When you hear the words ego, you automatically think of arrogance and someone who thinks they are better than others, but it’s more than that. Those with ego issues (generally over inflated ones) also love and crave power over others and it’s the most destructive trait there is. Why, because it is usually carried out with underhand methods, and the longer they get away with it, the more it harms others directly and indirectly.
There is a difference between having responsibility, and having power over another; for example a parent is responsible in the eyes of the law for their child, but some use that responsibility and abuse it to exert power over them. That’s a fine line to draw, but most do this with the child’s interests at heart such as forcing them to study a particular subject because they think it’ll serve them well in later life. However, that is a combination of responsibility and power. It’s not unusual for one spouse to have power over another, but that tends to be in unhealthy relationships. The male dominating the household and being the breadwinner is no longer the case in the 21st Century, although some traditionalists still prefer that way of life.
One assumes that someone who is egotistical is confident yet often they are insecure and try to control all around them. It’s destructive because it begins with small things, and then once they have had a taste of control and power, they get used to it and expect others to fall in line. A little power and a fancy job title can go to one’s head, and just because they have some power over another for a limited time doesn’t mean they are right either. Because they get away with it they assume they are right, when in fact they are either ignored, or are mocked by others who know better, but from that the seeds of egotism grow, which is why I do feel it is essential (although not always PC) to stand up and challenge things that aren’t right.
This often happens in the workplace, so what do you do? Diplomatically challenge something you know won’t work out, or keep quiet and do it and then blame it on them when it goes wrong? I know many opt for the latter for an easy life and not to rock the boat, but what it does is feed the ego of others, while making you look foolish for not knowing any better.
It reminds me of a time I used to host one day conferences and the ‘managers’ were often inexperienced graduates looking to impress and move up the company. One morning after registering most of the delegates there were a few that were late, and it was my job to sit there and wait for them as the managers had to go back to the office. I was left to oversee the rest of the day, and to ensure there were no problems with the catering or other speakers. However, on this particular day the manager insisted I go in and sit in the conference room with a microphone all day in case of questions, even though it was common knowledge questions are only asked after a presentation. I told them this and that also I didn’t want to leave my handbag unattended in a hotel corridor. They told me I had to go in and that they would look after my bag, but would leave shortly, and said it should be fine. Should be fine is not good enough when someone can steal your bag, and it has happened before. Anyhow I complied, but a formal complaint was made that I challenged them a couple of weeks later. It was petty, and I fought my corner and said it was highly stupid and impractical for me to leave a registration desk when late delegates were arriving and other speakers were due, in addition to the safety of my own bag, but I complied regardless. The ego of the manager wanted to exert their power, maybe to get me into trouble but also it made them feel they had power over me and the agent. We both ignored it, because we knew this person was young and inexperienced, but they were the client and I was supposed to do as I was told even if it was a stupid thing. No one should have to ever do stupid things to satisfy the thirst of power in others.
Excessive egos lead to destruction and some say they are narcissists. Often they will use tactics such as racism, gender bias, being a child of divorced parents, or being poor as an excuse for their behavior, but in truth there is never any valid excuse. These Souls often will fall fast and hard, and their lessons will be major ones to learn from, mainly humility. In the news people feel that both Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are both suffering from inflated egos that are destructive to the British Royal Family. Harry has been given a pass for his behavior for most of his life due to the accidental death of his mother. There are millions of children who lose their parents in an accident, but it does not give them any right to get away with things just because they maybe mentally scarred by the incident. Markle, on the other hand seems to have dumped all her friends and family that serve no use to her, even going as far to deny knowing her half-sibling, by saying is a distant relative that she doesn’t know, and that was a quote from her lawyer. That is a prime example of a destructive ego that wishes to control people around them, and how people will perceive them, which often means denying the not so nice truths or reality. Despite certain media outlets who ignore this, they have tried to get the public to warm to her, but people are not dim. They may concede to a boss with ego problems just so they can get their holiday signed off, or their expenses agreed, but the public don’t need anything from Prince Harry or Meghan Markle, but they do object to their tax payers money being used to fund their lifestyle, which is why the public have a right for their voice to be heard.
If we look at dictatorial bodies, their thirst for power comes from their ego, and that they know they have power and will use and abuse it. It’s not just about winning, but also about having power over another side and letting them know that. Take for example Brexit, the EU love to exert their power over member states always threatening them if they don’t do as they say, and now with the UK leaving, they are showing their true colors with more threats if the UK doesn’t agree to their terms. The fact is all the EU can do is then instigate court action, but they can’t force a country to do something if they are opposed to it. They can fine them and make life difficult, but then you ask what is the point of being in a union where states are disrespected? How does this behavior garner friendly relations?
In war history, you will notice many of the dictators such as Hitler and Stalin are prepared to lie and sacrifice others to get what they want. They weren’t great leaders as they allowed their own citizens to die, and even ordered their deaths, so they weren’t great statesmen who had the best interests of the country at heart. Once they had a bit of power, they wanted more, and what it did was destroy millions of lives and an entire generation. That’s why many don’t wish to negotiate terms, because for them it’s not about finding a solution but to feel they have power over others.
Humility is an underrated trait, yet to me it’s the greatest trait you can learn and possess. Why, because even if you have power over others or responsibility you won’t abuse it and take advantage of it, and from that stems an unequivocal belief in equality, and in humanity for we are all flesh and bones underneath it all. No one is any better than another, and an evolved Soul and one that has learned knows this. A good boss doesn’t need to have a big ego, but respects all those around them and uses what power they have to better the lives of others. Those who crave power and have inflated egos are heading for a fall at some point, and no matter how often you call them out, the big problem is they don’t want to listen.