The cheapest way to satisfy your ego: Undershooting.
In a disappointed, low-self-esteem moment, you can convince yourself that you want something, when in fact you would have considered yourself worthy of something else, had life been treating you better.
As soon as you have it, though, you realize you didn't genuinely want it in the first place, and you actually want something else.
It's like shooting a bird on the lower branch, just because it's within reach. If you'll be happy with it, fine. But if you are still after that other bird higher up - the bird you just killed was just the price for your ego.
You just did nothing but rub in their faces that you consider yourself better than them. Just because they lingered on that lower branch, made themselves vulnerable to you...
This is a thoughtless, selfish thing to do. And maybe it is the bird's job to protect itself.
I thought I was smarter than that, but apparently not.