When I was taking classes, I’d often say to myself “I could teach this class better than the teacher.” This is how I know that I have a big ego (at least in that moment).
Our thoughts are the main giveaway. If your thoughts are primarily about you, and how important you are, and how you deserve to be treated, then you know if you have a big ego.
But do not despair, it is possible to minimize your ego and make room for more connection, love and compassion for others in your life.
Let’s take a deeper look at some of the red flags that indicate that your ego has become too big (it’s actually hurting you!), as well as some ways to cut it back down to size.
How Do You Know If You Have a Big Ego?
- Do you obsess on things for way too long, trying to make them perfect?
- Is nothing ever good enough for you?
- Do you complain a lot?
- How long do you research purchases before buying in hopes that you choose the exact best model?
- Stubborn commitment to ideas, even when you’re wrong
- Can you give up on an argument when you have lost, or do you have to have the last word?
- Are you so afraid to lose face that you makes things up or insist that your stance is the best one even when it’s clearly not?
- Can you let go of your fear of shame and accept when you have been bested?
- Lying to make yourself sound better
- Do you exaggerate and embellish stories to impress others?
- Do you lie even more when you’ve been caught lying in an effort to avoid consequences?
- Manipulating others in an effort to control what they think about you
- Do you lie about your past or leave things out because you believe it will stop people from judging you?
- Dismissing other people’s advice
- Do you ignore other people’s input because you think that they can’t possibly know more than you?
Does any of this sound familiar? Stop for a moment and really honestly ask yourself some of these questions.
Do I see any of these tendencies in myself?
If answering any of these questions upsets you or gives you a strongly negative emotional reaction, it is likely that some of these have resonated with you, even if you can’t see it yet.
If You Know That You Have a Big Ego, The Antidote is Humility
Humility. This is a tough one for many people to swallow. The best definition I’ve come across for humility is “getting right sized.” This is the opposite of extreme thinking and beliefs about oneself.
You are neither so important that you are the most significant person in the room, nor are you so important that you are the least significant person in the room.
Becoming more reasonable with our understanding of our own importance takes a lot of pressure off of us. Trying to be the best all of the time, or believing we are the worst, are both a waste of time and energy. Neither will ever be true.
Realize that you, just like everyone else, have strengths and weaknesses. And that is great news! You do not have to live at either end of the spectrum. Things are much more comfortable once you get closer to the middle and achieve some balance in your perspective on yourself.
Benefits of Reducing Big Egos
Deflating your ego will drastically improve your relationships with other people, and with yourself. It is true that other people have a lot to offer you, and connecting with others is beneficial for your soul. Having a network of supportive friends and loved ones provides great comfort in life.
These relationships are much better cultivated when you are coming from a place of humility. For one, people will be more likely to want to be around you. And two, you will be able to see the beauty in other people that you could not see before. Over-sized egos obscure a lot of the positivity that exists in the world.
So, if you want to be loved by and love others, if you want to help other people and be free from your ego, find the humility that is already inside of you. It’s just hiding underneath your ego.
If you want to be someone that doesn’t have a big ego, check out some of these resources:
- Learning to love yourself makes loving others easy.
- Get inner peace by practicing radical acceptance.
Drop us a comment below and let us know how you are reducing your ego and discovering your natural humility.
Please share this with all of the ego-maniacs in your life. Reducing egotism is good for everyone!