Not Feeding People's Egos

Profile photo of Mike Wuest Mike Wuest (@mikeyw829) 3 years, 6 months ago

There’s this person I interact with fairly often. She is a nice person. But you can tell the niceness is feigned. It’s a cover up, and it’s not sincere. She’ll laugh at things, and I can tell she doesn’t actually think they’re funny. She’ll ask questions that I can tell she doesn’t really care about the answer. Other people don’t seem to notice this, but underneath it I can tell she’s very insecure and afraid. When we interact, it’s always very weird, because I don’t react to her false niceness in the way she wants. It seems that when she talks to me, she starts to see the unreality of the way she acts because I don’t feign interest in her feigned interest. She becomes aware of her unhappiness I think. And on some level that this leads to her resenting me, and becoming very shy around me. Anyone else have these experiences, when you don’t feed people’s egos and they end up not liking you because of it?

For some reason it is a satisfying feeling almost, watching people crumble when you can see through their bullshit, and you don’t fuel the fire. I don’t know if it’s “compassionate” for me to feel that way, but I do. But on the other hand, I want to help her see that pretending to be happy only covers up the unhappiness, but it doesn’t seem like she really wants to see that, so she resents me. It’s not even so much that I want to do it, it just happens because it requires too much energy on my part to feed her what she wants, which would keep her ego intact.

February 27, 2014 at 4:05 pm
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josephm (772) (@josephm) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

some cute girls siphon energy through the sympathy of the friend zone, but then again, many many people feed their ego in many many different forms

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josephm (772) (@josephm) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

my first real girlfriend harvested energy from social networking, it was, and still is, mandatory for her to feel secure

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Mike Wuest (508) (@mikeyw829) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

Yeah I get that. I think most of the time when you don’t give them what they want, they see the unreality of the way they act, but they’re too afraid to admit it to themselves. So they project the fear onto you and end up not liking you.

It doesn’t really bother me though. It used to. Now it’s like, “Yeah I didn’t give you what you want. What are you gonna do about it, pout and wine?”

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josephm (772) (@josephm) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

let bygones be bygones… losing any friend isnt fun, but allowing people to suck energy is not healthy

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Anonymous (175) (@) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

I get where you’re coming from, but how do you know her actions stems from ego? it could be anything causing her conduct, humans are complex after all.

That said, it could just be her way of communicating, given what ever issue she has. Who is to say she has problems at home? Or sick husband, child, mother, father, sibling, etc? You don’t know her full issues.

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josephm (772) (@josephm) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

if there are issues with issues not being presented then thats a problem in and of itself

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Anonymous (175) (@) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

Well who is to say what is causing her behaviour? it may not even be anything sinister on her part.

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josephm (772) (@josephm) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

being present is being present

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Anonymous (175) (@) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

What?

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Mike Wuest (508) (@mikeyw829) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

It doesn’t matter what is causing her to act that way. I can tell it’s false behavior. I can just see it. It’s not a belief or a hypothesis. Doesn’t matter if it’s the result of a bad parent relationship or whatever. Doesn’t matter if I have an understanding of WHY it’s there. That stuff doesn’t matter. I can see it’s there and that;s what matters.

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Anonymous (175) (@) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

And if she does, so what? why does it bother you so much? You seem insecure by means of your need to “monitor” her.

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Mike Wuest (508) (@mikeyw829) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

I “seem” to be a lot of things to you. Completely baseless. Not even worth responding to. You’re not really contributing any useful info to this thread, or to many threads to be honest. Get off this thread.

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Anonymous (64) (@) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

You don’t have to interact with her any other way but then by being yourself. But if you’re specifically reacting to her in a way to get her to realize something about herself through making her uncomfortable…..well that is kind of mean. And if it is satisfying to you then that makes you a sadist. If she is insecure and afraid the don’t make things worse for her in a way she can’t understand. Show some empathy and shower her with love….and not ‘tough love’. You don’t need to be inside her head. There isn’t a person on this earth, including yourself, who doesn’t wear some masks and have some insecurities. It would suck for someone to confront us with them on a daily basis. Maybe she inflates her ego because she’s been some traumatic life events like abuse or malneglect. If you really feel like you can help her then take her aside and talk to her about whatever you perceive her problem to be in an empathetic and loving way. I get the some people can be egotistical and that can be annoying, but radiate some love brother–especially since you can recognize the hurt she feels inside. It shouldn’t be satisfying to make people crumble. Frankly, what you’re doing seems egotistical.

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Marlon (97) (@shoeopener) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

There are persons on this very earth that don’t wear masks. You win a point for being more judgmental though.

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FilmStar (6) (@FilmStar) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

At least your friend is trying to at least pretend around you that she is happy. It’s better than hanging out with a pessimist. It can get awkward being around someone who hates everything. Maybe instead of your friend trying to hide her unhappiness, she should just have one hour of ranting out everything that is going on in her head so that you can both move on. Maybe you can help her. Tell her to be true to herself but also be true to yourself around her because life is too short for feigned friendships.

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Mike Wuest (508) (@mikeyw829) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

I think I just need to make her feel comfortable enough around me to express who she is. I think people put on smiles because they feel they’ll be judged for acting how they truly feel. They can never be comfortable around anyone. So I have to express myself and make her comfortable enough to do the same. And if she doesn’t want to, if she gets reactive and projects it onto me, then I’ll just move on.

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FilmStar (6) (@FilmStar) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

Right. Just tell your friend to be herself around you and not to put on an act. Just be prepared for the consequences when the act is over.

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Chris (0) (@Ichiban) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

Firstly I do understand how difficult it is to be around egotistical people. However, I think you are being harsh on this person.

You have an idea of what is happening for her; no more than that. All this I “can tell” is YOUR ego! Trying to “help her see”, is placing yourself above her; you are basically saying that she should be something different to what she is, she should be more like you, or at least behave the way you see is the right way.

Perhaps she is uncomfortable around you because she is being judged? Perhaps on an energetic level she is intuiting that she is not equal to you (in your eyes), that her every action is being judged and analyzed?

I think you should be a little more understanding and compassionate towards her. As with all of us, we are the result of years of programming telling us to think, be, act, desire certain things. You know all this stuff, she is yet to discover it, the fact you know it, makes your behaviour inexcusable. Judging her is not helping her; it is not changing her fear into love, it is doing the opposite.

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Mike Wuest (508) (@mikeyw829) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

I disagree with this. You can make definitive claims without it being your ego. That’s like saying if I said the sun rose this morning, you’d tell me that’s just my ego talking. Not everything is this jumbled, ambiguous mess where you can’t ever say anything is true.

I’ll just turn the tables around and say it’s your ego telling me that it’s my ego that’s saying that it’s her ego. Could go on forever.

I see her posturing and acting fake. I see her putting on heirs and acting in a way that’s not natural to how she feels (which is ok sometimes). That’s not a judgment, it’s a fact. You’re assuming that I have some sort of emotional reaction to this.

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Anonymous (175) (@) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

Do you need to care about this person? Do you know every aspect of her life? Are you her parent or child? I don’t get why what she does bothers you so much, you seemingly can’t get on with people well.

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Mike Wuest (508) (@mikeyw829) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

Alright. Get off this thread. You’re misinterpreting what I said, and I don’t have the energy/need to explain it to you.

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Anonymous (175) (@) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

lol.. Do you own this forum?

Or you can’t accept the opinions of others?

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Mike Wuest (508) (@mikeyw829) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

It’s true that she feels like she’s being judged by me for sure. Or else why would she act fake? But her perceptions doesn’t mean it’s the truth. She could just think that everyone’s always judging her and then assume that’s how it is with every single person all the time. And it’s not just me she acts like this around, it’s everyone… from what I’ve seen.

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thepatient (1) (@thepatient) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

No, I think Chris was dead-on. “You can make definitive claims without it being your ego”. Not when it comes to people. The reality is you have NO CLUE what this girl could possibly be dealing with. She could be grappling with issues you never considered which have nothing to do with being liked by her friends. If anything her facade could be her way of protecting others from her own torment.

It is rather obvious, judging by your replies ITT, that your fixation with this girl comes from a place of hurt. Why else would you say cruel things like, “It doesn’t really bother me though. It used to. Now it’s like, “Yeah I didn’t give you what you want. What are you gonna do about it, pout and wine?”” ? It DOES bother you, or else you wouldn’t be so malicious. Me thinks you’re the one projecting. You should really step back and ask yourself why you’re so emotionally-invested in this girl. The reality is that her behavior is none of your business, and the last thing she probably needs is some insecure guy fucking with her.

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Mike Wuest (508) (@mikeyw829) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

doesn’t matter what she’s dealing with. I can tell she’s covering up how she truly feels with a facade. It’s a fact. It’s easy to see. I don’t care why those negative feelings are there, I can see they are there though, and she puts up a false barrier.

Fixation? Cruel? Malicious? Emotional Investment? Those are all assumptions. Thanks for the input though

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dieseltrain (21) (@maximilian1) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

be yourself and if possible try not to care to much about how she might or might not think about you? or in a sense just be yourself

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Marlon (97) (@shoeopener) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

I don’t think you are being harsh to her… in my opinion you sympathize and care for her so she could be actually happy and it annoys you because maybe you want to see a genuine spark of happiness in her eye. This has happened to me more than once. I think that seeing through her leaves her vulnerable, although you’re not doing any harm at all. She’ll either resent you or thank you for your sincerity.

Also, tell her things that are actually funny to her.

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Mike Wuest (508) (@mikeyw829) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

I think you hit it on the head, man. Sometimes though I’ll get into that same mind frame that she’s in, where I’m putting on heirs. I think it’s about being vulnerable and broadcasting who you are to people, which is tough to do. But the more I do it, I think the more other people will do it around me because they’ll feel comfortable to do so.

I can’t be being harsh if I’m just taking the path of least resistance for myself. I’m a lazy person. I don’t like to act in ways that require me to use “effort” or struggle. And if that way comes off as offensive, I can’t help that.

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Anonymous (107) (@) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

Even that vulnerable, honest self comes from the filter of your own perceptions… not saying that makes it fake but it’s very easy to tell anyone that they are full of shit if you don’t relate to them.

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Anonymous (107) (@) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

Repressed emotion should be dealt with respectfully bc prompting someone to open their wounds without the intention to follow through with a process you initiate leaves them helpless. Unless you get off on people’s helplessness. But if you’re just showing them how to interact with genuine emotion and that makes her weirded out, it’s probably inspiring like most weird things.

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Mike Wuest (508) (@mikeyw829) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

I don’t get off on people’s helplessness. People misinterpreted that, or I ddin’t explain it well. It’s a liberating feeling, the fact that me being myself (whatever that means… not putting up a front) illicits a negative response from some people. And if that’s the cost of me being who I am, it doesn’t bother me. It’s their problem. But on the other side of it, I still feel for the person because I can tell they’re hurting underneath the false smile.

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Anonymous (107) (@) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

I wasn’t assuming you did. Some people that have a strong sense of others feelings or shortcomings think they deserve some sort of pain for it when in actuality they are already in enough pain. I can relate to that feeling of being proud that you know who you are in contrast to someone else.

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Marlon (97) (@shoeopener) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

I’m going to have to disagree with you. Make a difference between being defensive and helpless. Being defensive is healing if sincere. Crying, laughing, rage, real strong relieving emotion that is not threatening is healing. It’s our natural human reaction to get better.

Helplessness is for those that give up. Some even call it immature and are considered rude. Fuck debates, though, if Mikey’s friend was weak she wouldn’t hide. SHE PROBABLY DOES THAT ALONE WHEN THERE AREN’T ANY ASSHOLES AROUND.

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Mike Wuest (508) (@mikeyw829) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

Clarifying that statement, what I used to do is conform my behavior to please other people so they’d like me. I wouldn’t speak up and I’d try not to cause conflict. Basically I didn;t have a spine. Now that I don’t do that, and I see someone is upset by it, and it doesn’t really bother me, it’s a liberating feeling.

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Anonymous (107) (@) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

Yea, giving someone honest eyes is threatening for some reason.

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tearoom (6) (@tearoom) 3 years, 3 months ago ago

@mikeyw829, well then take this thought and look up emotional manipulation and abuse and general effects if prolonged exposure on human self and think of how much it would matter if you were a young child and that was your only guardian, the whole time your mind was rapidly forming the world. And then since youre so ever undersyanding, go free the egos suffering in the psychiatric facility. You just have this lens about why and how people act with others and its very small and so your conclusions seem a bit fucked up because it doesnt fit all sitations, you shouldnt stretch it across everything and base it on your ego.

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Mike Wuest (508) (@mikeyw829) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

I think you can not relate to someone and still see that they’re not putting up a front.

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Anonymous (107) (@) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

I think we should trust our sense of interpreting others emotions but getting stuck in the emotion of righteousness or pride because of it will lead to some sort of rude awakening later most likely. haha

Side note/story, since most people disguise their true emotions from the minute we’re born, I think most people must have some backwards sense of interpreting until they get in touch with their own inner self. The other day I was having a very sad and dense moment while I was taking care of a toddler. I was stuck between not wanting to radiate sadness to him and not wanting to put on a fake happy face and fuck up his senses. So when he walked up to me I gave him a very honest face and he reached out and gave me the most empowering hug. It was crazy :) Call me selfish for having feelings around babies but I don’t know it seemed relevant.

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Mike Wuest (508) (@mikeyw829) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

haha yeah i agree. The more I look at the situation, the more I see there is some pride there. Which I don’t think is a bad thing. I just know it’s there. I think the whole trying to get rid of the ego thing is way overplayed.

I think toddlers pick up on this stuff more than anyone. Until they’re basically forced to shut down as they grow up. They’re probably the people you can be most vulnerable around.

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Anonymous (107) (@) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

i dont have a better suggestion but maybe ego is not the right word for the title

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YHVH (462) (@spaceghost) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

I thinking you’re feeding your ego through her.

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Mike Wuest (508) (@mikeyw829) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

could be in some way. never off the table. thanks

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zowie (115) (@zowie) 3 years, 6 months ago ago

your perspective is your perspective.. and her perspective is her’s. maybe its is you who has the ego and youre feeding her, or the other way around. who knows, but if you were an egoless human being knowing that she is the way she is, then you would treat her with kindness and just go with the flow, but yet you judge her and assume. which is which dude?

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