Something I’ve realized over the years is that anytime I make somebody “wrong,” I’m just judging them and inflating my ego. Making someone wrong can be as simple as being annoyed because they’re late or because they did or said something disrespectful. This seems like relatively normal stuff to be annoyed about, and it is. But “normal” doesn’t mean it’s productive… for you, for them, or for the relationship. Judgment is not productive. By no means am I the standard-bearer of brotherly love, but I am increasingly aware that when I point the finger at somebody, I’m making myself feel superior and thereby feeding my ego. And this is addictive, because once your ego has a taste of superiority it’s gonna want more.
I’ve pointed my finger at people many times throughout my life, probably daily. And I will continue to do so. But, I’ve also realized that I don’t need the ego boost that’s brought on by feeling better than other people. When I see some racist, homophobic conservative whack-job dishing out ignorance, there’s definitely judgment happening on my part and LOTS of superiority, and for now I’m generally ok with it. But at the end of the day, when I get really honest with myself, I know that I’m just feeding my addiction, which doesn’t serve me. I also know that it totally eliminates any minuscule chance of changing that person’s mind or even being open to the areas where my own perspective could shift as well.
Sometimes people need to vent their frustrations toward one another and it can be incredibly healing. But more often than not, indulging in judgment, either out loud or in your head, is damaging and unproductive even if that person (really f-ing) deserves it. A large part of our life’s work is learning how to manage the ego, and to realize that we don’t need to bolster our sense of superiority on the backs of others. Superiority is just cheap confidence, because real confidence takes practice, diligent daily practice. Real confidence comes from love and humility, not just toward other people, but also toward ourselves. We can do both by using those superior ego moments to remind ourselves that we don’t need to be better than someone else, we are already spectacular all on our own.
Cheers to being enough!
Originally published on johnkalinowski.com