I am a black belt in a particular martial art. This is not conceit or delusion. I am the best in the world at this particular discipline. Within fractions of a second, I am able to leave my opponent as incapacitated as I want. I strike fear into my opponent enough to paralyze him. If I wanted, I could leave my opponent lying in a twisted heap on the floor sobbing. However I use restraint and do not practice this art with the regularity that I used to.
The martial art that I possess a black belt in is “self-deprecation”. I was better than anyone that I know at tearing me apart. It was almost second nature. I knew all of the pressure points, the soft spots and how to land a knockout punch. Sometimes other people would get involved but for the most part, I gave their punches much more power. I remember starting out as a white belt. It seemed like a smart move at the time. I would say something bad about myself in the presence of a female. She would refute it and I got a bit of a boost. A small dip in ego for a bit of a raise in ego. It was a simple con that I played on myself but eventually, I got too good at the dip and dismissed anyone that tried to pick me up. As I realized the ridiculousness of my martial art, I started to practice less and less.
My guess is that most people have some degree of mastery at this skill. We know the buttons to push and weaknesses. Although it may be an easy art to learn and master, it is not one that should be practiced often. A tempered conscience is a healthy thing to possess but a self-deprecating mindset only hurts.