Feature Image: Jay Z Instagram
What’s the difference between what we refer to as “male ego” and a woman’s “self-worth?”
Nothing…they’re literally synonymous. A lack of validation (usually in a verbal sense) for his hard work has the same deflating effect as a woman who works hard trying to lose weight and her man doesn’t notice.
Ego is typically defined as two things. The first of these definitions is one’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance. The second refers to Sigmund Freud’s theory in which it is the part of one’s mind that mediates between conscious and unconscious behavior and the results ultimately shape our identity. While Freud’s theory is a terrible one (because it cannot be tested for validity); it essentially can be described as what defines the former of these two definitions.
Ego is pride.
I bring this up because I was conversing with a friend who reminded me that the fragility of one’s ego is often what drives our relationships and that doing so can ultimately determine the fate of the relationship.When we hear older people talk about how their marriages have lasted for so long and what on the surface seemed to have always been happy talk about compromise they really mean checking one’s ego and trusting your partner has your best interest in mind.
Why do we often let our egos determine the trajectory of our relationships? Their ego is what attracted us to each other. Physical attraction is more than just how one looks; it’s the confidence that one carries themselves with that drew intrigue.
When we start dating we put our best representatives forward and tend to hide all of our crazy (rightfully so) so ultimately what we are getting acquainted with is just the ego.
Slowly but surely, familiarity sets in as we get to know this person whose ego drew us in. As one gets more and more relaxed we cannot help but be ourselves. Our insecurities, fears, troubles, pasts, and all of the above come in and there comes a time in which we make a decision in which we are willing to accept this person for who they really are in hopes that they would do the same for us.
The “new” feeling is fleeting and we are eventually left with rectifying what happened to this confident person we knew. Now, every little thing that is said and done hurts their feelings? And what about our needs? This person keeps falling short, while we are the most amazing people on the planet.
We key in on how they are not meeting our wants and needs while not at all thinking or focusing on where we fall short – Ego.
This dialog with a good friend of mine reminded me of a bible study I went to with my significant other about six years ago. At this bible study, a married couple gave their take on 1 Corinthians 13 with context to businesses and marriage. They gave this analogy that always stuck with me when referring to “love keeps no record of wrong.” They were from Texas, so they referred to the huge jumbotron at the Cowboys’ then-brand-new stadium.
Keeping a record of wrong is like watching a replay over and over again on this huge distraction while the game is still going on but you’re not paying attention to it.
We have had time to let a fleeting moment process then dissect what happened frame by frame then analyze the hell out of it. Not letting go of being blind side tackled can keep you from getting up and scoring a touchdown on the next play. Or what happens is one focuses so much on not wanting to be blind-sided again that they put themselves on the injured list. The not letting go and fear of being hurt again is ego.
After hearing this my ego was almost on swole because I wanted to nudge my girl and say “You know you do this, right?”
So what is the key to one not letting their ego get in the way? Well, it’s two things.
The first of these would be acknowledgement. You’re always going to have one and it will flare up from time to time. Just try your best to keep it in check or it will be done for you…then it will really be deflated. The second would be simply “fake it until you make it.” Most of us don’t realize how powerful the mind truly is. If I say “I’m going to forgive someone for hurting me and love them unconditionally,” every day I’m going to do it. It may be difficult at first and the act may be something we don’t want to forgive them for. But it will eventually happen.
Doing both is simply living the “Serenity Prayer.”
The “grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change (the past/being hurt), the courage to change the things that I can (yourself/how you handle situations), and the wisdom to know the difference (checking one’s ego and a helpmate to be the iron to sharpen one’s iron).”