personality Disorder’. Symptoms of the disorder include: Exaggerating one’s importance among others, seeking constant attention and admiration from others, believing they’re special and can only be understood by other special people or institutions.
(I want to be perfectly clear; When I say narcissist, I’m addressing those with big egos. Not the tiny fraction of people with actual mental disorders.)
I’m no doctor but that seems like a huge generalization to me. That is, to assume all those pressing their ego buttons are narcissists. Keep in mind, ego isn’t as much a personality trait as it’s an action.
And am I right? Well, the data is in and to be honest – I’m not sure.
What I do know, is that a common trait associated with wealthy, confident, and powerful people, is the ability to trudge through bullshit like water. To keep one’s head raised and chest open when shit hits the fan. Pure unabashed confidence.
You might be thinking that ego doesn’t matter, or that it’s an obstacle and nothing else. But I’m convinced you can utilize it in a positive way.
When Kanye West smashed his jaw open in a car crash, did he really believe he’d be a best selling rap artists? When Steve Jobs got fired from the company he created, did he really believe he’d come back on top? Hardly. But that didn’t stop them.
“But that means nothing. There’s plenty of narcissistic people who’ve done nothing.”
Well, something separates these individuals from the majority. Any guesses?
It’s an ego button the size of Africa, which is why everyone hated them. And they’re not alone.
For example, if I’m having a shit day and want to feel better, I’m going to press my ego button. If I’m too aggressive with friends or overstate my abilities, I can put my foot on the brakes.
It’s not a personality trait.
Of coarse, there’s absolutely drawbacks to ego being overused.
Show no confidence at all, and you’re a shy dork incapable of anything. Press it too much, and you’re an asshole. Drawing the line can be difficult and so it’s no surprise why many steer clear of their ego entirely.
The trick is to find balance. To believe in yourself without being an asshole, and subsequently, to not remain quiet in pursuit of your desires. To quote Ryan Holiday, “Impressing people is utterly different from being truly impressive.”
That’s kind of the point.