Aren't we all? We may not be our egos, but much of our persona still turns on the opinions of others.
We need those opinions to stay in touch with society's reality. At the same time, Stephen Dunn warns of the risks: "After the extravagant letter came/ I remembered how praise/ can keep you from belonging to yourself..."
My three-week old granddaughter has none of those worries. Basking in the light of the natural narcissism every newborn carries she rests secure in her father's hands.
Of course, the further she moves from those hands the more she will need to ground herself in the truth of her inner voice. Otherwise, she will risk floating on the vagaries of other's views. If she tunes only to praise she will also be damned by criticism.
It is a challenging discernment. How will she learn the healthy self-love (& its accompanying self-esteem) that will balance her inner voice with outer critiques?
Like all balancing, the center is ever-shifting. Radical Loving Care (of self as well as others) is "radical" because it is unusual. It is rare to find and life-giving when it is discovered.
Maybe, the balance point lives where Dunn descibes it in his poem Heaven, "I was near that place/ dreamers lean into, baffled, becalmed."