Every day you give into this addiction that affects your life and relationships. How would you answer these 12 questions?
You thought you made it through your 20’s and beyond without the tell-tale signs of being addicted. Your formerly frequent benders are now reserved for a rare reunion with your old fraternity brothers or something similar.
Your passing fascination (or obsession) with internet porn has subsided. You simultaneously feel admiration and pity for the handful of your buddies that dutifully make their way to a church basement or hospital clinic for their nightly 12-step meeting. But not you–you made it. You are not an addict.
Or so you thought.
Here’s the truth: If you are like 99% of the men (and women) walking around this country, you’re addicted. Hardcore. Undeniably. So what is this addiction you don’t even know you have?
Overspending? Maybe, but no.
Working out? You wish.
Making money? Work-a-holism? That’s a symptom, not the actual addiction.
So what is it?
You are addicted to your ego. That’s right–your ego–the part of your personality that makes you think the way you think, hold the opinions that you hold and the perceptions that you have. You are addicted to it, and you are not even aware of it.
Want proof? Go through these 12 tell-tale signs of being addicted to your ego and see for yourself:
1. You are right. End of story. You have difficulty keeping an open mind to other people’s points of view, unless, of course, they jive with yours. (A good test of this one is to observe your reactions to this article!)
2. You say that you love and are committed your wife/girlfriend/kids/partner but you spend more time at work or with your face on a screen than facing them.
3. You get your way, or you pout. You know–giving the silent treatment, the cold shoulder, the “Oh sure, honey, that’s fine” line when you don’t mean it in the least.
4. You are obsessively busy proving your self-importance.
5. When you’re not obsessed with proving your importance, you are obsessed with getting the approval of your spouse, boss, and peers.
6. You’re too busy to call your mother and if you’re lucky enough to still have one, your grandmother, too.
7. You have lost sight of the fact that your opinions are just that–opinions, and not facts or Gospel Truth.
8. You routinely violate and then justify violating your own “DBAD Policy*.” *DBAD is the acronym for “Don’t Be a Dick.” It needs no definition, you simply know when you have violated it, and yet rather than owning that and getting yourself back in line, you justify the infraction.
9. You don’t apologize. Not even the over-used guy version of an apology, “My bad.”
10. When people call you on “your shit” you cut them off and then complain to your friends that that person just doesn’t get you.
11. You have difficulty taking responsibility for the problems in your life.
12. Conversely, you are very adept at pointing out why other people and circumstances are causing your difficulties. In other words, you play the victim far too often.
Okay, maybe you don’t fit into all of these defining factors of being addicted to your own ego, but I would say if you identify with even six of them, it’s time for some serious introspection.
Oh, and introspection means looking at YOUR attitudes, thoughts, beliefs and behavior, not those of the people around you who are annoying you.
Good luck with this. It takes a lifetime to grow to the point where you recognize that you have an ego, and you don’t have to be run by it.
Photo: Flickr/ ModernDope (old account)