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Whose Ego is smaller? and 8 Egoic behaviors to watch out for.

ego self-awareness Apr 30, 2024
The image is of a human sitting there on the riverbank, observing. He is Observing the 8 egoic behaviors.



"My Ego is definitely smaller than yours"


I was once answering a question online from one of the readers.


For some reason, they were upset by what I had said.


For they decided to end the conversation with this line, "I don't have an Ego at all, and even if I do, my Ego is definitely smaller than yours".

The Ego is a strange thing. It is the center of our identity, yet so much of what it does creates conflict in our lives.


The Ego, often portrayed as the voice of self-centeredness, can also be a voice of insecurity. 


Just as it seeks to expand, it can also seek to shrink. Just as it can choose to want, it can also choose to deny.


The Ego clouds our perception and hinders our ability to connect with others authentically. By recognizing and observing (not trying to fix) Ego-centered behaviors, we can begin to try and understand its ways.


Our intention can never be to "End the Ego", for the one who ends the Ego, is also the Ego.


The Ego is a teacher.


Our job is simple. Observe the teacher and learn.


The means of the teaching is conflict and suffering.


If we do not watch, we do not learn, and the punishment continues.


The Goal of the Ego is not to make your life difficult. It is merely to organize your life such that you become secure. 


The way it goes about finding that security however, makes us insecure.


Here are eight common Ego-centered behaviors that increase your level of insecurity as you engage in them.


1. An Urge to Judge:

The Ego thrives on comparison and judgment, constantly seeking to elevate itself by putting others down. Negative judgments about others, come with a certain uplift the Ego can give itself. By doing so the Ego tries to make you feel good about yourself, but starts you on the path of insecurity by making comparison and judgment, a habit.

If you are selfish, I must be selfless.


2. A Desire to Be Right:

The Ego seeks validation and affirmation, often at the expense of others' perspectives. You can win that argument by insisting on being right, but you may lose that conversation along with it.

Trying to always be right is the best way to damage a relationship.

By letting go of the need to be right, we open ourselves to the possibility of growth and understanding through introspection and listening. 

3. Fearing the Unknown:

The Ego thrives on familiarity and control, often resisting change and new experiences. By rejecting uncertainty, the Ego tries to keep you safe, but makes you unsafe and inexperienced in the long run. Fearing the unknown is how we miss out on a variety of learning experiences life may want to offer. 


4. Attachment to an Identity:

The Ego clings to labels and roles, such as businessman, or a manager, yoga teacher, or identities based on religion, culture, nationality, gender, or race. Identities are necessary in the short term, because they provide security and protection, and sometimes even justice. Yet eventually they divide human beings and set them against each other. The only identity we all share is that of being human, beyond that everything only divides. 


5. Attachment to Objects or People:

The Ego seeks security and fulfillment through external possessions and relationships, often leading to dependency, possessiveness and jealousy.  Egoic attachments to people are what cause us to expect our partner to be a certain way. It is the reason why they perceive  our expectations as threats, become afraid and defensive and move away from us.

Two people who love each other move apart when they are attach and cling to each other.

Letting the attachments dissolve, is what brings people together. 

6. Feeling Insecure When Attacked:

The Ego is sensitive to criticism and perceived threats, often reacting defensively in the face of adversity. By avoiding difficult conversations it protects itself, yet simultaneously forgoes the opportunity to look inward and become self-aware about the causes of its insecurity.

In that shadow of false security, insecurity grows.

Don't defend when you're insecure. Instead, reflect and look inwards.

7. Feelings of Superiority or Inferiority:

The Ego thrives on comparison and hierarchy, perpetuating feelings of superiority or inferiority. 


My job is better than your job, my house is larger than your house, and my car is more expensive than yours. My wife is more understanding than yours, and my children are doing better at studies than yours. I am more spiritually advanced than you.


The childishness of the Ego has no bounds.


The feelings of inferiority and lack of self-worth also arise from the same kind of egoic action. Why? Because that too is based on attachment to past experiences and one’s personal history.

8. Tendency to Never Let Go or Surrender:

Ego's first approach to any problem isn’t to step back and watch it. It is to get involved and begin manipulating the problem. It cannot observe what's actually going on, because it cannot find the humility to surrender. 


Even as you read this, you want solutions. You want the "But How?".


That is exactly the point. Observe instead of grasping for answers. Surrender, and the answers will come.


The Ego resists surrender and vulnerability, fearing loss of control and autonomy. The reality however is, through Surrender, the Ego can find spontaneous and effortless control.


All it has to do is try, not trying.


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