elitefts™ Sunday Edition

Megalomaniac — 1. A psychopathological condition characterized by delusional fantasies of wealth, power, or omnipotence. 2. An obsession with grandiose or extravagant things or actions.

I had to look it up. I feel that my vocabulary is relatively broad despite my frequent ease of using f-bombs to describe...well, pretty much anything. I hadn't heard this term or been called this before, but I was quick to assume (rightfully so) that it wasn’t meant as a compliment.

Look, I don’t do well around weak people with big mouths. I do okay with big or strong people with big mouths because getting punched in the face by someone big and strong doesn't strike me as a lot of fun. Plus, big and strong people tend to argue in a completely different way. Big people say things like, “Would you like to say that to my face?” Weak and small people try to come at you from an intellectual angle. Why? Because they don't have any other choice. It doesn’t mean that they're smarter than you. They just know damned sure that they don’t have you from a physical standpoint, so it's essentially their best bet (or only bet) based on limited options. It's the guy who knows that he's about to get his ass kicked that tries to get all deep on you, explaining why you shouldn’t kick his ass.

The basis of me being called a megalomaniac requires some explanation. I was involved in a discussion about guns, and my stance is pretty open on this topic. If more responsible citizens carry guns and know how to use them, fewer people will become victims. If you disagree, that is your prerogative, but you will not change my mind. The other guy in the discussion believed that guns should be banned because they clearly have a mind of their own and they kill people, all by themselves. He didn’t call me a megalomaniac for this reason alone.

After what he believed was a heated exchange, he resorted to calling me names. This exchange wasn’t on the internet though, so the name calling wasn’t so obviously offensive. As most of you can attest to, people on the internet say a lot more than they would say if they were sitting in front of you. This guy was getting pissed and had nothing he could do to physically intimidate me, so he went for the intellectual “jugular” and called me a megalomaniac. I would have rather he called me an asshole, because at least I know what an asshole is. My wife calls me that all the time.

Though I didn’t know what he was calling me, it sounded terrible based on how irate he was, so I simply disagreed with him. I didn’t want to let him know that I didn't know the definition of megalomaniac. I asked him why he would call me something so terrible. He was talking so fast and so much that he had to force a huge breath here and there so he didn’t pass out. This went on for a few minutes without me saying a word. I just let him rant.

To paraphrase what he said, I'm an insecure man who has to work out to build muscle so that I can hide behind it and intimidate other people. I apparently do this because I struggle with my own identity and self-worth, so I feel threatened when people don’t agree with my ideas and opinions. My thoughts about myself are so high that I won’t allow anyone to feel as if they are on the same level as I am. I struggle with intellectual debate and have to resort to intimidation, thus, returning an intellectual disagreement back to a physical situation. He also said that I drive a big truck to intimidate others, and I carry a gun because I want attention and see my gun as a phallic extension of myself.

I let him rant for two main reasons: it was entertaining, and I really didn’t know how to respond. In fact, even when he stopped the rant, I had to take a few seconds to process what he said and form a response. I admit that my response wasn't well thought out and a bit flippant. I told him that I f-cked his mom. Alright, no, I didn’t, but I was thinking it. At forty-three years old, I have an immature side, too.

My response was actually lame, uneventful, and nowhere near what anyone would've expected from me. Clearly, I was caught off guard and wasn't on my game that day. I simply smiled, shook my head, and said, “I can’t even dignify that with a response.” Yeah, he won. My objective at that point was to actually get to my phone and Google megalomaniac, so maybe that was the distraction. I don’t really know.

After getting home, I mulled over what he said and gave it some thought. I'm not so closed-minded that I immediately throw out what someone else says, whether he's a friend or a critic. I consider almost all feedback that I get on most things in my life whether it is meant in a positive way or not.

After some time, I came to this conclusion. I think that most reading this will find themselves in the same spot. I'm a strong person. When I have beliefs about something, those beliefs are strong. When I do something, I do it in an “all in” manner. I'm not terribly quiet, but I'm respectful unless you give me a reason not to respect you. I'm confident and proud, and I have a lot of respect for myself. I take care of myself, and I'm bigger than the average person. If you're intimidated by these attributes, that is your issue, not mine. It isn’t me intimidating you, but you being intimidated by me. Big difference. That means that the problem is your issue, not mine. The traits that I have and the things that I like—from guns, to working out, to trucks—qualifies me as a man, not a megalomaniac.

Oh, and I don’t have a big truck because I need to intimidate anyone. I have a big truck because I have a small dick. Duh.

Just sayin’.