We don’t have to be talking about relationships for long
before the subject of ego comes up.
- We blame other people.
- We rebel when we’re treated as “just a number.”
- We reject feedback and learning because accepting it would
require us to change our sense of who we are.
…all evidence of the workings of the ego – our centre of consciousness
giving us our sense of identity; how we are separate from other people. The ego
acts to protect our individuality and supports our independence and is a
necessary part of our psyche, but not always our friend.
Encompassing the ego, we have what Jung called the Self – the
whole personality. Its goal is to make the individual complete and whole (hence
You can experience this difference for yourself. Try this…
In the West especially, we tend to identify ourselves with
our thinking mind – the ego, but notice what happens in the gap between our
thoughts. Do we disappear? Try it now for a few seconds.
(Did you try that, or did your ego kick in and stop you?)
Some other awareness notices the presence or absence of
thoughts. So you’re not your thoughts. Identifying yourself more with that
higher, mindful, noticing Self offers all sorts of benefits. One of them is you
become aware of your ego and can regulate it.
When it comes to relationships…
If we allow our ego to be too strong, we make it hard for
people to connect with us. How can they when we are so strongly separate?
We block our own growth. Just about any learning, certainly
any to do with relating to other people requires us to become somebody
different; to change our sense of who we are. That can only happen if we
regulate our ego.
So to learn quickly and relate well to other people, identify
with your whole Self and become mindful of your ego; notice it doing its thing,
and moderate its influence.
Some call the ego a prison. Take care you’re not one of its
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