Posted by: Lea | December 5, 2008

How Ego Works

Our ego is the part of our mind that is used to identify us from others and the world. Ego  strengthens our belief that we are a separate being from others. By continuously seeing ourselves as separated from others, our ego is able to support the illusions that hides the truth of our true essence. To see the illusion of this belief, the ego mind would instantly end and we would awaken as if from a dream. Ego and truth cannot coexist.

Our ego is always looking for ways to strengthen itself. Complaining is one prevalent example of an ego motivated  behavior. The ego loves to complain and feel resentful of other people and situations. We truly believe the story running in our mind, “I’m not being treated fairly,” or “They shouldn’t have said or done that.” Complaining is one of ego’s favorite pass times for feeding itself. A person who complains is acting from a habitual, unconscious state and very much believes in the story that their ego is telling them. It doesn’t matter if you complain aloud or only in your thoughts.

Name calling is another ego motivated behavior and is the crudest form of labeling, feeding ego’s need to be right and win over others. “Jerk, S.O.B., moron,” are examples of an opinion that a person can’t argue with. There is even a lower level where there is shouting and then slightly lower is physical violence.

Ego gains more energy by adding resentment, which often combines with complaining and  labeling people. To feel resentment is to feel bitter, indignant or offended. You resent greed, dishonesty, lack of integrity in other people. You resent what they are doing, what they did, what they said, what they failed to do, what they should or shouldn’t have done. Our ego just loves this. It makes us feel righteous and superior. Instead of overlooking the unconscious ego in others, we make it into who and what they are. It’s our own unconscious ego that is doing that.

Sometimes the fault isn’t really there and is a misinterpretation by a person’s mind that is molded to see enemies and a need to make itself right or superior. There will be times that the fault is rightly so. Focusing on it though, will make it expand. What we react to in others we strengthen in ourselves.

The most effective way to deal with another person’s ego is by not reacting. By not reacting, we are able to go beyond our own ego, as well as make our contribution to dissolving the collective human ego. To become none reactive, we have to be able to recognize that the other person’s behavior is coming from their ego and is an expression of the collective human unconsciousness. When we realize that it’s not personal, then we will no longer feel a need to react.

There will be times that you may have to take reasonable steps to protect yourself from extremely unconscious people and do it without making them enemies. The greatest protection is being conscious; the enemy of the ego is the present moment.

To let someone know of a mistake or deficiency so that it can be corrected isn’t complaining. To refrain from complaining doesn’t mean its required to put up with bad quality or behavior. Just be sure to stick to the facts and don’t feel offended or that it’s necessary to make them appear wrong and you right.



  1. Excellent advice Lea, ego is the part of me that has presented the biggest challenge to over come. I get along peaceably with my ego by letting it be, but not letting it control me. I also used to avoid people with big loud egos so that I did not get into a complaining moment with them.

    Fighting against the ego creates more to fight about, the ego is a necessary part of the human mind but it must understand its place, if you can get to a point where the ego no longer flares at every single, word, situation or event that occurs that it dislikes, then you can coexist peaceably.

  2. Hi Lea,

    Wow… This is a nice article.
    I’m not new to what Ego means but this article really explained it well. At class we only went over about the definitions but wasn’t able to understand it in terms of when it is socially present (in reality).

    Thank you. I’ve something new again from your article.

    Have a nice weekend. ^__^

  3. Hi carol

    I know what you mean. If I look at why I feel irritated by someone, most of the time I can trace it back to a family conditioning that makes me feel the need to be “right.” And that leads back to my ego. I still see this complaining and “I’m right” syndrome in my siblings. I’d like to think I’m seeing it less and less in myself.

    Thank you for sharing and have a wonderful weekend

  4. Hi Tessa

    I’m so glad the article helped. Ego can be such a sneak too. At least mine is, lol.

    Have a great weekend

  5. Are you saying that all wrong and defects can be traced back to an overactive ego?

  6. Hi Jade

    If we analyze some of the things mentioned in the post, such as why people complain, label or judge, it can be traced back to ego. Complaining about people, labeling and judging is ego’s way of making itself feel better than others.

    What recently happened in Mumbai is an extreme example of ego directed behavior. Labeling (in this case foreigners were labeled), and the “I’m right, you’re wrong” is behavior resulting from hate thinking triggered by ego. What starts out as a complaint can easily turn into anger, then hate.

    The terrorists most likely started this course because they were fed these ideas by family, friends, community or religious leaders they were in contact with. Obviously, their ego liked being told they were better than these foreigners that were attacked.


    Thank you for the reminder to keep my ego in check!

  8. Hi Kimmy

    So true. It’s easy to get lost in a thinking process and not realize the root of our thoughts or how it is affecting our perspective and behavior.

    Have a great weekend filled with many blessings


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