The Ego – Part 2: How to Deal With Your Ego
The Ego – Part 2: How to Deal With Your Ego
“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” – Ernest Hemingway
So it’s been kind of a cluster of mishaps in my life recently. Between trying to get that last article done, coaching, continuing my own field work and starting a new comic book, things have been a little nuts. So in my down time, I’ve been analyzing the easiest ways to treat people better, and I think I’ve managed to calm it down at least to a reasonable amount. I’ve been almost entirely focused on reigning in my ego, and working out the biggest issues I’ve been having and working on ways to get around them. So I decided to bang out a post dedicated towards the symptoms and solutions of the ego.
One tiny piece of advice changed my mindset
A huge part of these solutions came from advice from the Dating Coach Marcus Oakey! Last week I got the chance to interview him (If you haven’t gotten the chance to check out the interview, check it here). He gave me some advice to help deal with that inner voice in my head. His advice applied to that inner voice in your head. It was related to approach anxiety, to those moments when your voice is telling you something along the lines of “You aren’t good enough.” OR “They won’t like you”.
Something relating to you wanting validation from this other person, which brings out anxiety. He gave everyone useful information to tell that voice in your head whenever you realize it’s talking down to you. One line to tell it in response.
“I Love You”
Sounds a little crazy? A lot of the things I talk about on this blog are crazy sounding until you start to apply them, then you see it works. See the way that Marcus explained it to me is the fact that the voice represents the things we dislike about ourselves. Those things that we realize are holding us back and the things we dislike about our personalities. See that voice is very tied up in our relationship with ourselves, and so if you work on the relationship between you and yourself, It brings out a new mindset that you adopt in conversation.
So as of late I’ve been re-evaluating how I go about my ego. I took a look inside my mind, and realized that my inner voice has been spiraling out of control. It has become the equivalent of a Five year old raging and throwing a temper tantrum while saying that he’s the grownup in the room. Basically I was running around and telling everybody what to do, and that they should listen to me because I was SO much better (sounds like the worst person to deal with). So I decided to take a shot and try and apply Marcus’ advice to my own self.
I figured it might work, so I started to apply it. It pulled all the work I’d already done on the problem together, but was the final key to help unlock it all. I’d be in conversation, and when I’d hear the voice starting to freak out on me, I’d sit there and calm my mind. Then as it started to tantrum, I say, I Love You. It would immediately stop the voice from freaking out. I started to focus on the recently re-seated insecurity that people don’t listen to me.
So remember, work on yourself as you work on your relationship with others, it makes the process so much smoother!
Lead by example
One of the biggest issues I was facing was my recent tendency to just Tell people what to do. The biggest victim of this was my roommate, Alex. If I thought something was dirty, instead of doing something about it I would just tell him to clean it up. More then that, I’d speak to him like he was a child and I was his parent trying to teach him to be responsible. We’re all adults here, there’s no reason for me to do that.
People don’t listen to bosses nearly as much as they do leaders, so that’s what I resolved to try. So when I see something that needs doing, If I can take care of it myself I put aside the time and just do it. If it’s something I need a hand with (due to it being too big of a job for me or me being too busy to complete it), then and only then will I ask for a hand. In this way I have begun to lead by example, I try and keep myself ahead of the curve. If there’s dishes I do it, if somebody asks for a hand and I can help I say yes. I’ve made a more active effort to complete more smaller tasks.
This does two things, it completes the task so that I don’t have to worry about asking someone else to do it, and it allows me to just move on. Handling the problem completely gets rid of my issues, then it doesn’t even enter my mind. It’s way easier to just fix problem rather then complaining about it to everyone within earshot. It’s really warped my mind to get out of the habit of hitting walls and just complaining, instead I look for solutions.
Show people respect
There’s no reason to tear into people if they do something a little foolish, universe knows I do a lot of really dumb stuff! I started to disrespect the people around me for no other reason then I was having a mental freak out. I’ve always held it as a deep seated value of mine to show everybody the respect they deserve. So, why this flew out the window I’ll never know.
This was kind of an easier repair, I simply started to analyze things right before I said them. If it was something that was clearly instigating a fight, or something that was just rude for the sake of being disrespectful, I didn’t say it. Now mind you there’s a difference between calling a friend out on his stuff and and saying something just outright disrespectful. It’s really the intention behind it, being disrespectful comes from a place of anger, whereas calling someone out on their issues comes from a place of caring. Just make sure your being respectful and not attacking them!
More then that, if someone is disrespectful to you, it’s easy to reciprocate and just do the same to them. If at all possible, you want to try and avoid this. Show him that even if they sit there and treats you horribly, just try and be civil. Being the bigger person in a discussion helps keeps things calmed and relaxed. After all if you think about it, nobody wants to get into fights, or argue, or be rude to each other, that sort of stuff sucks to go through.
Treat everybody with respect, don’t tear into them for things you don’t agree with, be calm, cool, and collected and just let the rudeness roll of you like water off a duck. Everybody wants, so lead by example and show everyone respect (even if you think they don’t really deserve it).
Arguments are not always fights
Every time I felt like someone was trying to display dominance over me in an argument, I’d dig my heels in and sporadically jump from argument to argument with no real relevance and just refuse to accept when I lose. I wasn’t even noticing that I was doing this for whatever reason, I was just going blind to it. Now I monitor myself while I’m in an argument. I try to listen to everything the other person is saying and understand their point of view.
Even if I don’t agree with what is being said, I don’t just block out what they are trying to tell me, because frankly we wouldn’t be getting into an argument if they didn’t have something that they really wanted to say! So I hear them out, I listen to their entire side and opinions on the matter, and when they’re done I try a lay out what I believe. Instead of always needing to win “fights” and stand up for myself, I needed to calm my brain and focus on just getting my point across without starting a fight and looking like a tool bench when I wouldn’t listen to anyone else.
I don’t know exactly what happened, but I think a huge portion of it came from the fact that I’m not entirely certain of myself at times. I love who I am, but I do on occasion get nervous about the path I’m walking on, and as a result I was freaking out and lashing out at those around me. None of which was the fault of anybody around me, my own issues are literally mine and no one else’.
You Don’t Always Need To Show Off
Oh this is one that I’m still working on. When you’re in groups, it IS important to get yourself to a place where you can keep conversation flowing. It’s also okay to show off a little bit to the groups and let yourself be the center of attention within reason. What isn’t cool is if you sit there and command the attention of the entire group without giving anybody else control.
It makes you look like a brag, which is not okay. If you sit there and only talk about your accomplishments then people aren’t going to enjoy talking to you because you don’t give them the chance to do so, which is there right. Give other people the chance to hold the floor and make sure that everyone in the conversation is a part of the conversation. Don’t make it just you and a bunch of people who’ve been forced to listen to you. That’s not cool or impressive, in fact, it can easily turn desperate.
I was hurting, and I was basically acting out of turn to try and compensate. Give everybody a turn at the floor, speak to everyone you meet as equals. Show them respect, make everybody a rock-star. Everybody has something to offer people, and nobody really deserves to get treated poorly.
The Final Word
While some sarcasm, self appreciating or depreciating humor may suggest that people are above one another, I have a different thought process. I don’t believe in social dynamics, you flirt with those who you flirt with, and laugh with those you like and be civil to those who don’t. People deserve respect, or at the least civility!
There’s no need to act arrogant to anyone, or feel threatened by them (unless of course they are actively threatening you). Keep cool, keep calm. Love yourself, and discover who you are!
P.S. If you’d like to check out part 1, Click Here!