We’ve all learned about the ego at some point in our education. Even informal education always touches upon the ego. Movies, books, TV shows, and conversations with others – these all bring up the topic of the ego at one point or another.
But what exactly is the ego?
The ego is our identity, an identity that we create ourselves. Taking into account all of our beliefs regarding our personality, capabilities, talents, failures, incapabilities, etc. makes up our ego.
As such, the ego is considered to be a false identity. It does not truly define who and what we are.
While it does play a role, it can be harmful in many ways. In this post, we’ll take a look at a specific aspect of life and how your ego may be harming it.
How your ego can be harming your relationships
If your ego gets too big, out of control, then it certainly will do your relationships no good. Whether it’s your relationship with your life partner, with your parents or siblings, with your friends, or with your colleagues, it doesn’t matter.
The result will be a falling out unless you make some changes.
Read the following ideas, and take a long hard look at yourself and your relationships.
1. You don’t recognize when you’re wrong.
There is something about the ego that makes you think that you are beyond reproach. That you are perfect. You might not admit that to others. You might even often say that you’re not perfect, but deep inside, you may be thinking quite the opposite.
If this is how you see yourself, you will never realize it when you are wrong, much less admit it. Can you imagine your relationships working out if you’re always right, and it’s always the others’ fault?
2. You see yourself as better than others.
Thinking that you are perfect leads to another idea: you are better than everyone else around you.
The situation is similar to the previous point. You may never admit that you think you are better than your friends – and everyone else, for that matter – but you are probably thinking that in your head. You think you know more about everything than others.
Even if you don’t consciously verbally express this opinion, your body language and tone when speaking will ultimately reveal the ego at its worst.
You will come across as having lack of respect for others. You will sound condescending. And yes, this will harm your relationships.
3. You don’t listen.
If you think you are always right and that you are better than other people, then the chances are you don’t really listen to what others are saying.
For example, if you and your partner are having a discussion, it may be that you are only listening for the sake of replying and not to understand at all. After all, you know you’re right and he/she isn’t, yes?
While you continue living in your own world, you’re irritating, isolating, and pushing away the people around you by not listening to what they have to say.
4. You take what you have for granted.
With a big ego comes the idea of “I am the important one.” This can easily lead to disregarding people who care for you and whom you care for. While you may not intentionally want to harm your relationships, you probably take them for granted.
They’re there for you when you need help. Of course they should be there! After all, you’re that important to them, right?
They need a small favor from you. How dare they be upset if you can’t do it? You are a very busy person, don’t they understand that?
Now pause for a while, and think about the above four points. Do they apply to you? Be totally honest with yourself.
If at least one does apply, it is time to make changes. That is, if you want to keep your relationships intact.
In the next post, we will talk about how to let go of your ego, so stay tuned.