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62: Is Your Ego In Check? (Sort Of)
Welcome to Recovery (Sort Of), the podcast where we explore the winding paths of mental health recovery. Join us on a journey of self-discovery and growth, as we navigate the highs, lows, and unexpected detours of the recovery process. From managing anxiety and depression to coping with trauma and grief, each episode delves into real-life experiences, insights, and practical strategies for finding balance and healing.
Today we talk all about the ego. Often referred to as “Easing God Out,” we examine if the goal is to completely rid ourselves of ego, or to pursue a healthy ego. We take an ego test, and look at suggestions for limiting ego, or gaining a healthy ego. Join the conversation by leaving a message, emailing us at RecoverySortOf@gmail.com, or find us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, or find us on our website at www.recoverysortof.com.
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12/20/20 On this episode we talk all about the ego. Often referred to as “Easing God Out,” we examine if the goal is to completely rid ourselves of ego, or to pursue a healthy ego. We take an ego test, and look at suggestions for limiting ego, or gaining a healthy ego.
recovery sort of is a podcast where we discuss recovery and addiction topics from the perspective of people living in long-term recovery this podcast does not intend to represent the views of any particular group organization or fellowship the views expressed here are solely the opinion of its contributors be advised there may be strong language or topics of an adult nature
hello everybody welcome back to recovery sort of my name’s billy i’m a person in long-term recovery i’m jason i’m a guy in long-term recovery as well and this week i wanted to talk about the ego and how it serves or doesn’t serve me well in my later recovery why it’s dangerous to me as an addict and i think the people in general but before we get into that jason’s going to give us the recap of last week yeah and and weeks prior so jenny reached out and for our open-mindedness quiz or whatever i think i i don’t remember the exact numbers i think i had like a 20 and you had like a 17 or something we were both right in the mid-range she got a 27. wow i was like god you open-minded [ __ ] yeah that’s incredible i know i’m so jealous really it’s all that recovery dharma i know i’m in the wrong program i’m definitely switching i also just wanted to mention that like hanukkah is in full swing by the time you hear this christmas is right around the corner merry christmas by the way and you know that can be a trying time and especially i think even more so in 2020 where things are crazy and pandemic and quarantines and stress and all that [ __ ] and our christmas episode from last year had some tips on how to stay clean through holiday type events of course you know one of the things we mentioned there was like the family situations and knowing our limits of being around our alcoholic and drug addict family members which maybe this actually gets us out of that this year maybe we don’t have to go and do that we have a nice excuse oh nope coronavirus can’t come see you so whatever if you need tips maybe that’s an episode to listen to but definitely happy holidays to you in whatever way you celebrate them and then lastly i just happened to post on twitter randomly yesterday i was bored i guess i don’t know i was like hey can you still work the 12-step if you leave your 12-step program and the overall general consensus is yes people are like yeah [ __ ] yeah you can definitely do that and i ended up getting busy so i never got around to being able to really try to get more information because in the step it says we try to carry this message and so my technicality here is this message is that the program is beneficial for my life and so if i’m no longer going it just seems so hypocritical hey you should really go to that 12-step program over there that i no longer bother going to it’ll be great for your life i don’t know i never got to really reach out and try to get further feedback from anybody but the general consensus most people agree yes you can still work the 12-step yeah i would think so too i mean just right off the top of my head i would say yes i mean i don’t disagree with that at this point in my life i do think there’s that technicality that people are overlooking when they just easily say you can i’m like but anyway that’s about all the news that’s fit to print or talk about or whatever the [ __ ] we do like most of these subjects you know where they come up in my head i’m like oh this would be interesting to talk about and then i do a little like research outside of what i already think i know because i think i’m an egomaniac and i know everything there is to know about ego and why do any research i already know what it means i already know all about i’ll just teach these peasants about ego and i know how it relates to me and what it means to me and all about me so perfect i’m good at that but it actually came up on my radar a week or two ago i was watching a weird series documentaries and one of them was on sigmund freud and his some of his crazy ass theories which which they call him i guess the father of modern psychoanalysis yeah but some of what he believed was pretty crazy but i guess pretty uh thought provoking for the time anyway one of these ideas was about the ego he believed we had a primal or i don’t know sensual side of us called the id and then we had a more moral and ethical side of us called the super ego and our ego was the thinking part of us that navigated between those two areas how do we balance out like our primal instincts and our intellectual thinking and so for him or in his theory it wasn’t really like a good or bad thing it was this realm of where we needed to navigate and in any case he he never actually even used the word ego he used the german word for ego but really ego is a latin word for i as in i am and it’s just come nowadays to be known as basically our own personal interpretation of what we intellectually think about ourselves um that makes sense i mean i kind of relate to his idea right like on the one hand there’s the animal side like hey boobies like boobies right and then the other side of like i want to be a classy distinguished individual and a gentleman that’s respected in my community and how do i make both of those things work in my actions yeah and so not to get too far off on that but one of the interesting things about freud was he opened up this area of like sexual or sensual exploration um as you know before that historically in the 1800s people were incredibly uptight about any kind of sexuality or sensuality or or any of that stuff and some of his ideas delved into that the sexual side of things the sexual nature of people actually encouraging people to explore some of that about themselves making it kind of okay so he wasn’t popular amongst the christians that was the cocaine talking yeah that was it but in any case you know nowadays we kind of look at the ego differently and typically i think we associate it with like arrogance if you say someone’s like an egomaniac it’s someone that thinks highly of themselves or thinks of themselves better than others i don’t know the way it’s described at least in a lot of the psychological writing it’s not necessarily that can also be bad we can use it in bad ways to think about ourselves it more boils down to like the story lines we continually tell ourselves in our heads that aren’t always based on facts a lot of times they’re based on thoughts or feelings in the moment so for example i go into work and we have this ongoing problem and i find the solution and i get cheered by all my employees you know yeah you solve the problem i think great i am so smart you know what i mean i am the [ __ ] smartest guy here and then an hour later it’s like i forget to email back you know whatever the president of the company sent me an email for something and you know it’s like i’m so [ __ ] stupid i can’t believe you know i did this what a dummy you know and in that same span of time based on what my intellectual brain is telling me i can think i am the smartest person in the room or the dumbest person in the room and so you know neither of those is necessarily true but both of them in that moment in my reality are a hundred percent true and i will make decisions about how i proceed with the situation based on this ego so like the ego is this part of our brain that like it’s always changing it’s not like a static thing it’s not like i always think this way about myself but i do have storylines that i tell myself in my head kind of over and over and over again that will get me into trouble i know like one of those for myself is i gotta watch out because people are always trying to take advantage of me everybody’s trying to get something from me everybody wants something for me i got to be on guard i got to keep everybody at a distance another one for me personally is like i struggle a lot of times with low self-esteem or not feeling good enough so i feel like i gotta over achieve at a lot of things that i do in life just to feel like i’m not less than everyone else that’s interesting because you always talk about how you are an optimist about seeing the positive in people so to think they’re always out to get you is really contradictory and this is where i think for an addict the ego gets kind of extra dangerous or super dangerous what i’ve learned in some of this research and then looking at how recovery works in our lives what i really need to figure out or find for myself is a state of humility like the true version of myself and it reminds me of a prayer or a little saying i heard a guy say one time at a convention somewhere or might have been on a cd somewhere but he closed out and he said god help me to see myself not as i see me because i’m not that bad help me to not see myself as my friends see me because i’m not that good but help me to see me as you see me because that’s who i really am and so for me like my understanding of ego after all this is that what i’m trying to do is figure out that sort of how god sees me part of things like i’m not all good or all bad i’m probably a mix of both at different times i’m a mix of these different things and an honest self-appraisal of who i am is what i’m really looking for yeah i miss i miss some of my ego i mean i i know i still have some but i i miss some parts of it i’m just thinking back like before i did some really serious therapy work i came into recovery and felt weak and and not manly enough and not tough enough and that led me to go to the gym and just work out like crazy right and i got bigger and i got stronger and i looked pretty good with my shirt off and i was like god this is great right but it was all based in self-hatred really it was because i felt so low about me that i had to have this perfect like you know was aiming for like the greek statue body or whatever without the tiny penis and then i went to this therapy and and got better and and now i don’t have that drive as much right so i still hit the gym but i got to like force myself now and it’s not as fun and and you know there’s days i skip it and like eat snacks instead like tasty cakes and and it turns out that the ultimate outcome of that is not looking as good right but i feel way better and so it’s kind of a give and take it’s almost like ego can motivate us to do these incredible feats in life but it’s based out of not liking ourselves enough and doesn’t really lead to satisfaction right it doesn’t really lead to the fulfillment after we’ve accomplished this great task it’s just it’s not enough we need another great task and so you’re kind of like you’re either going to accomplish great things or you’re going to be happy with yourself well and that was some of the interesting things you know i i was reading through some of these articles and realizing i guess at least it seemed like from a psychological perspective you know they didn’t look at ego as all bad all the time like is in a person in recovery i’m constantly looking at my ego as this bad thing or this thing i’m supposed to be avoiding or staying away from or or not letting run my life we hear ego is like easing god out you know that sort of language you know in in a lot of the reading i was doing they don’t look at it that way they kind of look at some of those positive things that you were talking about that come about as a result of i guess what you would call ego it’s like you know if people give us praise for being a good artist like is it terrible that we say hey i’m a i’m a pretty good artist you know a lot of people tell me i’m a good artist so is it terrible to think that about yourself it definitely seems contrary to that prayer you just mentioned well i mean that’s it doesn’t necessarily mean that whatever god doesn’t see us as a good artist where it gets us in trouble is when we become like egomaniacs or when we get an over ego so the goal is to keep our ego in check or at a level to where we’re not lacking self-esteem or self-worth or self-motivation so can we have self-esteem and self-worth outside of ego through a humble means if humility is the opposite and to some extent like just a honest self-appraisal of yeah i’m okay well i think from the technical definition that’s still ego any sort of self-appraisal is still ego hmm i mean if you look just looking at the definition of the word ego you’re giving an appraisal of yourself it can be odd i mean that’s what you’re shooting for is an honest appraisal you’re not looking for an over inflated or artificial version of yourself so to leave the ego i will just say i am so obviously you’re going to teach us about ego and what is apparently according to experts the healthy version of it and i’m going to argue with you well i actually was thinking more sort of going the other way of looking at like as an addict so why is it like why is my ego so dangerous as an addict that i have to sort of keep it in check or keep it in lock or always sort of be on guard from it whereas i don’t know maybe and of course this is where we always debate like normal people and i might change normal i might change that to healthy people maybe that’s a smaller percentage of people where are they what the hell is that but healthy people are in a state of you know their egos in check they’re not egomaniacs or egocentric you know they’re they’re people that are healthy but as an addict you know i think my self-centeredness drives me to always be thinking about myself how is this going to serve me what’s it going to do for me how am i going to get what i want while nasa searches for alien life i’m going to search the planet for healthy people yeah like in recovery language that self-centeredness of my disease is what seems to be at the core of my affliction i am always thinking about what i’m thinking about myself or how the world or you know it’s how about what i’m thinking yeah and that will drive me to do irrational things it’ll drive me to you know seek out things that are going to hurt me it’ll cause me to overindulge in things to make excuses of well i’ll figure it out i’ll take care of it it’ll be okay whatever justification rationalization and so for me i think i would always find myself in a place where i either thought really highly of my like i was always measuring myself against whoever i was around so i was either way better than everyone else in the room or way less than everyone else in the room and then that directed how i acted in my addiction is it still ego if you measure yourself against yourself i’m asking i like i think that’s the healthy way to go like hey i’m much better today than i have been previously that’s great oh well i think i mean again is it ego yes is it egocentric or egomania to do that i don’t think so i mean i think that’s probably a healthy thing to do that’s one of the actually one of the things they give you as a tool was like self introspection you know looking at yourself i guess a little more deeply i have just always tended to see the ego as negative even though psychology seems to tell us that there’s this healthy amount of it we can have it’s kind of like you know a healthy amount of sugar or a healthy amount of crack or something like i just for some reason you know that healthy glass of wine every day that’s good for you i i just tend to not really agree with you not really i i just i think there’s i don’t know i think maybe we’re better off completely without it but that’s why i want to i want to hear the definitions you found and i want to see the information or hear the information i guess and then i want to debate it i’m down okay so one of the healthy ways that i heard ego described or it could be used in a healthy way is that we all have positive and negative self-esteem that we put on ourselves and our ego is kind of the balancing of those two things so if we only think negatively of ourselves all the time we have a really negative self-image if we only think positive of ourselves all the time that’s where we get our arrogance and things and both of those things make up ego so a healthy balance of both is what we need not an absence of both of those things interesting so i would say okay so ego is all about the i statements so it’s i am good or i am bad doesn’t really make a difference so i’m here with like i hear that who says we wouldn’t be better without any of that like i think i would be better off if i never bothered to think of i or label i i mean i got to think about you know oh i’m tired i need sleep well i think as an addict there’s certain areas we need to do some self-reflection we need to look at our behaviors our actions and attitudes reflect on how they’re affecting people around us i believe that’s healthy so i think my ego believes that’s healthy right yeah that’s all your ego buddy i’m thinking it’s more like ego is judgments or statements about who we are as people whereas the self-assessment we do in a 12-step fellowship at least i hope is more a statement or judgment of our actions and doesn’t speak to who we are as a person and so this there’s no story to tell ourselves about what this means about us right there’s no ego in it it’s just hey when i treat people shitty i don’t like how i feel let me change that not i’m a shitty person not i’m a great person and should treat them shitty because i’m better than them i would agree if we were aspiring to be sort of like the shaolin monk kind of people you’re not no that’s not our goal not at all damn ideally i think that’s a great place to be is like i never really think about myself i only think about how the world around me is going and then i act according to my nature i don’t believe that’s practical i mean that’s one of those states that we sort of shoot for but know that we’re never going to achieve and maybe that’s a cop-out that i don’t have to work so hard but i don’t know i that’s definitely what i’m going for i want to be you know one with everything i’m down but i guess the scary part for me when i hear people who came in you know the office into therapy and a lot of the conflict that comes up is because whatever they really need to do or whatever’s going on in their life does not fit in with their life story and that life story i think is what the ego controls and tells us oh well this is the kind of person you are you can’t change that you can’t deal with situations like this you can’t think outside of the person you are you can’t change the person you are and i just feel like without that if i don’t tell myself a story if i just say it’s easier if it’s not a story right if i say i’m a very liberal thinker this is who i am that’s hard to change but if i say so far that thinking has made more sense to me but if i ever hear something that sounds better i’m not honestly and i think you do this a lot because a lot of times when we come in here and we have our debates or disagreements you’ll say i’m not really married to this idea it’s just what i’ve had so far and if i hear something better i’m open to it that’s what i think not having the ego is it’s just not being married to ideas right it’s not telling ourselves the story of this is who i am and i i don’t go outside of that box it’s more just well this is what i’ve been doing but whatever yes i agree to that to an extent i would say that it’s important for me though to have some values or beliefs or things about myself that i still hold strong i mean as far as my self-image or self-worth so sort of circle back a little bit when you talked about what you started that with as an addict so i can look at myself as an addict and say oh i’ve been using all this time and i’m a failure and i’m a piece of [ __ ] and i use drugs over all these other things or i can take what maybe i don’t know positive aspects of that and be like look you know you made it to some really tough [ __ ] you survived through what some people would consider like trauma in their lives and made it to this point like you are a stronger person because you made it through these experiences that is still sort of a reflection of ego but it would hopefully be used in a more humbling way than it would be as some sort of arrogant or egotistical way hmm i think it’s more empathetic but i don’t know i think they’re both true i was a piece of [ __ ] and i wouldn’t have made it through without drugs well and that’s part of the problem with our ego is that it can tell us both of those things at the same time like it’s not this overly rational logical thing because it doesn’t make sense a lot of times you know it can contradict itself constantly but we still think it’s healthy to have a part of us that doesn’t make sense or we need to train our ego to make sense correct well yes it’s we need to it’s like self-esteem you know what i mean if i say i have healthy like it’s it’s not good to have no self-esteem at all self-esteem is a thing that i should have but i shouldn’t have too little of it or too much of it i should have a balance of it that keeps me like grounded and level in hopefully reality but maybe in hindsight i just feel like i want jenny here for her buddhist version of this i feel like it would align with mine and help my ego yeah and i get that so i do understand i i do some a lot of meditation and there’s a practice that i do in the app and it’s very much about that stuff separating ourselves now the way i understand it at least through the practice that i’ve been working on is it’s really trying to step outside of that thinking mind and to understand that that thinking mind isn’t always giving us the clear best righteous answer that you know my thinking even though i think it’s always right isn’t always right so it’s not that i’m looking for an absence and in meditation it’s not that i’m looking for like an absence of any thinking i’m just trying to get it has its own place you know what i mean like i need to sit there and think is this a thought is this a feeling and then what can i do with it and what should i do with it you know those are all things that go into the thought process versus i just have a feeling i’m angry so i go punch whoever made me angry you know that’s like the opposite of what i need to do right like that’s what i did in addiction you know what i mean i’m hurt i’m angry i want to make this go away so i’ll go use drugs and i don’t play that out in like a rational healthy way i just react to the feelings and through meditation i try to kind of step back and go well wait a minute you’re angry so let’s look at like why are you angry am i that might be helpful to look at and is the reason you’re angry really rational or irrational and that might be something to look at and then i can make an appropriate decision moving forward and so a lot of times you know with my ego it can be the same thing like i feel a certain way about myself was what i’m telling myself about myself true or is it really just based in some feeling that i’m having in the moment hmm sounds a lot like the book i was reading a while back the untethered soul which talks about how the brain i know it sounds stupid but has a mind of its own really like it’s not us even though we so closely associate ourselves with being the brain in 2020 that’s what we think and that during meditation and really the ultimate goal of our life is to realize that the brain thinks and talks but we are not that talker we’re not even really the listener we’re the awareness behind all of that just watching the conversation and when we can get to that place that’s when we’re really living in the moment and at ease in peace to me that says i don’t want the ego like it can be there but i don’t want to be a part of it personally i want to be kind of watching it and being like look at that dumbass but i guess that would make me the ego again if i was judging the son of a [ __ ] damn it it’s always there and i guess that’s more how i saw it or took it was that it’s always there like i can hope for an absence of it but that’s probably unrealistic so the best i can do in this current current state that i am in personally is try to keep it in check and at a healthy level mine flared up yesterday in the car we were driving to my mom’s and my wife was asking the kids what kind of cookies they wanted to make for christmas this year and there was sugar cookies and gingerbread and i was like could we make snickerdoodles and she said you can’t decorate snickerdoodles because the decoration is what makes them snickerdoodles and this turned into an argument because i was offended because i was like i felt stupid right you’re going to tell me i can’t decorate a snickerdoodle why and so it lasted like this was like uh an hours long thing and i’m like what the [ __ ] i just have to say my head went right there too like why can’t you decorate a snickerdoodle
motherfuckingbettycrocker.com says you can yes so i ain’t saying i’m right but no matter what i didn’t feel right at the end of the night it didn’t feel very right so yeah apparently you can put decorations on sugar cookies and it doesn’t make them other types of cookies but if you decorate a snickerdoodle according to my wife it’s not a snickerdoodle anymore i i don’t know but yeah either way the point was my ego was involved in it right it was all about how i felt from her statement and like had i just not given a [ __ ] that she had her statement about not like i okay like i could have just sat there and thought i liked snickerdoodles and then we’d have never argued that would actually be part of the problem at least my goal through meditation is to understand or to be able to hopefully recognize when my ego is flaring up like oh this is my ego telling me that i need to be right and win this argument i need to kind of wind it back and the story that i tell myself that i need to be right all the time is a bad part of my ego i don’t even want to win the argument anymore i just want the other person to acknowledge they’re wrong it’s not about what like i don’t care about being right that doesn’t [ __ ] do nothing for me i just get annoyed when people i feel are wrong and don’t own that what the [ __ ] whatever sorry wife
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and i noticed when i first got into recovery i think because my life was such a mess it was easy to be really humble and really think i don’t want to say lowly of myself because i was working on well i was definitely feeling low i felt pretty lowly i was just thinking i had to do some like those positive affirmations and things i have my sponsor tell me like i should do positive affirmations tell myself i love myself and i’m a good person and all because i felt like such a piece of [ __ ] but again i think the either two negative aspects of myself like that was still my ego telling me that stuff it wasn’t just about the arrogance all that you’re a piece of [ __ ] you’re worthless you’re no good like all that was my ego and i needed to get that in check yeah i don’t think that was good spot either i liked the actions from that place that i was in but i don’t want to have those actions because i feel like i’m not worth acting different and that was basically where i was early on i’m right there with you but i like the actions it brought the the humble type actions i just want to be there without having to feel shitty about me yeah yeah that would be nice it took a lot of the work that i did through the steps to kind of help bring me around to a better way of thinking of some of that and it was really interesting and we’ll get into it in a few minutes the things that they say help balance your ego the things that help keep your ego in check we’re not surprisingly i should say we’re a lot of things that we do in step one it was understanding that i needed help from other people understanding that i needed powers greater than myself to help get through life that i wasn’t the most important person in the room like all of those things that were the way that i had been living my life most of my addiction you know what i mean i could take care of myself i don’t need anyone’s help i’m gonna be fine everyone else is my problem like all those things were my ego keeping me stuck in that addiction keeping me stuck making the same terrible choices over and over again interesting so let’s get into it then let’s do it so we’ll do the questions then we’ll get into the signs that you’re an egomaniac and then what you can do about it so i already took the quiz i already know what my score was we’ll take it for you if you want yeah uh it’s just on brain fail dot com slash quizzes slash are you and egomaniac my brain says or my ego says i’m gonna beat you in this oh and you don’t need to put in an email address or anything you can take the quiz and it’ll give you your results i took it for myself but it doesn’t give you like a scale of what’s good or bad just gives you what anyone else would be yeah it tells you what yours is at the end does it tell you which is higher or lower uh it gives you a percentage so the higher percentage is bad and then it gives you a little synopsis of what your percentage kind of mean well my ego says i’m going to beat you because if i get higher than you then i’ll say i want and if i get lower than you all say i won i took two different quizzes so i can give you my score on the lowest one that wasn’t this one
because my ego says i need to win and i didn’t like this question at first because i thought ooh that’s kind of tough how would you rank your attractiveness on a scale from one to five five being the most attractive yeah the other ones get better this is hard i want to be honest but i also want to win four okay i think i was a four as well you just lost in a game how do you react rematch this game is stupid anyway congratulate my opponent yell and or throw something that’s tricky like is this a game against one of my sons or somebody i like or is this i immediately thought my children i’m thinking like playing online i want to yell and throw something let’s go with uh congratulate i don’t know that’s always true but let’s go with that three i guess that’s probably never true for me i probably answered this game is stupid anyway i with my sons i’m like yeah hey that’s awesome i hope oh gosh i’m probably worse with myself i really don’t want to lose to him that’s fine i can’t beat a 12 year old i still i can pretend i did it on purpose is that it yeah i never thought of that strategy oh it’s a good one i need to train my ego better then i could get a positive result if you want something done right i do it myself hire someone really good work as a team oh i’m definitely doing that [ __ ] myself that’s bait i do it myself not a [ __ ] doubt
that’s the way that i approach most of life i’ll just do it people offer to do [ __ ] for me that would make my life easier and i’m like i just can’t let you i just got to know me i think that i can do most things better than people that are paid to do it for a living i definitely wish i could just be my own doctor after watching a few youtube videos like oh i could do that [ __ ] i seen people that do that they’re stupid watch doogiehousermd i definitely don’t need a [ __ ] doctor there are two attractive people you might be interested in at a table near you in between they’re talking and laughing they keep glancing in your direction what’s the deal they’re making fun of you they want you you have something on your face or how should i know oh they want me though i i have noticed as i get a little older the thoughts creep in that maybe i do have something like a buggy or something yeah that one i would think i have something on my face i would be curious to hear my wife’s answers for me about these questions honestly i think i’m doing honest but she she might disagree yeah i didn’t even think of that and jen was sitting there when i answered a couple of these so i should have asked her that would have been interesting are you living the life you deserve yes and it sucks no i deserve better no i deserve worse yes i suppose so and it’s great i don’t like the [ __ ] question because i don’t i don’t think we get what we deserve and i don’t understand that completely i guess i’m gonna have to go with this great whatever the great one was because my life is great i just i’m not a believer in anything about deserving or completely separate from my life understanding how many mirrors do you have in your house not enough let me see one in each bathroom and in the bedroom mirrors are my preferred wall decoration i don’t know totally but i’m going to guess one in each bathroom and one in the bedroom that’s what we have i mean i don’t know that i’m opposed to mirrors i just don’t have a bunch in my house it just so happens that the ones i have right now are like not convenient to look at and useless most of the time so whatever don’t pay attention anymore i’ve gotten better with age i can answer this one for you because i know what my answer was fill in the blank you are smarter than blank people few people some people most people all people i want to say most but i really think my honest answer is all that’s the [ __ ] worst i don’t think i’m smarter than everybody i just don’t meet people smarter than me oh god that’s terrible it is terrible and i only say that because i think the same way and see i i guess this like maybe plays out how we view ego so yes i believe that’s not a healthy ego but the fact that now i like recognize that i think that way and i can catch myself before reacting to that a lot of times like that’s where doing some actually work on my ego helps me like yes that’s what i think and i don’t know if i mean maybe one day that’ll change but i it’s just my knee-jerk reaction to most things is to think that i’m smarter than most people and configure should help without other people’s help i think my issue with that question is i don’t sit here and believe i am smarter than every other human like i don’t believe that so to say all is kind of wrong but at the same time if you said name somebody that’s smarter than you i don’t have anybody to name so i’m just like i don’t know how to answer that how can i say most when i can’t name people smarter than me or i’ll get into a intellectual debate on what do you mean by smarter like there’s people that are book smart right they might not be you know sure there’s people that know science [ __ ] that i have no idea oh absolutely but they don’t understand their feelings they couldn’t live my life yeah that’s a hard one so you are in a heated argument when suddenly you realize you were wrong all along what do you do admit it change the subject get upset what i’m never wrong i i think i admit it yeah it’s hard to do in a heated argument that definitely changes it a little i might have to admit it later but no i don’t have any problem i don’t think admitting when i’m wrong when i see that i’m wrong it’s seeing it i think is the problem if someone is better than you at something you feel jealous motivated angry defeated or impressed impressed and jealous i was motivated i don’t like when people are better no there’s just too many [ __ ] things and i can’t be good at all of them so that’s interesting like i don’t need to be better than them but it will definitely motivate me to get better like i i have a weird i don’t need to be better than everyone i just need to be better than like 90 of the people and then i’m okay i don’t need to be the best you know there’s always going to be people that are better than me and i’m okay with that part but i need to be better than most i can’t be average [ __ ] that do you enjoy learning new things no it’s boring yes it’s interesting eh depends on what it is i prefer to teach others what i know
i thought i had the answer till that one threw me for a loop i i say the third one the depends on it depends on what it is yeah i was not enjoying learning how to do our new website friday but then once i started getting it i was like okay hey we got a website this is kind of fun that was a plug for our website in case you guys didn’t realize it uh recoverysortof.com which is well under construction so don’t expect too much when you go there but it’s there you are 48 an egomaniac ooh less than half but but is that good or bad
you have a healthy ego it says you’ve got just about the perfect amount of ego to give you big enough to give you confidence but not so big that it gives you a big head to go with it that’s good because i already have a big head and you did i if lower is better you beat me i got a 50. but still right there in the middle that’s good pretty close yeah it was interesting some of my answers were slightly different but i guess maybe i was better on some and worse on it it’s funny because five minutes ago i told you i would believe we shouldn’t have any amount of ego but now that i have a really good healthy amount it’s great yeah now it’s like of course i have a good healthy amount of ego how how wouldn’t i well that just ruined the test score yeah as always mine’s good that’s good
that’s a healthy thing signs that you need to get your ego in check and what i found really fascinating about this was it was i found the information on a doctor’s website talking to doctors about how you really need to watch like being an egomaniac because of course obviously medical professionals or i mean we all know the cliche movie of like the heart surgeons or the brain surgeons that are these egomaniac egotistical people have you seen house so uh it was interesting you know the article itself went into like why it was dangerous and what was unhealthy about it and how people around you don’t want to work with you anymore so that was pretty interesting that’s super interesting and i had a really egotistical doctor so i might have to send him that link yeah so signs that you are an egomaniac you are very impatient check it says that impatience egotists think they know everything therefore they are very impatient with people who take time to complete tasks or learn something new yeah definitely double check yeah i’m both of those you are too defensive are you always quick to blame others for everything yet always have a good reason for why your tasks are performed well do you consider others incompetent when they make mistakes yet always have an excuse when you fall
uh i’m getting better yes it’s still there but i’m getting better so and and that’s like we talked about earlier i can when i was answering some of these things i was reflecting back on you know what i used to feel like early in recovery and early in my life and how i felt in the last couple years i definitely think i’ve gotten a lot better at specifically that you know like i make mistakes and other people make mistakes and that’s okay you know my impatience depends on the day but with that part i think i do a lot better and i think that’s from step work just you know doing an eighth step realizing that i’m human and i make mistakes even with my best intentions and then going back and making amends for those mistakes and realizing a lot of times my thoughts most of the time were good and my intentions were good it wasn’t like i was out to hurt people or make mistakes but the end result still sucked so i went to high school with this guy and i was a really small guy in high school right and then i ended up you know running into him later down the line we did some work together and i was telling him one day i’m like man i i don’t know this gym stuff whatever because i had gotten pretty big right and i’m like yeah you know look i i can go in the gym and and i can lift you know this amount of weight or whatever and but i’d really i get on a job site and i don’t really feel any stronger than anybody else right i just don’t think it’s that big a deal and he’s like maybe it’s because you started from being so weak
and it hurt my feelings a little bit but it kind of makes sense i look at like my ego growth in recovery and i’m like holy [ __ ] i’ve made these huge strides right to be so much better with it but i guess i started so skewed to the ego side that it’s really right not that much better in the long run yeah but that’s what we’re shooting for improvement that’s all we can do we can be those [ __ ] out there running around not improving at all there’s definite improvement there’s no doubt about that number three you constantly complain do you immediately start complaining as soon as things start going wrong when working on a team do you blame everyone else for failure or and shortcomings i don’t think i’m gonna let my wife listen to this episode oh this is [ __ ] terrible dude so look my son and i both play this game rocket league and you’re on a three-person team it’s basically soccer but you’re in a car in an arena it’s fun as hell anyway anytime my team is losing it’s obviously the other two guys fault now you can see your scores throughout the game and there’s times i’ll be in games where one guy has like 220 the other guy has 180 and i have like 36. and i’m still blaming them i swear it’s their fault my son has never played a game where it wasn’t the other two teammates faults and i’m just like holy [ __ ] yeah wow so number four you argue frequently egotists place blame on everything but themselves this tends to make them confrontational [ __ ] this episode billy who came up with this [ __ ] wow i feel personally attacked five you never apologize an egotistical person never apologizes for anything oh i apologize today they don’t believe they ever do anything wrong there you do that i know you i think you aren’t apologizing i do apologize today yeah i can’t say i always see when i’m wrong but when i do i apologize for sure six you are very judgmental who are you to judge others
apparently there’s a lot of work still to be done and see i laugh because i am all of those things too and the reason i laugh is because it’s so funny like you know again my ego tells me that i have all this growth in this great place yeah and then it’s like i run through most of my days like angry and judgmental at other people and how stupid so many other people and how difficult they make my life yes those bastards
oh this episode hurts my heart hurts my ego for sure yeah so that was it those six i think i was a solid five out of six five and a half five point eight i don’t know i’m up there so how do we fix it now what’s the what’s the steps to fix it god i hope there’s some steps to help oh [ __ ] okay ways to keep your ego in check and again a lot of these we see through step work and through the process of you know our work into fellowship but it’s not always that there are other things uh that help to know that you are a small grain of sand in the universe so it’s like humility you know understanding that we are not all that matters we are really probably a pretty insignificant or inconsequential person in the world there’s a quote about that something about remember at any point in time when life’s overwhelming you’re like a speck of carbon dust on a [ __ ] rock hurtling through space at you know a billion miles per hour or whatever and nobody gives a [ __ ] or something like that yeah yeah so being in that state of humility that helps understanding that we’re just part of a much bigger picture a much larger thing i am not the beach i am just a piece of stuff recognize that others have helped you get where you are oh yeah there’s no denying that there’s been a lot of help in my life every [ __ ] step of the way so maybe it’s not that i like i don’t feel like i have any argument against these i’m in total agreement maybe i just need to remind myself of them more often and that’s what i took out of most of this it’s like the process of recovery teaches me to continually strive to be better and i can do that by just reminding myself of some of these concepts you know whether it’s in the morning through prayer or meditation or when i start my day each day like it’s that just for today saying we have it’s like i need to consistently remind myself to keep myself in check because if not the self-centered part of my disease sort of creeps back in and before i really recognize it i again have put myself as the most important person in the universe right like i don’t consciously do it it’s sort of subconsciously why is everybody getting in my way on my way to work well don’t they know i’m running late you know it’s like some of us have places to be i’m hitting every goddamn red light the red light people are out to get me the red light mafia realize everyone is of equal importance and we all have value that’s so [ __ ] hard to believe yeah i’m not gonna lie i immediately thought equal importance for what because i don’t think everyone has equal importance god i’m a social worker and that one’s still hard to practice know that nothing is permanent yeah that’s one i’m actually working on doing more now a lot of the stuff i’m listening to and you know the the buddhist line of thinking of like getting in touch with my own death and my own impermanence and basically how little all that’s going to matter in the grand scheme of things i’m trying to work on that i’ve shared that frequently as part of my recovery story like i’ve said you know if i look at my life over a five-year period you know what’s going on in my life now compared to five years before that compared to five years before that and i mean totally as far as what issues are a major problem what areas are going great you know what’s going on in this relationship or that relationship because in the moment it feels like whatever’s going on is overwhelmingly powerful and you know either great or painful or needs to happen you know and then when i look back five years ago it’s like oh [ __ ] you know whatever was going on in my life back then like none of that’s relevant now and whatever’s going on now didn’t even exist then right and so it’s an interesting exercise for me and i still try to do it every couple of years kind of look back to where i was five years before so everyone’s equal mind myself have friends that will be honest and intimate with you and this had more to do with people that will give you like honest self-assessment obviously in recovery we would hopefully have sponsors that are doing that that are giving us honest self-assessments or or giving us an honest view of ourselves yeah but having a support group or a network of people around that aren’t a bunch of yes men right i mean we see how that plays out for like movie stars and reality tv shows maybe that become president that you surround yourself with all these yes people and and i don’t think they do it intentionally but you surround yourself with people that only tell you the good things about yourself and then you that’s what you think about yourself it’s definitely hard no one’s telling you you’re a [ __ ] idiot it’s hard to tell people the uglier side of themselves no matter how close we are to them like even i i still and that’s the hard part of telling them to begin with and then it’s also the hard part of i still want them to like me and i’m not sometimes worried they won’t like that right but yeah no i i feel like i have that too i have a definite group of people that will tell me about me and it may not be one person in all areas like it could be different people in different areas you know for example i can have probably conversations with my wife about our relationship and she’ll surely tell me what areas i’m falling short in you know maybe in my marriage or in my relationship whereas you know i can talk to friends or someone like you about whatever parenting or recovery and be able to kind of get a different opinion on what i could be doing different or should be doing different so well and i think that’s even a step beyond what that healthy thing said that healthy thing was just like hey ways to combat this or to have these people in your life that will tell you the truth but i think it’s even better like you just mentioned to seek out other opinions and i find that i do that not all the time or anything but i definitely seek out information from people when i feel like i’m in a situation that i’m unsure of or that i’d like a second opinion like this is how i feel but something seems like it could be off with that what do you think and so i frequently seek out outside opinions i think yeah seems like it i think i do as well i try to explore like say new ideas and things i don’t know a lot about to try to get some information you know to get some knowledge and get some different perspectives on life and the last thing they said was be introspective about your shortcomings which obviously we do that work specifically in recovery i mean that’s a major one of our steps you know looking at our shortcomings examining our defects of character sharing that with other people you know those things are a critical part of recovery and again for addicts i think it’s important because we are so self-centered and we do spend so much time you know thinking of ourselves and about ourselves and how the world affects us you know specifically we put ourselves as the most important person of the universe i’m not sure i mean we talked about how smartphones have all these addictive properties and brain-changing abilities i’m not sure we’re all not addicts at this point whether we’re in a fellowship or use drugs or not so i would say this applies to everybody i think we all struggle with ego to some extent whether and like you said especially with that new view of like the people who feel or whose life story is that i’m not good enough and i’m less than everybody and i’ll never measure up i think if we know that’s ego as well then who doesn’t qualify on one side of that spectrum and with talking with you a lot lately i’ve realized that my optimism is turning to pessimism people no not really but i have noticed i guess i would consider more what i would say healthy people are less popular than i thought like and not in like a popularity contest i just mean the number of them that exist in the world so so i tended to think that most normal people outside of recovery were healthy people and i guess that’s changing over time to be we have a pretty sick population at least here in the united states you know there are a lot of unhealthy sick people and unfortunately i don’t think our society is doing a lot of corrective action in those areas i think we’re actually going the other way give me more give me now and i deserve it yeah with the sort of on-demand lifestyle that we’ve created most of us get into this place of and me included without even recognizing it sometimes if i order something i expect to get it in a day or two i mean if anything is longer than two days out to have shipped and delivered to my house i’m like what the [ __ ] you know and it should be free right you know or movies when i want to watch a series i get mad that if they have an actual series where the shows come out like one a week i’m like pissed i’m like you need to give me the whole thing right now so i can watch it exactly what i want like those areas i don’t think help so i found this the other day and i’m not i’m not so much mad that it takes time to make movies and stuff like that i just there’s all these movies on the horizon and for whatever reason i don’t know if we just talk about it a lot more now but from the moment they announced that they’re going to have a movie or a tv show there’s like i don’t know a year-long process of planning it out casting it figure out where you’re gonna like set the location at what it’s gonna be about all this [ __ ] that’s all in news now and so i’m hearing about these movies that i want to see that are like not coming out until 2023 and i’m like don’t [ __ ] tell me now like it just annoys the piss out of me i’m like tell me like a month before it comes out so i can get hyped about it don’t tell me now i’m reading about it i’m like i want to see this [ __ ] right it’s not coming out for three years why don’t tell me possibly that is because businesses are catering to us they want us to feel like they’re doing everything for us they want us to feel you’re the most important we care about what you want we care about you know giving you everything right away like that’s how they get your money you know that’s how they suck your money is by feeding that ego and then you see it with different advertising different business models different social media platforms i don’t think that’s healthy for most people i mean if you look at the world of memes memes aren’t popular because nobody gets them memes are extremely popular because they’re so relatable and if you look at the top memes they’re all about indulging ourselves whether that’s binge watching shows or netflix or drinking alcohol like they’re all about finding some way to escape life and i feel like they’re universally accepted as relatable by like 99 of the population so i i don’t like i said these healthy people they’re probably living in a [ __ ] cabin in the woods somewhere with no wi-fi and don’t connect to people i i don’t know where they’re at yeah and we have everyone now can go out and make a podcast as we did oh
and websites and facebook pages where they get to spout whatever their opinion is about whatever they feel in that day and yeah you know it’s it creates an attitude of that we are more important than we really are you know or we feel we’re more important than we really are no doubt those things are pushing us into an unhealthy arena with our egos yeah well there you go you learned today what we got to do and apparently it’s not just believing in these factors that can assist us in you know finding a healthier amount of ego if that’s the goal maybe once we get there we’ll find that we want no ego i don’t know but we we can’t just believe in them we have to regularly think about them and bring them into our conscious life that’s what i took out of that like i feel like those are all beliefs of mine now i just need to think about them more and consciously and actively try to keep them in mind as i’m living i’m guessing that’s the goal to make me more or less ego more healthy i would agree for myself that’s the case i need to remind myself more regularly like practice keeping my ego in check you know it’ll grow out on its own if i don’t kind of watch it [ __ ] cancer yeah i’m gonna put those tips on my home screen on my phone or something so i see them like every day i need them and see it’s almost more of a motivation for me to put that list of [ __ ] that your egos out of check like that hurts more you know like that’s like ooh are you angry all the time are you argumentative like are you judgmental like i am judgmental as [ __ ]
that did kind of hurt reading that list i’m more motivated by the pain than the box yeah i don’t know i don’t see i don’t know you got anything else about the ego no no that was good yeah i i this was great made me laugh if nothing else had myself yep which that should be good for ego there we go so that was a great episode we hope you enjoyed it please feel free to share with all the egomaniacs in your life that you think could benefit or just might enjoy listening feel free to reach out with any of your ego moments or tips and tricks for dealing with ego we’d love to hear all that you can find us on twitter instagram facebook reddit wherever the hell you’re at we’re some version of recovery sort of if you search it you will find us i assure you and now of course recoveryswordof.com all one word do that and we will see you next week if you enjoyed this podcast please feel free to share it with people you think might benefit from the conversation look us up on facebook twitter and instagram to join the conversation also and share your ideas with us we’d love to hear you
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- 44: The Pain of Addiction Doesn’t End (Sort Of)
- 57: Relationships – To Date Others in Recovery or Not? (Sort Of)