What an Ego!

People keep asking me what Ego Friendly is. People have this very negative idea when they see the name. People see the word “Ego” and they think of obnoxious blow-hards who can’t shut up. They think of “divas” with a much too high opinion of themselves. The fact is, Ego has become a dirty word; it’s more than that- it’s an acceptable slur. You say someone has “an Ego” and everyone nods sagely. If you were to say the same person was ” a conceited jerk with a self-image like something out of one of those Fun House mirrors” the same people would shun you or, at best, think you were the jerk. Why is that? What is so magical about the word Ego that it allows us to get away with being so judgmental and where did it start?

Freud, who coined the term, imagined the Ego as a mediator between the baser Id and the hyper-moral Super-Ego. The Ego is the part of us that interprets the outside world and helps us think. “…The Ego is that part of the Id which has been modified by the direct influence of the external world … The Ego represents what may be called reason and common sense, in contrast to the Id, which contains the passions … in its relation to the Id it is like a man on horseback, who has to hold in check the superior strength of the horse; with this difference, that the rider tries to do so with his own strength, while the Ego uses borrowed forces” (Freud, The Ego and the Id, 1923)

Reason and Common Sense. Say it again, Reason and Common Sense. All your Ego is doing is trying to strike a balance between what you want, what you believe and what really is. Is that so terrible?

Well, what happened was, over the years, people began to see the Ego as that part of us that gets it done, that part of us that accomplishes. Clearly, in the Freudian sense the Ego is that mechanism, but only by default! The Ego is forced to produce, to accomplish by the factors acting on it from the outside world, the Id and the Super-Ego. Doesn’t matter, no one cares. Someone wants to accomplish more than others? Someone wants to do more than get by? “What an Ego!”

The fact of the matter is, the attitude behind that notwithstanding, the Ego has very little to do with drive, with pushiness. That’s your Id! And the part of you that makes you a jerk? makes you feel superior to others? Id again, or maybe your Super-Ego, if you were raised a certain way, but not the ego!

So what’s going on here? Well, what’s going on is this: people are ignorant, people are obnoxious and people are scared. That’s a deadly combination. Years after Freud, people started using the term Ego to mean ones self or personality. It was only a small jump from there to turn it into a slur, a word that means too much personality, too much confidence.

But why is it accepted? What about the word makes people let it slide, while “megalomaniac” or “Nazi” doesn’t fly? One word: Pseudo-science. People like to sound smart, they like to feel educated or, at least, intelligent. So when they pull a word out of old Siggy Freud’s playbook, they feel like their Carl Jung or Ernest Jones! Are they using the term properly? No. Is it slander and vicious? Yes. But you sound so smart!

Here at Ego Friendly we are committed to bringing back the proper meaning of the Ego, by encouraging your Ego’s growth. We exist to help you find that balance between what you want, what is right and what is real. Our services and products are not there to make you “win” or “dominate.” Our products exist to put more tools into your hands that help you actualize what it is your brain is really trying to do. So the next time someone tells you you have a big Ego, just slip them a card with one of our principles on it and say, “thank you.”

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