The ego is the driving force of our real activities. Ifour ego is in decline, we may face triple E: selfishness, egocentrism andegotism. It does not sound very good. The words with the prefix “ego”are not positive. But is it right?
Ego – what is it?
The Latin ego literally means “I”. The term was introduced by Sigmund Freud and appears next to id and superego. All three components form personality. The ego is the bridge between the biological id and the moral superego. In the real world, he has to reconcile the needs of both spheres. Processes are partly conscious and partly directed by the meanders of the unconscious. And what is unconscious is the key. In the unconscious, our pathogenic material is sunk – unpleasant memories, failures, traumatic events, etc. These are also unpleasant traces of childhood, in the form of not satisfied with four basic needs: care and care, unconditional acceptance, independence and autonomy and identification of own biological sex.
Due to the fact that all these experiences inhabit the unconscious, the emotions that accompany them are not overworked. The result is the formation of certain defense mechanisms that are supposed to protect us from possible injury. To a large extent, it is they who direct our behavior and decisions, which we undertake, for example, valuing our ego. One of the analytical concepts illustrates the ego as a rational adult. Id is the equivalent of a biological child, and superego is a moral parent. Being an adult, our ego should also be mature. We should first and foremost notice and respect the ego of people around us. Self-esteem and subsequent perception of others could have affected the failure of one of the id’s spheres, or biological and psychological needs. This translates into a later moral evaluation of the superego.Dużo wise words, but what does it mean? That we can have a very low sense of value, and the ego balloon is no longer so firm and flexible. Then our ego demands attention and tries to inflate the balloon at all costs, thereby proving to itself and the world its own value. It starts to work in three ways.
E like egocentrism
That is the attitude in which we treat our own person as the center of the universe. We perceive the reality that surrounds us only from our own perspective. No empathy. An attitude worthy of a kindergarten teacher, for whom being the most important does not conflict with morality. In the theory of development of Jan Piaget, this is characteristic for children up to 7 years of age, because they can not yet look at the world through the eyes of others. This is the so-called egocentrism of thinking. Children of this age will easily kill a spider or hit a friend – the lack of empathy releases aggression. It happens that this stage in human development does not close with the attainment of a certain age. Adult egocentric, however, is no longer physically aggressive, but more striking with the psyche. His opinion is the most important, and the views of others are accurately put into one bag with the words “I know it better” and he insults and mocks himself. Egocentric knows best how the world is built and what is best. He imposes his will, ignores others and orders that the whole world be adapted to him. He is the main actor in the arena of life, and the rest remains only a pale background. His domain is the demanding attitude, because he assumes that everything is due to him top-down.
E as egoism
As Hercule Poirot once said – the famous detective from the novel by Agatha Christie – “We are all selfish, but not everyone admits it.” And this is true. On the one hand, we are egoists, but also altruists – we are willing to take, but also we can give. But at the same time? Usually, one of the poles – selfish or altruistic – is more visible when the other is hidden. If egoism is the dominant one, then we focus on taking care of the consequences to others. On the contrary, Altruist will share the last piece of bread, and although he will be hungry, he will be happy.
E like egotism
“Two weeks ago I managed to avoid a collision, because I am a great driver, but yesterday there were such holes on the way until the ride ended in a ditch.” This is an example of attributive egotism, a typical excuse of an egotist – every success is his merit, and failure is never his fault. It is a possessive self-promotion. Exaggerating your values, exaggerating your skills, merits and level of knowledge. Greedy demanding attention and praise about yourself, of course not avoiding arrogance at the same time. The achievements of others are no reason to be proud in the eyes of an egotist. Criticism is perceived as an attack and evokes narcissistic anger. It is not without reason that excessive egotism has been hailed as the queen of human flaws.
Goodbye ego, welcome ego – but healthier
Undoubtedly, it is worth taking care of others and sometimes, for a moment, give up your ego. Our sense of worth in the right dose can take on a healthy face. Egoism can be assertive, because you can take care of yourself without forgetting about others. Our personality will be more stable when we add a spoon of egotism to it, because then we will find out what other people think about us. A self-assured egocentric will try to change the world because he has a vision of a better place that he could create. He’ll do it, why others just look passively. All this raises the sense of value by filling our ego. The most important thing is to keep moderation, like in everything.