Types of Ego: Which one do you have?

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Hi everyone!

I want to talk about the human ego because it has been occupying my mind recently. I want to discuss types of egos I have observed. Disclaimer: This is not based on psychological studies, but rather based on my observation. So, don’t take it as ultimate truth but evaluate it for yourselves and add or subtract things as you fit.

First, let me talk about my own ego. Hopefully, I think I can comfortably say that I don’t have much of an ego towards people, which is the most common type of ego: I genuinely don’t see myself as superior to anyone. I truly believe there is something to learn from anyone, even a baby. In fact, I can say I learnt so much from my brother’s cat. Thanks to him, I am much more open about my emotions (You know, cats just don’t care but live their own life). So, any living being can teach you a lot, so I don’t see how we can claim superiority to each other.

My ego was/is such that I thought I could do anything if I worked enough. Indeed, until recent years, I worked and got whatever I wanted. Not so much recently, though. There have been many things which I couldn’t get despite all my efforts. This showed me that I had overblown confidence –i.e. ego- in my abilities and power. So, this is the ego that you get when you pass a certain level in confidence. There is a fine line in that area.

Another type of ego is one where someone cannot accept their mistakes because mistakes indicates imperfection. But we should accept that everyone makes mistakes, including us. In fact, we all should make mistakes because that is how we learn. But we can make the most of mistakes if we accept that they are mistakes and work to turn these mistakes into good behavior. Otherwise, we treat them as normal behavior and continue doing the same things. This will not lead to any personal development. The same pattern will keep repeating itself in our lives.

Too much stubbornness can be (can be, not is) a sign of another type of ego too. We may be stubborn because we believe our way is the right way, which pumps up our ego. But hey, there are as many ways as there are people. I think I have suffered from this type of ego too (and I possibly still am).

Do you think you have any of these types of egos? Do you have another type of it? Do you think it is possible to get rid of our ego? Should we? Let’s discuss.

Betul

36 thoughts on “Types of Ego: Which one do you have?

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  1. My ego is like an onion – there is layer upon layer, which when peeled away one at a time, simply reveals more stuff to work on. It reminds me of the Energizer Bunny — it just keeps on going! And going and going and going . . .

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  2. Good reading. I have the overconfidence too – I developed it in my 20’s in order to survive financially and emotionally. When I look at it from that perspective, that I developed an ego mind as a way of surviving, it makes it easier to forgive myself and understand.

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    1. Yeah, I know that feeling. But there came a point for me when my overconfidence did not work any more because I just could not control everything. So, my ego got a huge hit there.

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      1. Amen. The death of my ego the past few months really has brought new life and meaning. So glad I saw your post today to remind me of this. Thank you.

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  3. Like the Onion Ego above, it seems to me there are many layers, but they appear and are used more as survival tools when needed. My ego as a parent is always Right, unless I am talking to my teenager, and then I am always Wrong. 🙂 Still, it’s flexible according to circumstance: I have no single defining ego, like you suggest is most common, Betul. Now my pointlessly overthinking brain thinks there should be more! Ah, we must be in the right place then.

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  4. Humility is the trait I strive for- I am neither as great or wretched as I might characterize myself. Being right sized and admittedly wrong much of the time- perspective and perception play a role which are subject to distortion

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  5. I think I have a damaged ego and the ugliest manifestation of that is when I come over aloof or cold to others. I don’t even know that I’m doing it and nobody has really made it directly apparent that that is the problem, but I have a little bit of insight and it sought of leads me to that conclusion. It’s a bit sad really, because I’d like to be a bit more exposed with people, but I am, for want of anything but this cliche, too sensitive.

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  6. I think it is totally okay being (over-)confident except that we should understand deeply that beyond our efforts/actions, there are ‘hidden factors’ which eventually contribute to success/failure. In other words, we do not have too much of control over our life events. This doesn’t mean that we should be lazy and sleep in couch all day!

    Have a good day! 🙂

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  7. Thank you, Betul, for this thoughtful post. I used to think I could do anything if I just worked hard enough. Life taught me that I do have limits. Now, I am willing to try new things and do what I am able to do.

    Like you, I tend to be stubborn. That is a trait that can be useful if you temper it with common sense. You tend not to give up easily. Stubbornness becomes self-defeating if it causes you to act against your own best interest. As my father, who was a very stubborn man, used to say, “Don’t bite off your nose to spite your face!”

    Take care. Cheryl

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  8. I see it as behaviour, or trait and not necessarily ego. Ego in itself is a good thing. It is a strong sense of self until our behaviour feeds insidiously through it. Our behaviour in turn is fed by what is around us. If we keep strong then our ego sustains us; if we let selfishness and insecurity rule or take over then our ego becomes an inflated sense of self.
    Being strong is hard.

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    1. I agree that ego in and of itself is not bad. It gives us our sense of being. It helps our identification. The problem is when this identification goes too far, meaning that we feed our ego what it is not.
      Here, we might refer to the base ego (id, I think?) and the surface ego, which we create based on false perceptions.

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  9. Great article. Thank you. I think we can not have light without dark and so we must have ego appear in life to teach us. I feel once you recognise it’s traits and learn through them, you are able to be a better version of yourself with personal growth. So I always like to be a bit kinder and respect my ego and thank it for showing me what it does. I am trying to rebuild my confidence in another way now. So I am able to share with the world that I may help others. But I always worry about if it will come across as ego. When really it is just wanting to do something purposeful until my cancer decides I am done. 💜💖💜

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  10. There are plenty of people I know who spy on others to build their egos. They compare and contrast to find qualities they can label as “bad” so they can build up more value in themselves or value in what they possess. I’ve experienced people viewing me to say all the qualities that do not work for them, so they can value their “woman” more who seemed to be lacking. The other ego-builder that I run into, is these people who spy will seek “things that can shock”. They will view things such as going to the bathroom, physical attributes, practices that may not be what they do, and then exploit them to others as gossip and public humiliation to build up their ego and popularity at the expense of the party who was viewed.

    They view to satiate their “curiosity”, they say. It would be better if they looked within themselves and nurtured more quality there.

    It has a lot to do with overstepping boundaries of any kind. When these are overstepped, the trespasser thinks they have more control over the other person. It is an ego booster for them. With the spy cameras it isn’t just an ego booster, they actually thrive on the fact they think they are God and can have God-like access to someone’s life! Here are some articles I’ve shared on this topic:
    bit.ly/3joMpjR
    bit.ly/3fYnBgx
    bit.ly/30IyYCT
    bit.ly/32AP8AA

    @cherbloggin

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    1. Thank you for sharing your posts and thoughts! You are right! I think egos are built based on wrong types of interactions. We must also ask why such people want to overstep boundaries. That probably results from a deeper psychological reason/need as well.

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  11. I think these are useful distinctions. We often speak of a ‘healthy ego’, and I think that relates to your criteria of not feeling superior to others or ‘entitled’, but having pride in oneself, goals, a sense of self, and personal strength to overcome obstacles. There is a fine line – it’s easy either to underestimate oneself or over-estimate one’s abilities at certain times, but that is the type of mistake a healthy ego can learn from.

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  12. I used to be scared of making mistakes so it would take me a lot of work to actually try anything new. Apart from sports, I would happily try any new sport.

    Over time I’ve worked at letting go of this feeling that I shouldn’t make mistakes, to work hard regardless of how things end up.

    Thank you for your words. 🙂

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