I’m Better Than You… And???

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You are enough

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 whackjob 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 miniscule 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!


John Kalinowski
John Kalinowski is a Redding native based in New York. He’s an NYU-Certified Life Coach, Mindfulness Expert, Columnist, Speaker, Entrepreneur, Traveler, Art-Lover, and Truth-Teller. You can connect with him on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, or visit his website at johnkalinowski.com.
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6 Responses

  1. A. Jacoby A. Jacoby says:

    Oh, Good heavens!!! I just heard my mother coming out of your mouth . . . . well, okay, fingers. “Remember when you point your finger at someone else, there are three fingers pointing back at you!” was her response to tattle-tale me. So, did I learn that lesson? Well . . . sorta. Truth is, the ol’ ego needs to be reminded again, and again, and again and . . . . .

    Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Avatar Breakfast Guy says:

    “Because they know if you’re doing the pointing, no one’s looking at you.”  Todd Snider

  3. Frank Treadway Frank Treadway says:

    I prefer Thumbs Up…rather than the middle finger, that’ll get you in trouble every time. But remember each country has a different take on the use of finger gestures, just use your fav emogi, you can’t go wrong.

  4. Avatar EasternCounty says:

    A saying that came to mind as I read this may not be absolutely appropriate to the article, but I’ll share it anyway.  Sticks and stones may break bones, but words can shatter souls.  We can’t take back words no matter how heartfelt the apology; so be very careful when spewing hurtful words.

  5. Proving someone, or something wrong and gloating in it is that little rascal on your shoulder feeding your ego.


    Proving someone wrong and being truthful is the guy on the other shoulder with the halo.

  6. Avatar Joanne Lobeski-Snyder says:

    Great article.  Some behaviors are wrong.  It may at times better to help educate another person than to remain silent.  I’ve learned many things because someone stepped up to educate me about something I didn’t know.