The ego is a term used extensively in psychology, philosophy, and spirituality and is a rather complex concept that can be difficult to define. It is necessary to understand the ego if we wish to keep our ego in check and become self-aware beings.
Let us look at the various aspects of the ego, both positive and negative, and discuss how to work with our ego.
What Is The Ego?
The ego is generally understood as – Our sense of self or identity.
In psychology, the ego forms one of three parts of the Human Psyche – The ego, ID and Superego.
The ID is driven by instinct and desire, while the Superego is concerned with morality and social norms.
The ego is seen to be the mediator between the two forces – the ID and Superego. The ego tries to balance the desires of the ID with the constraints of the Superego.
On the other hand, in everyday language, the term ego is often used to refer to a person’s sense of self-importance or self-esteem. This aspect of the ego is commonly associated with negative connotations like – arrogance or self-centeredness.
Negative Aspects of the Ego
But despite these negative associations, the ego is an essential part of human psychology. Without a sense of self, we would have no way to differentiate ourselves from our surroundings. And thus, would be unable to make decisions or take action.
A healthy ego is necessary for us to have a positive self-image and to be able to function effectively in the world.
That being said, certain behaviours and tendencies can indicate an unhealthy or over-inflated ego.
These Can Include:
- A need for constant validation or attention
- An inability to take criticism or accept feedback
- A tendency to manipulate or control others
- A lack of empathy for others.
The Importance Of Maintaining A Healthy Ego
So, how do we keep our ego in check? How do we maintain a healthy Ego? And how do we avoid these negative behaviours?
Here Are Some Tips:
- Practice Self-Reflection – One of the aspects of a healthy ego is the ability to reflect on – our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. This can help us to identify any negative patterns or tendencies, so we can work to improve them.
- Seek Feedback – It is not always easy to receive criticism or negative feedback. But, it is essential to support our growth and self-improvement. We should ask for feedback from trusted friends, family members, or colleagues to help us identify areas where improvement is needed.
- Practice Empathy – Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. By practising empathy, we learn to develop a deeper understanding of the needs and perspectives of those around us. In so doing, we become less self-centred.
- Focus On Personal Growth – Rather than seeking external validation or attention, we should focus on personal growth and development. To do this, we should set goals and strive to achieve them through hard work and dedication.
Overall the ego is a complex and multifaceted concept which plays an essential role in human psychology. While an over-inflated ego can lead us towards negative behaviours and tendencies, a healthy ego helps us have a positive self-image and function effectively in the world.
Keeping The Ego In Check
By practising self-reflection, seeking feedback, practising empathy, and focusing on personal growth, we can keep our ego in check and maintain a healthy ego and avoid the negative aspects of an unhealthy one.
Knowing this…we should learn to live with Self-Awareness. This way, we relate to and interact with others in a positive and wholesome way.
Considering this…take a moment to reflect…
- Can you recall an instance when your ego may have worked against you and got the better of you in the past?
- What negative tendencies and patterns can you detect within yourself?
- With this contemplation…what have you learnt about yourself from this experience?
- How can you use this realisation to empower the positive transformation and better outcomes for your future?
It’s essential to remember that everyone has flaws and negative tendencies, and that’s okay.
The first step towards positive transformation is acknowledging and accepting these aspects of ourselves. Once we have done this, we can work to change these negative patterns and tendencies.
One way to do this is to identify triggers that may cause us to act in ways not aligned with our values. We can then develop strategies to manage these triggers and respond positively and constructively.
Can Social Media Negatively Influence our Ego?
Social media can negatively impact our ego by creating pressure to present a perfect image, promoting comparison and feelings of inadequacy.
Moreover, the algorithms that power social media platforms are designed to keep us engaged by showing us content to elicit a strong emotional response, such as anger, envy, or anxiety. This can further exacerbate our negative emotions and contribute to a vicious cycle of self-doubt and validation-seeking behaviour.
This is why at LifeBonder, we choose not to use exploitative algorithms and manipulative tactics because we like keeping it real.
Self-Awareness And Mindfulness Can Help Us Avoid Negative Patterns
Another way to work on negative tendencies is to practice mindfulness. By being present and aware of our thoughts and feelings, we can better understand ourselves and our behaviour. This can help us to respond more effectively to challenging situations and avoid negative patterns.
Overall, it’s essential to remember that personal growth is a journey and takes time and effort. By practising self-reflection, seeking feedback, practising empathy, and focusing on personal growth, we can work towards becoming the best version of ourselves to create a meaningful life.
At LifeBonder, we value Authenticity and Self-Acceptance. We want to create a safe and welcoming space to nurture Accountability, Responsibility and Personal Growth.
At LifeBonder, we aim to work together to become the best version of ourselves. This will support us in strengthening our friendships and bonds. This will help us Rekindle the Human Connection…and Create a Life Worth Living.