Everyone has an ego—we are all born with it. Ego is important for our self-importance, self-esteem, and self-confidence. Have you had an ego check lately? Is it in the right place, or are your ego problems starting to take control of your life?
It’s easy to say, “I don’t have ego problems,” because admitting it is not easy. But if you think about it, having self-awareness and the courage to admit you may have ego problems will open doors to self-improvement and success.
How to Know If You Have Ego Problems
Are you caught in the ego trap? Here are some signs that you may have ego problems. Be observant of your actions, how you deal with other people every day, and how you feel in a certain situation. Remember that not all people with ego problems manifest all these attitudes, as it usually differs from one person to another.
1. You Need to Be Right Always
Trying to find ways to justify your actions even though you know that you’re wrong may be a sign you have an ego problem. Have you ever gotten into an argument where you won’t stop until you say the last words? Do you get angry or are your feelings are hurt when things don’t go your way? Are you offended when someone corrects your mistakes?
Wanting to be right all the time is not a good trait, especially for a leader or team member. Even feeling vengeful when you lose is a sign that you may have ego issues. A person with ego issues will sulk and have a hard time accepting the loss. You might want to check your ego and figure out why you’re feeling this way.
2. You Ignore Other People’s Feedback, Even Your Partner’s
Hearing feedback or opinion about you happens at work, at home, or within your circle of friends. If you have problems with your ego, you ignore your partner or other people’s feedback, opinion, advice, and constructive criticism.
Many companies conduct a yearly evaluation of their employees, either from their boss or co-workers. This feedback gives the employee an opportunity to improve in the workplace. If a person has an ego problem, they’re most likely to ignore it and have a hard time accepting it and continue acting the same way instead of improving to get a promotion or raise.
3. You Hate Losing Because You’re Obsessed with Your Self-Image
Winning is the key to success, and everyone wants to be a winner. But if you want to be a winner because you hate losing, then there’s something wrong with the picture.
Normally, people want to win because winning makes them genuinely happy or it gives them a sense of accomplishment, not because they don’t want anyone else to be superior to them. If you’re in a competition and you’re willing to do anything to be the winner, even if it means stepping on someone’s toes, check your ego.
Ask yourself the following questions. Why are you feeling this way? Why do you have that urge to win just to be on top, even if you hurt other people along the way? Is there any other strategy to reach your goal without the thought of “I hate losing”?
4. You Believe You Must Always Have More
A person with ego issues may have insecurity problems. One manifestation of insecurity is always wanting to have more.
You see a co-worker with a new phone, so you get the latest one. A friend went on a cruise to the Bahamas, so you go on a more expensive vacation. You see someone with the latest designer shoes, so you go to the nearest luxury store and get them.
It’s okay if you can truly afford what you want to buy. But when these material things are way above your pay and the credit card bills keep on piling up just to get ahead of everyone else, then this may be a sign you have an ego problem.
It’s not only about material things but other factors as well. The ‘my kid is better than yours’ competition, or the need to brag and make up a lie to sound like you always have more, is something you need to work on.
How to Take Control of Your Ego
Not being able to take control of your ego problems may affect your relationships at home, in the workplace, or even with your partner. Here are some tips on how to take control of your ego:
- Practice self-awareness. One of the first steps to address an inflated ego is to practice self-awareness. This means being aware of your actions and acknowledging your thoughts, feelings, and behavior. You will be able to correctly discern how you can improve yourself when you’re more aware of how you act, think, or speak.
- Learn how to accept your mistakes. Everyone commits mistakes and it’s normal. Learn how to be humble and accept your mistakes. Having the courage to apologize is a step to self-improvement.
- Relax and don’t take things personally. Sometimes, our ego gets hurt because we take things personally. Be calm and try not to get hurt by other people’s comments about work. Instead, let constructive criticism motivate and inspire you to do better.
- Pause and think twice. Pause and think twice before engaging in an argument or making a comment. Do not say or do something you might regret. If you practice self-awareness, you may be able to know what you need to control in order to tame your ego problems.
No one wants to hang out with a person with ego problems. If you need someone to brainstorm with you and figure out why you’re having these strong feelings, you can always talk to a therapist. You may have feelings of suppressed anger or unresolved issues that make you feel that way. Don’t be the person with an oversized ego because it won’t be good for you or those around you in the long run.