How do you know when your ego is getting the best of you and what do you do when you recognize it?
All of us at some time or another have to deal with an inflated or overindulgent ego. Just wondering how you handle it, if and when you do engage it?
When I want to rant and rave about the situation, stomping my feet with "I know I am rightness." Then I usually have to go back and apologize. Don't scream and holler like I use to, but my proudness gets carried away quite often. I eat a lot of crow!
This is a question that could involve many hours and even days of conversation. However, If we consider the Ego to be that part of us that "thinks of itself as separate", then the answer to first question "How do you know when your ego is getting the best of you" is when we become aware consciously that our mind (subconscious) is not acting in our best wishes.
When you become aware that this is happening, it becomes a matter of conscious choice to alter our behavior in a way that excludes the "ego" and allows facts and current events to guide our decisions. We depersonalize the thoughts and act rationally.
All of us, of course, have an ego; but I'm not sure I'd agree that all of us have to deal with an inflated or over-indulgent one. There are people who have perfectly healthy egos that they don't inflate or over-indulge their own.
My suggestion to anyone who at least has enough control over his ego to notice that it sometimes gets inflated (and not everyone with an inflated ego even recognizes it in himself) would be to keep in mind that an inflated ego is like an inflated ballon: It doesn't take much for someone else to come along, use a very tiny pin to burst it, and leave nothing but flatted bits in its place. And, keep in mind that it takes a never ending supply of "hot air" to keep inflating yet more balloons.
Better to build one's identity, self-esteem, and sense of self on something of a lot more substance than that.
OR, maybe it's easiest to do this if someone else is around at the time the ego is getting out of control: People should ask themselves if they had to assign a "Number 1" and "Number 2" to themselves and someone else (it doesn't matter how many others there are). If inflated ego person automatically knows he'd assign a "Number 1" to himself and a "Number 2" (with the number representing "importance as a person" or "superiority as a person") to others; he should tell himself what his mother may never have told him, and that's that no matter how "wonderful" he is in one way or another (or all ways), there's a whole lot of other people equally, or even more, "wonderful" in those ways.
The person with a slightly out-of-control ego problem will probably keep his own ego in check if he thinks of that. The person with a real ego problem won't be able to convince himself that those others just might deserve the "Number 1" more than he does. Personally, I think the person who has trouble imagining that he might not always be Number 1 in "importance" or "general superiority" should get counseling, because an ego problem to that extent can destroy relationships.
When I stop listening to others and think that what I am saying is correct when actually it is wrong. When I come to know that my ego is preventing me to understand others point of view, I start meditating and recall what I have been taught in my meditation classes.
When things start bothering me when normally they wouldn't then I know it is time to practice acceptance; the only reason things would bother me is if my ego has expanded beyond its norm. Then I read Dr. Bob's quote on humility and I can usually get back to normal.
When I do, it is generally when I am trying to work with another person on a project and feel that they have insulted me, and am about to make a totally-not-constructive and possibly insulting comment in an effort to deflate them. But then I realize that I am the one who needs deflating, not them. Comments are like bricks - they should be used as building blocks for constructing bridges over obstacles (and often strengthening interpersonal relationships), rather than used as weapons and chucked at other people's heads.
Arguing can be very constructive - until egos get involved. When you are very passionate about something, there is a tendency to have a tremendous amount of ego tied up into it; because you feel that you have the obligation to defend something which you hold sacred, and which (you feel) others are compromising. I always remind myself that there is no need for all that baggage - people are rarely trying to attack me personally or trying to attack what I am passionate about. Perceived insults are rarely intended as such; if they actually are intentional, they deserve only to be ignored. Arguments should focus on not "you versus me," but on achieving shared goals - whether it be acing a school project, finding the best solution to a problem at work, or just having a constructive conversation.
If I find myself saying "but I think..." that is a key indicator for me that my ego is getting the best of me. Projects are never about "my idea" versus "your idea," but rather about coming up with the BEST idea for the project.
There are a wide variety of signs such as close friends & others suddenly avoiding you or finding it very challenging to find talented people willing to work with you or for you. Eat a slice of humble pie by acknowledging some weak areas and asking for help when you need it.
Don't cut others off or try to boast about yourself when others are trying to discuss their goals or accomplishments. Educate yourself in your weak areas and try not to boast often. There is a fine line between confidence and cockiness. It also seems that when many people who boast, that's when things start falling apart making it look as if they are incompetent.
I can't say that I've had an inflated ego. I'm more reserved and shy in person and people tend to say that I'm aloof if we don't have the opportunity to speak.
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