Ego is something that is often talked about in a negative light. There are people who say you should not have any ego or that ego is a bad thing. I think the problem is that there is a so much misunderstanding and misinformation about what ego actually is.
There is the light side of ego and the shadow side of ego. One isn’t necessarily better than the other, they are simply opposite expressions of energy. They point to different soul paths that people have chosen. When you look at things from a spiritual perspective, it’s very objective. You don’t necessarily see things as being better or less than, you simply see them as being different expressions of energy.
Ego is not a bad thing. Ego is your personality, your identity, it’s the part of you that represents your individuality in the world. We are all spiritual beings having a human experience and ego is necessary for us to do this. If we didn’t have ego there would be no separation or division between us, which is necessary for us to have the individual experience. There would also be no duality; duality is how we grow, how we experience lessons and expand our horizons. Life is a beautiful dance of each person being a different painting of the divine.
Ego can be really positive. For example judgement in its negative form is destructive criticism and judgement in its positive, exalted form is creating rules and setting boundaries for what is right, what is not right and for protecting people as well as the energy of being clear, discerning, and discriminating. Judgement in its highest form is actually very healthy and very necessary for us.
It’s very clear and obvious to me when I see a comment that is coming from the wounded ego. That was the inspiration for this post.
1. Disrespect: sign of emotional immaturity
The first sign of wounded ego is disrespect. If somebody is disagreeing with you with disrespect, that is a sign of emotional immaturity and it is definitely a sign of coming from the wounded ego. If you voice your opinion about something somebody else’s response to you is very cutting or negative- or simply disrespectful in terms of their tone- this is very telling. Often times people will use both tactics, being disrespectful with their tone, words and how they approach things. Often times this can be done is subtle and covert ways. It might not be as obvious as a toxic hate comment like, “go kill yourself”. It may be something more hidden and “your opinion shows your lack of intelligence” which is just rude and condescending. So anytime you see someone speaking towards you or treating you disrespectfully that is a sign of wounded ego.
Even if you need to have a difficult conversation there is a way to express yourself with tact, respect and clarity. When you express yourself that way it actually creates bridges whereas expressing yourself with disrespect creates division.
2. All or nothing, black or white mentality
“I’m right your wrong, I’m big your small and there’s nothing you can do about it!”– Matilda
This is the inability to think outside of one perspective or opinion. This is part of the wounded ego that feels the need to attack or defend.
This is the ego that gets threatened extremely easily and will attack anything that feels threatening to them. The inability to see outside of one’s own views, mindset or opinion, or the inability to see outside of another’s views, mindset or opinion- is a sign of a closed third eye. A closed third eye is blocked by opinion, whether it is your own, or another’s. It is the inability to discern between what is real versus what is unreal, and the inability to see outside of opinion, whether it’s one’s own or the opinion of another.
Wounded ego keeps you traumatized. If you are responding from wounded ego you are seeing through a skewed lens.
This is someone who is constantly projecting their true feelings, or negative things about themselves onto others. Keep in mind that projection can work both ways. People coming from a grandiose ego will often project the shadow aspects about themselves onto those who are coming from an underdeveloped ego. Often times, those with an under developed ego will project all of the positive qualities about themselves onto others, and as such will be a match to people who project all of their negative qualities onto others.
4. Everything is done for show
Perhaps the most telltale sign of unhealthy ego is when everything is done for show. The strategy here is to convey a specific image and convince others that the image is real, when in truth it is not.
5. Superiority/inferiority mindset
Unhealthy ego involves seeing yourself as better than or less than others. We often think of unhealthy ego in obvious, negative ways. For example, condescension- is fairly obvious and comes across as very negative. However, those of us who suffer from low feelings of self-worth, lack of self-esteem, tend to see ourselves as less than others. This is harmful to ourself and draws us towards those who see themselves as better than others. Often times this goes both ways. Those who see themselves as above others will also see themselves as below and vice versa. One classic example of this, is the smear campaign of a narcissist. Narcissists are constantly comparing themselves to others. When they come across someone they perceive to be better than themselves, they need to degrade them in order to feel better about themselves. This is not exclusive to narcissistic behaviour. Society teaches us to constantly compare ourselves with one another, and compete with one another. Therefore, this internal judgement, inferiority/superiority complex, is actually quite common and something we all come across, when coming from the wounded ego. One of the most widespread examples of this, is the inner need to destroy beauty. The wounded ego consciousness teaches us that beauty is limited. As such, any other display of beauty is a threat. This is why so many seek to internally or externally strip others of beauty, in order to feel confident and secure within themselves.
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