Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Ego shortage

What a lot of problems egos cause. All those over-the-top individuals who demand that we keep admiring them, pumping them up, fawning all over them. What hard work it is to feed their absurd pretensions.

At least if someone has an obvious ego, you can make a point of avoiding them. It's trickier when someone has an ego but pretends they don't and you get sucked in. They seem modest enough, but scratch the surface and there's the familiar self-importance and craving for attention and adulation.

I don't have much ego myself (no, really....). I've no desire to be seen as important or the centre of attention or a role model or a trend-setter. I'm happy to be anonymous and unremarkable. My impulse when surrounded by other people is not to have all eyes on me but to merge into the background. In fact the idea of being the centre of attention and subject to sharp-eyed scrutiny is quite alarming. Who knows what personal foibles will be eagerly pounced on?

I shudder at the thought of being a role model or a trend-setter. What, me with all my myriad hang-ups and fixations and shortcomings? No, no, don't copy me, copy someone who's worth copying - someone with visible talent and insight and imagination. My own talents consist of getting by, keeping out of trouble and feathering my own nest. Hardly a valuable gift to humanity.

If I draw attention at all, it's probably for all the wrong reasons. I've just knocked over a bottle of wine or said something stunningly rude or a chair has collapsed under me. It's highly unlikely I've drawn attention for my dazzlingly perceptive take on South American literary trends or melting Arctic glaciers. My opinions are about as significant as bus-shelter graffiti.

I don't mind if I drop dead having been of no importance to anyone except my small circle of loved ones. The obituary columns will just have to do without me.

19 comments:

Bijoux said...

What is it that you find more important and valuable in other people than in yourself?

CheerfulMonk said...

Andy and I plan to skip obituaries too. Too busy having fun playing with our toys.

Nick said...

Bijoux: Well, as I say, people with talent and imagination, be it for the arts, politics, innovation, design, or whatever. I think Patti Smith, Bridget Riley, Caroline Lucas (Green Party MP), Zaha Hadid (architect), Margaret Colvin (inventor of the washing machine) for example (to name a few women for a change).

Jean: Most obituaries are patently false anyway. Glossy, sanitised versions of whoever it is, sweeping all the bad habits and disasters under the carpet.

John Gray said...

You are an articulate, wit.......how good a role model is that?

Nick said...

John: Thanks for those kind words! I guess that's something in my favour. Mind you, there are plenty of articulate and witty people out there already!

Helen Devries said...

I read your blog with interest each time....you don't have to perform tricks to attract that interest.

Wisewebwoman said...

I don't know what you're talking about. Seriously. You write, therefore you are. Interestingly so too. Otherwise I wouldn't be here. Yeah, we all have our foibles. the older I get the less I care about what others think. Survival of me and mine was paramount in years past, so yeah, people pleasing had to come into the picture.

I don't give a shyte about my obit. I only hope that someone, somewhere, has benefitted a little from something I did.

XO
WWW

Nick said...

Helen: Oh, I hope I'm not performing tricks, as you put it! I do try to just tell it like it is.

www: Hmm, I think that's roughly what Helen says. Yes, I care too much what others think, I can't seem to shake the habit. I don't want to trample over anyone's feelings. And survival of me and mine is still a major concern in my case.

Helen Devries said...

No I know that you are not performing tricks...that's why I like your blog as there is no distraction of the 'look at me' sort which leaves me free to digest the message.

Nick said...

Helen: Ah, thanks for that clarification! Glad to know you think there's no "look at me" bullshit.

Dave Martin said...

Your opinions are as valuable as anyone elses, Nick, and worthy enough for us to keep coming back for more.
Personally, I expend zero effort nuturing egos. Those who have them generally aren't worth it.
It's those who keep their head down and quietly go through life making little differences where they can that are more deserving.

Nick said...

Dave: Thanks for that. I must say, it's encouraging that I have so many regular visitors - some going back many years! I do agree that those modest types who make little differences behind the scenes are much more attractive than the loud-mouthed braggarts.

tammy j said...

ummm.... does that mean we can't look forward to YOU running for president TOO?
LOLOL!!!!
and
dave said it really well.
and
i'll keep coming back for as long as you want to write here.

Nick said...

Tammy: Damn, rumbled. I was hoping to keep my presidential bid secret a little longer. I'm glad you're a regular visitor. I love reading your blog too.

Rummuser said...

Frankly I don't know if I have a king size ego or not but one thing I can assure you of is that I don't need to be pumped up by others to feel good about myself. I also do not like to pump up others who need their egos stroked and that has caused some breakdown in relationships as well.

Nick said...

Ramana: Always a bad move to stroke other people's egos. It only encourages them. If you don't indulge them and they sulk and give you the brush-off, that's their loss, not yours, as they say.

Ursula said...

Well, Nick, reading your answer to Ramana's comment, may I point you gently in the right direction: YOU most certainly gave me the "brush off" because I didn't stroke your EGO enough. It's a fact, Nick. No use denying it. Doesn't matter. Keep blanking me (to nurture your "sulk". Meanwhile I keep stroking by writing to you. Like a monkey grooming for a friend's flees. Don't say I am not generous in a no win situation.

U

Secret Agent Woman said...

Eh, we're all standing on the same ground. I think everyone has their areas of expertise and insight and their weaknesses/bland spots.

Nick said...

Agent: I guess you're right. Unfortunately some people also think their particular mix of expertise and weakness is so appealing it deserves rapt attention from everyone else.