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Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies January 29, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Mindfulness, Spirit & Ego.

Our Egos love it when people praise us and recognize our accomplishments ~ even if they are not entirely sincere in that praise.  

We start to believe the good press we are receiving, causing our Egos to inflate ever faster ~ seeking more respect, more praise, and more admiration from those around us.     

Egos are greedy.  Less is never more.

What happens when someone tells us that we are not as terrific, wonderful and talented as we’ve been led to believe? 

What happens when someone tells us that we have room to grow?

If we’ve absorbed all the accolades and attention, however insincere, POP Goes The Ego!:

Each time we internalize and absorb an insincere compliment (by accepting it as true), Ego starts preening and blowing itself up in self-importance. 

Enough vacuous comments absorbed, and Ego is stretched to the breaking  point, leaving it vulnerable to HONEST criticism and critique. 

One harsh word (or look!) and POP Goes The Ego!

When we learn to use an internal compass, we don’t get caught up in the praise game.  We know when we are putting our best foot forward, whether or not anyone else notices.  We know when we have fallen short of the bar, even if our mistakes are invisible to those around us.

At the Kadampa Meditation Center in Florida, Gen Kelsang Demo, an American Buddhist nun, teaches classes, such as Finding Freedom through Inner Balance:

It is easy to develop an exaggerated concern for the comforts of this life, such as possessions, respect, pleasure, praise and a good reputation.  Often our pursuit of respect, praise, and admiration  creates anxiety, stress and frustration.  We feel over excited when we have them and dejected or discouraged when we lose them.

To our disappointment, we also discover that in and of themselves these things do not have the power to provide the lasting happiness we wish for.

In this series we will discover inner sources of the happiness we wish for and learn how to develop a stable and balanced approach to the things of this life.

On the website, the Center also identifies a few key texts for home study.  One of my favorite synopses is from the book, Transform Your Life: A Blissful Journey:

If we are skillful, friends can be like treasure chests, from whom we can obtain the precious wealth of love, compassion, patience, and so forth. For our friends to function in this way, however, our love for them must be free from attachment.

If our love for our friends is mixed with strong attachment it will be conditional upon their behaving in ways that please us, and, as soon as they do something we disapprove of, our liking for them may turn to anger.

In fact, the most common objects of our anger are often our friends, not our enemies or strangers!

That has certainly been my experience.  How about you? 

Has anyone ever told you that they loved and admired you . . . only to push you away the minute you failed to meet their expectations?

No rules.  Just write!

Related posts:  The 2011 Sexiest Blog Award * WTF: Watch That Feedback *  Let Go, EGO! * A Change Would Do You Good * Why Write? * No Jivin’


1. Carol Ann Hoel - January 29, 2011

I think it did happen to me once. I was surprised, because I didn’t expect it. I decided not to grieve over losing something I only thought I had. Better to rejoice in knowing the truth.

nrhatch - January 29, 2011

Exactly! Once people reveal their “true colors,” and we see them as they are, we realize that we haven’t lost anything “real.”

Thanks, Carol Ann

2. viewfromtheside - January 29, 2011

such sensible advice

nrhatch - January 29, 2011

It pays to keep our egos in check. 😀

3. souldipper - January 29, 2011

Sufism contains stories that speak to my being able to be affected by neither praise nor criticism. Both give power to others – a distraction in which the ego thrives.

nrhatch - January 29, 2011

I agree. The more we rely on our internal barometer, the less distracted we become by Ego’s desire for external recognition.

Of course, when someone likes one of the posts on SLTW, that pleases me . . . because it means they perceived some benefit from the message.

And that’s wonderful. 🙂

4. Cindy - January 30, 2011

“Has anyone ever told you that they loved and admired you . . . only to push you away the minute you failed to meet their expectations?”
Yes, and it hurt like hell 😦

nrhatch - January 30, 2011

Sorry, Cin. It can hurt when someone who professed love and admiration pushes us away.

When we step back, we often see they they never really loved us at all. That can be sad, but it can also be very liberating.

Conditional love, contingent on our behavior, is not real “love” . . . it’s a tool used to manipulate us.

When we “step out of line,” they threaten to withdraw their love and support. At that point, we have a choice ~ we can step back into line, and do what they want us to do, or we can “go our own way.”

5. andalibmarks - January 30, 2011

So true. So painfully true.
‘Oh, I love you!’ then it’s all, ‘What? No nooky! Get lost!!’

OK, maybe not ALL like that but I know exactly what you mean. I think sometimes, people show us what they want us to see, so we’ll like them then ‘POW!!’ They change like Prince Charming in ‘Princess and the Frog’ – only backwards.

Ribbit, anyone?


nrhatch - January 30, 2011

You are so right, Andi.

Sometimes when we kiss “Prince Charming,” he turns back into the toad he is. 😀

6. Booksphotographsandartwork - January 30, 2011


nrhatch - January 30, 2011

Me too.

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