The Human Ego

Let’s talk; the human ego. Ego has been known to rattle the insides of fragile human dynamics from the beginning of time. Dynasties have fallen, hearts have been artistically and brutally shattered all the same because a single element of possession man carried; the ego.


Well, what is ego? The Cambridge dictionary defines it as ‘a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance”.

Have you ever heard the saying, ego is neither good nor bad as long as one doesn’t get identified with it? Ego trails fragile elements, most often linked with even delicate human emotions.
Why does one possess an ego?
Is it good to have one?
Is it a barrier of protection?
Or a badge of self-pride and narcissism?

Ego can be a beautiful form of self-love when taken in small doses. Just enough to know your worth to avoid unimaginable ways the world can take advantage of you.  Ego, can in fact, be just the right amount of protection. Your lines. To keep your innermost circle guarded at all times. To avoid being an open book. To avoid getting hurt.

Ego and insecurity

Have you noticed how ego weaves itself as a thin streak into protection and guards? Have you noticed the missing link in the previous statement? Fear. It’s fear that generates massive barriers of ego. The fear of being trodden upon. And the insecurity that this fears, God forbid, one day will come true.

Many would fight to have their ego intact. To not have it fleeced off their skin and part with it under any circumstance. Such people have never thought it through; the consequences. What about the things you lose. The people who you have to give up on? The bonds, you’ve nurtured over years of time, being abandoned in the blink of an eye all to protect, an almost invisible, sometimes as petty a thing, as an ego.

All because you were too scared to maybe apologize.
Or to accept a mistake.
Or accept failure.
A mighty sacrifice to avoid a tiny bruise on the surface of our glittery ego.

But then again, like there’s a flip side to every story, shouldn’t ego have its own?
What if, if you fight not to have an ego, how do you decide where to set your standards?

A long time ago, I let people in more than the healthy number. Kept them cosily stuffed in my innermost circle than necessary. More quantity than prescribed. A complexity of fear is easy to generate from their departure. You’re so used to having this one person in your life, you barely remember how times were before them. The person you were earlier before you let people in, seems to stand too far away and now you’re separated by too much time to ever be the same person again. This is when the negative ego complex begins. Behavioural sciences frequently scream-talks why, fear of abandonment is a big scrape at tiny egos of individuals.

We are too scared to be alone again, that often drop our egos aside and name it “saving our bond”. We are too scared of losing. The person, the memory, time, the feeling and the possession of it all that we’re willing to do anything to save that. Even if it means selling our ego. Especially our ego. We make constant excuses for bad behaviour; we palm it off by saying “they must’ve had a bad day”. We lower our standards. And are constantly available. All of this hails from the bargain of losing the healthy ego. The one that you should possess.

There are many quotes on frivolous looking websites that say “I apologize because I respect my friendship/bond more than my ego.” Is it really that impossible? To have a healthy amount of ego and still maintain happy and healthy human relationships?

I quite often pondered about the ego that arose out of superiority, seniority. Especially in the case of a child and a parent. Does this type of ego stand way inside the line of morals that society carefully drew generations ago? Or does it spill out and bruise the tender relationship of a child and a parent?

Parents are human, after all. After a mistake should the ego take the front seat just out of the dedicated passion to show the child a sense of superiority? Maybe, just maybe, this parental ego does exist to keep the “respect” intact. But then again, weren’t parents our first teachers who taught and emphasized a whole lot on forgiveness or letting go? There’s a grey of ambiguity attached to this. The more we separate it, the more the equation loses its balance. That’s just how its been. A discomfort sort of comfort in the balance of an uneven equation.

How do you conclude something as powerful or something as petty as ego? It just is. We just are. And hence the cycle follows. We strive and strive to find the right balance. The “bliss point”. Until we think we’ll master it. We lose, we win. Ego survives. And seldom it doesn’t.

Dynasties have fallen, hearts have been artistically and brutally shattered all the same because a single element of possession man carried; the ego.

Author Profile

Medha Reddy
Former celestial body. Recent cheeky addition to the human race. Loves to run occasional love affairs with words.

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