But it is from our twisted relations with family, friends, and society at large that many of us have suffered the most. We have been especially stupid and stubborn about them.
The primary fact that we fail to recognize is our total inability to form a true partnership with another human being.
Our egomania digs two disastrous pitfalls.
Either we insist upon dominating the people we know, or we depend upon them far too much.
If we lean too heavily on people, they will sooner or later fail us, for they are human, too, and CANNOT possibly meet our incessant demands. In this way our insecurity grows and festers.
When we habitually try to manipulate others to our own willful desires, they revolt, and resist us heavily.
Then we develop hurt feelings, a sense of persecution, and a desire to retaliate. As we redouble our efforts at control, and continue to fail, our suffering becomes acute and constant.
We have not once sought to be one in a family, to be a friend among friends, to be a worker among workers, to be a useful member of society.
Always we tried to struggle to the top of the heap, or to hide underneath it. This self-centered behavior blocked a partnership relation with any one of those about us. Of true brotherhood we had small comprehension.
source: Alcoholics Anonymous, 12 X 12, Step 4, page 53