The Ego – Part 1: Coming to Terms with Having an Ego
Coming to terms with having an ego
HAPPY BELATED ST. PATRICKS DAY EVERYONE!!!
I know I said that this month I was going to focus entirely on nightlife, but this post warranted writing. It’s been a rather large issue in my life as of late, and when it came to a head I decided that it had to go up. After all, how can I grow if I don’t confront my problems?
I’ve been going through something over the past month and a half, and last night it came to a head AGAIN. Yeah, I had to face it twice before I realized I truly understood whats been happening to me. Its easy to have your ego inflated, and sometimes it’s hard to realize that it’s happening. For the longest time I’ve thought to myself that I’m a humble dude, to the point where the following sentence was entering my subconscious mind…
“I don’t have an ego”
Which easily the most absurd, egotistical thing that you can think about yourself. It took saying it aloud in both my subconscious brain to make me realize my own folly. No ego? That’s ridiculous, impossible even.
Now the one thing i’m not entirely sure of is how it started. When I say that I mean I can’t remember the specifics of when I started doing it. After all, it’s not like I remember every instance of when I was a super huge douche canoe, but it’s not like I was sitting there scrutinizing every move I made. It was more like…I woke up in the middle of it and stopped dead in my tracks.
I’m super grateful that I have the friends that I do, I can always rely on them to make sure i’m not straying too far off the path. I got frustrated after butting heads with my cousin (who also happens to be my best friend and roommate) a lot of the month. So after doing a bit of soul searching and speaking with another one of my roommates, my brain snapped awake. I looked back over my actions and words over the past month and a half, and I was utterly horrified by the way I was treating some of the people I care about.
Boom, that was basically a huge bomb drop. In all honesty I really needed to hear it, because there’s no reason for WHY I was treating them the way I was. The reason my cousin was getting frustrated with me wasn’t because he was rude (like I had been interpreting originally), it was because I would say something with either a bad tone in my voice and he’d get a bit mad because it was completely unwarranted. Or I’d say something that clearly sounded as if I was talking down to him and he’d get mad. He’d had to deal with it for a month and was sick of it.
Quite frankly, I wouldn’t have put up with it for that long, so I have to commend him for dealing with something that frustrating for such a long time. I was staring at everything from a blindsided point of view, a point of ignorance that can only be recognized as pigheadedness. Honestly I’m more surprised by my initial reaction. Once I realized what I was doing, for some reason I was completely dumbfounded that I was doing it. Honestly, I should’ve been surprised that I didn’t recognize my behavior sooner.
What is an ego?
The fact of the matter is that everyone has an ego. Literally, the ego is a part of our conscious makeup. David Cain from Raptitude describes the ego as “The ego is what you think you are“. I love that quote, I think that it works perfectly in this situation. Basically, your ego is your personal view on what you think you are, your self-image. It’s that little voice in your head that tells you that you need this or that to be happy. It’s built entirely from the pleasure portion of you brain, and it’s ultimate goal is to make sure that you’re happy, but sometimes it can spiral out of control.
Now I want to make one think perfectly clear here, it’s perfectly fine to have an ego…so long as it doesn’t become inflated.
Egos become self inflated when we begin to start to feel threatened on a regular basis. When we feel that our own personal self-image is being attacked, sometimes we begin to freak out. We begin to act out of fear, and we begin to put up a front as to who we are. The ego feels threatened, and it starts to puff up like this blow-fish here. It starts to feel freaked out and stepped on, and as a result it begins to retaliate and put up this wall of alpha-male, stubborn, entitled, braggy bullcrap that no one really wants to deal with.
Ultimately, if you feel that your own sense of self-image starts to get trounced on, it tends to over-react. It haphazardly puts up that wall, and if you look at a lot of the arguments you’ll use during this time, they just don’t make sense. We start to rip on those closest to us, and if things get too far we can be viewed as a douche bag who just acts like those bullies or frat boys from school who try to rip everyone else down to make sure they are on top. Honestly, that kind of attitude just isn’t cool, and no one deserves to get treated that way.
So then, if you become aware that you’re acting like an egotistical prick (whether you wake up and notice it, or someone makes you aware that it’s happening) and you don’t like where it’s taking you, it’s important to know how your treating people. Secondly, it’s important to get to the root cause of WHY you’re acting the way you are. So when you take the time to slow down, make sure that you’re addressing each symptom and becoming aware of everything you’re doing AND Why you’re doing it.
How I was acting like an egotistical jerk
So, as far as I can tell, there were three huge ways that I started acting like an jerk. Three huge ways that I was coming across like a jerk. I’ll go as in depth as humanly possible with each. Because as much as this is a confession and a story, I want to have this comprehensive list so that we can all look back on it when If anyone starts to freak out.
#1 – Talking Down to People
Ugh, this was the one I decided to list first because it was, in my mind the most prevalent. I suddenly started to talk down to people. This is actually kind of hard to write, because looking back at my attitude really bothers me. I actually started to take this tone with people when I would speak to them. It didn’t matter what the subject was about, but I would suddenly have this tone where it felt like I was talking to a child as an adult. Seriously, it would drive people up the wall.
Basically, I would just have this almost high pitched tone where I was telling people what to do and how to do it. I wasn’t trying to live by example, I was basically doing nothing to live by example and just demanding that people do things, which sucks. You ever have a boss that messes something up at the workplace, and then turns around and tells you to put it back together? Yeah, that was basically what I was trying to do. I can tell you from experience that this will never work.
See each of us are adults, so it’s not difficult to see why somebody would get annoyed and angry when one of our friends decides to try and just TELL you what to do. So then if they continue to do it over a period of a month, it’s easy to understand why they were getting pissed off. When you’re talking down to people, it basically tells them that you don’t respect them, and that you’re above them. In truth, we’re all people, so it isn’t fair to just decide that they’re beneath you. Especially if you’re telling people to do something, and you aren’t doing that yourself, it makes you look as if you’re bossing them around!
#2 – Bragging and Talk Solely About Yourself
Yup, I was acting like one those jerks. Not a few short months after describing to you the difference between bragging and gushing, and I was being an attention hog and ONLY talking about myself. I would sit there and use the tactic that I knew to not bring everyone into the conversation, but to guide the conversation back around me. NOBODY LIKES A BRAG, that’s something that should be easily seen here. After all who wants to just sit there and listen to someone go on and on about things they’re doing and things they’re going through? It’s honestly quite boring.
The fact of the matter is it makes you look as if you’re obsessed with yourself. Did you ever read the myth about the young Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection? That’s kind of what I sounded like. I was basically uninterested in what the other person has to say, or at least it seemed that way. I just didn’t realize how much I was doing it. Ultimately, it becomes clear to people that you’re too focused on yourself, and that everything is going to fall by the wayside until you straighten your head out.
#3 – Stonewalling People in Arguments
This was another trait of being egotistical. I suddenly wouldn’t allow people to “win” at arguments. For some reason, I started to freak out when other people would be correct in arguments. I started to perceive that it was other people getting a leg up on me, so I would spurt out random stuff to just try and get the one up on them.
Or I would just refuse logic. I would literally “disagree” with what they were saying. That would be it, I just refused to hear them out. I can’t imagine how my roommates dealt with it. Stone walling people is literally one of the more frustrating things you can do to people to undermine them.
On top of that, it doesn’t even make you sound impressive or bigger. Honestly, It made me look childish as hell. Just repeating “NO” until the other person got so fed up that they would just walk away. Believe me when I say that I was NOT a good trait to have developed. Frankly it was really bad that this was happening, because if it didn’t work, I could go FULL five year old and just pretend they weren’t there. Which to my knowledge I didn’t do, but if I had started doing that I would’ve been actively angry at myself.
All of these traits imply that I was dealing with an inflated Ego. which to be honest, I totally was. There’s no reason to be doing the exact things that I was doing, it’s not going to help me in any manner, so I had to learn to come to terms with having this ego. As for what was causing me to have such an inflated ego? I think it came from all the change that’s been happening in my life. I’m not going to go super in depth with it, but there’s been enough new thing going on that I just kind of…freaked myself out!
Coming to terms With Your Ego
I will admit that it wasn’t easy to accept that I had this ego, and more then that, it’s not easy to fight back against it (which is a relatively new experience having to actively keep my ego in check). I’m not saying that I’ve never had an ego, because that’s impossible, It’s just never been so prevalent. So if you’ve become aware that you’re ego has kind of spiraled out of control, you need to do three things to accept that it’s happening. I will tell you that this isn’t even the first time this has popped up recently. About a month ago, my friends confronted me about it.
While I didn’t brush it off, I just accepted that It was happening and didn’t really take the time to try and sort it out. Eventually I forgot that it was happening, so when it happened again, I’ve made sure that i’m keeping an eye on it. But it isn’t easy accepting and watching yourself in conversation, i’m so used to allowing myself to run on auto pilot that having to step in feels a little choppy. The steps to help you accept that you have an ego, takes some soul searching.
What you do, is that you need to confront that fact that sometimes you may act in this manner. If there’s been a consistent string of people that have just mentioned that your cocky, Or if a friend or two have sat you down and talked to you about the way you’ve been acting recently, or if you read through the last section and recognized your behavior, you may need to self evaluate. Sit yourself down and just think on how you’ve been acting recently. It’s not the worst thing in the world that your ego has been inflated, especially if you decide that you don’t want to rely on your ego for everything.
Having an ego is good in the sense that it makes you put a bit of focus on your own needs. It’ll help you make sure that nothing gets too far out of hand in terms of working for yourself, but you need to make sure that it doesn’t get out of hand. See a lot of what drives an ego is fear.
Fear that this person doesn’t respect you, fear that you may not be good enough, fear that you may not get what you deserve. For a lot of people (myself included) fear is a huge chink in the armor. So it may take a lot to face the fears that you have in conversation, but that’s what this blog is here for. It gives people advice, tips, tricks, and a solid person to speak with if you’re having troubles. In the end, if you want to master this ability or just improve on what you know, facing you’re troubles is going to have to be something you’re willing to do.
Your fears will only hold you back, and it likes to make things all jumbled up in your head. A solid place to start, is by acknowledging that those fears are there! Sure, it may be scary to even admit that you have a few limiting beliefs, and unfortunately, that’s a topic in and of itself that i’ll have to write later, but for not if you’d like to know more about how to work through them, I highly recommend that you check out this article by ThinkSimpleNow.com.
It may be hard to do, but if you have been acting like a douche, it’s important that you admit it. Both in your own conscious thought, and then aloud to both yourself and with a couple friends. This makes it so that you are acknowledging that your aware of what’s happening and that you’re dealing with it. It basically is an admission that you haven’t been doing the best you can, then you’ve admitted and come to terms with the fact that you have an inflated ego. Then you have to decide whether you want to keep running things the way you have, or if you want to change.
I do promise to write an article in a the next two weeks with how I’m dealing with this and promise to write an in depth guide on what to do. But in the meant time I’m just learning to deal with all of it myself. But for now, i’ll take this time and ask that you give me a little time, and keep an eye on the blog! On the left side, you’ll see a follow button! Just click follow, keep up to date on us, and we’ll deliver the article as quickly as possible! I hope everyone enjoyed leaping into the waters of storytelling with me!