Your (Bossy) Ego: Oh, The Stress It Can Cause!


your ego


Most of us could care less about the ego.

Problem is, we misunderstand it.

And we dismiss its huge influence on our emotions, perceptions, wellness.

“Acting like a giant control panel,” says Jonathan Wells, “our ego can direct how we interpret everything that goes on in our daily experience.

The impact of your ego, therefore, is significant.


First, The Misunderstanding

When people talk about the ego, it’s usually in terms of size. Size does not matter here.

“Wow, he/she has a BIG ego.”

Indeed, the ego “is sometimes exclusively portrayed as the negative, self-absorbed aspect of the personality,” say writers from

But equating ego with size or character is a misnomer.

Ego is “…the part of us that is always self-conscious, wants to be in control, [and is] totally absorbed with our safety, reputation, personal interest, and survival.”

Thus when the ego senses an attack on our wellbeing, it often awakens, roars, and inspires its underlings (humans) to act out.


It Is Bossy and Impulsive

Consider a difficult relationship.

A difficult relationship is all about the other person. The other person rattles you. Upsets your notions of ‘normal.’ Shakes up your ideas of right and wrong.

Something about that other person may also warn your ego to protect you. The alert: this person is fooling around with your sense of security. STOP THEM! Do not tolerate this!

(Please note that I’m not referring here to a violent or abusive relationship. That’s another matter.)

In short, the ego can be the impetus for negative reactions and confrontations.


But Herein Lies The Truth

Other people are often considered ‘challenging’ for one major reason: their values, life experiences and perceptions conflict with our own. Whether this other person is right, wrong, annoying or overly opinionated doesn’t matter. They see the world differently.

Nonetheless, the ego may detect a problem and scream: THREAT!

You receive the ego’s call and rush impulsively into anger or argument mode, blood boiling. Your buttons have been pushed hard. It’s time to start a fight.

But differing opinions always clash. You can set boundaries around disagreement, you can agree to disagree. You can leave the room, go to the mall. So why so hostile, why so quick to react?

Bossy ego.

As Gayle Hilgendorff rightly says, “We rarely set our [ego] aside for others. But we expect others to set theirs aside for ours.”


So Set Your Ego Aside

If you have a tendency to blow situations out of proportion, a history of confrontation with certain individuals, are quick to anger when you feel ‘under attack,’ it’s time to consider the role of the ego.

Start by asking yourself a few questions:

Why am I so hellbent on engaging with this person or situation? 

Why does this person’s behaviour (or this situation) upset me to this degree?

Can I change my perception of this situation? 

Can I accept that this person and I are different; that our relationship requires boundaries? 

Can I heed my ego’s message about protection, but choose to respond to its message calmly?


Know Thyself; Know Thy Ego

Understanding your ego will teach you a lot about yourself.

It reveals your weaknesses and stress triggers, and how you can cope better with them.

“Getting your ego in check can quite possibly be the most beneficial action you can take to finding more balance in your life,” says Gayle Hilgendorff.

Watch how your ego intercepts your thoughts and tells you what to do.

Accept that others will fire up your ego; doesn’t mean you have to follow through.

Realize it’s okay that others have different points of view.


Recommended Extra Reading:

“Personal Development – Is Your Ego Getting In the Way?”

“What is the Ego and Why Does it Make Us Suffer?”

“Your Ego is Running The Show and What To Do About It”




This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 9th, 2017 at 10:56 pm and is filed under Posts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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