I thought this one deserved capital letters.
I am struggling a lot lately with people & big egos. Where do they come from? Why are big egos so easy to identify? And why are they so hard to puncture?! And, how do we deal with them – stroke them, or ignore them?! And is it an ego, or just really great self esteem?!….. Some of the many questions rattling my brain at the moment.
Now, we all know of one or two people who have large egos (even in this small bush town of ours!!) – some deserved, and some not. To get a big ego, I think you either need to be really good at something (or think you are really good at something), be extremely attractive (to societies standards), or just generally have the idea that you are above average awesome.After a lot of searching, I found a good
definition that I agree with of an ‘ego’;
1. An inflated feeling of pride in your superiority to others
2. Your consciousness of your own identity.
Number one signifies how we look at ourselves compared to others. Equal? Above? Below? The Ego will always see themselves as above.
Number two, I think is fuelled by what others tell you, what others think of you, or what you think others think of you.
I had a really good conversation with a local last night, who said that his Dad always taught him that when he meets someone, he should always meet them with a level eye, and base their persona on their actions from there – but always, always treat them like an equal upon meeting.
This is something that Mr. (or Mrs) Big Ego does not do, which I think bothers me the most. I have never met an Ego that treats someone like an equal upon meeting, especially for the first time.
When I think of someone who has a big ego, they are someone who thinks very highly of themselves. This is not a big issue in it’s own, as a good self esteem is really healthy. But, when it starts affecting relationships with other people, I think that’s where it self esteem and ego separate. We all know how big I am on equality, and this is where my issue with egos come in.
Egos can really stand in the way of a great friendship, relationship, or even something as simple as getting your message across clearly – Mr/Mrs Ego is always concerned about themselves first, and everything else thereafter. Mr/Mrs Ego are often the most judgmental characters, quickly scanning you up or down and deciding whether, based on their quick 3 second judgement, you fit into their world or not.
I am not saying that egos make you a bad person, they area in fact really helpful if they are used to propel you upwards and take full advantage of your talents, or whatever it may be that lead to the ego.
BUT, putting yourself above someone else is never okay, especially based on quick judgements.
I myself have been guilty of holding a big ego when I was younger, but I quickly deflated it when I realized how many friendships I had lost (and how many fake friends I had gained based purely on my ego/persona), how many bad decisions were made in Big Ego mode, and how stupid an ego actually is.
Interestingly enough, my research tells me that often the biggest Ego holders also operate such a big sense of self out of fear. Are they placing all of their eggs in that basked, are they riding so high on this one ‘thing’ that makes them seem so awesome because they are scared they don’t have anything else worthy? Hmmm.
So, when it comes to an Ego vs. Self Esteem, where do you think the two separate? As mentioned, I think that when it starts affecting existing/potential interactions with other people. Self Esteem is a great tool to have, as it really helps you to stand up for yourself, be true to those around you, and be honest in your actions (and we all know that confidence is the sexiest thing a girl can wear!!) but when it becomes hurtful to others, it’s time for a reality check.
I am currently learning how to deal with people with big Egos without getting myself in a flurry and wanting to snap them into reality (or down a bottle of wine!!!!). Here are some helpful tools and tricks I have come across that help to lower their sense of self while communicating.
- Remove the pedestal in your own mind; They are human like you, no matter what they insist 🙂
- Distraction (I love this one!!). When they are telling or showing you the height of their ‘amazingness’, naturally lead into a subject that is neutral, where you have a level playing field. If their achievement is one that is worth being praised for, definitely give due praise, but don’t make it the only thing that matters, because it isn’t.
- Whatever you do, don’t overly stroke it. As I say, give praise when it is due, but no matter how much they try to get it from you, puppy dog tactics will not show them that they are on your level, but will instead give them a boost.
- Challenge the person, and not their position. This is a great tool that has really worked for me; Don’t challenge their position, as tempting as it is! Rather challenge (if need be) the actual message instead of the place it comes from.
Dealing with Mr/Mrs Ego can be an overwhelming and an often draining experience, but with the right tools, they can be easily tamed. But always remember, regardless of what ‘playing field’ you are in, you have everything you need inside you to impress or dazzle the hell out of anyone – sans ego!! The secret?
BE YOURSELF, and OWN IT!
No one can possibly beat that.