I know I have not posted lately. I’m in one of my moods where I have a lot on my mind so I prefer not to speak at all. Competing concerns and thoughts, and I am too tired to sort them out, but aware enough to know they need sorting before sharing them with the world…
Truth is, I have been thinking a lot about ego lately (or as we pronounce it eggo). I have been noticing more and more just how much people’s identity, their existence, their choices, their reactions, revolve around their ego – which is often quite more delicate than I anticipated. It also seems to be that my confusion over some people’s choices has stemmed from the assumption that their decision-making is task/goal based and only self-serving to the extent of success in the task, and not the goals being secondary to their sense of self.
I am dissecting ego with a closer lens because I have encountered a few egos that have been difficult to manage working with. It has made me really think about ego versus pride, and my ego. I regularly tell people, “my ego does not show up to work,” and I take pride in meaning that. Ego has to do with your sense of self-esteem or self-importance. Pride has to do with satisfaction over achievements – one could say closer to task or goal oriented. Unfortunately, people often conflate the two.
“Your ego is your conscious mind, the part of your identity that you consider your “self.” If you say someone has “a big ego,” then you are saying he is too full of himself.”https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/ego
Without going too far down the rabbit hole on what an ego is and what the specific conversations I have been having, I will summarize it this way: I did not realize how many people I interact with rely on their ego to drive the way they communicate with others despite it potentially harming their relationships. I know what you are thinking, you are smarter than this. I know, I know.
I speak with many people from many walks of life almost daily, so my approach has always been to listen and learn their communication style, then meet them where they are at. Yes, it can seem accommodating, but I am still my true authentic self while communicating in a non-threatening and empathetic manner. And as I observe some people I realize that their choice to be self-serving when communicating is driven by their ego which is somehow both inflated and fragile.
Are inflated egos fragile because like a balloon the more hot air there is in it, the more likely it is to burst?
The amount of posturing, defensiveness, and passive aggressiveness that I have to deal with some egos is honestly exhausting. It makes me want to further analyze the correlation between a lack of self-awareness with the ego-driven mind. The truth is, I am able to navigate through these interactions because I don’t drive communication with my ego, or really even any emotion. I consider most interactions with negative results to speak more on what those people have going on with them internally, then myself.
Your state of mind and your ego directs the way you conduct yourself with others and to some extent how you receive them and their communication. If you are in a good mood, you are more likely to expect others to approach you with good intentions (unless obviously not). If you are in a bad mood, you are likely to receive a question as a criticism, a tone as pointed, or a facial expression as intentionally attacking.
Why am I sharing these things that may to you be common sense? If it is common sense, then maybe you’re not the one that needs to read this today. But I want my tiny human to have this, and I want whoever needs to hear it to have it. Emotional intelligence, happiness, perspective are things I work on every single day. Rising above the lack of self-awareness of others, is something I work on every single day. I stop and think about it, I pray on it, I meditate about it, I write about it. It is work, but has improved by life exponentially.