As a comfortable follow on from yesterday’s post, it’s most appropriate now, to talk more about how the ego seeks to boost and protect itself.
Defensiveness is potentially the most obvious method of protection. Being antagonistic, contradictory and generally argumentative, is a common form of defence. The ego must do this in order to protect what it holds dear. It’s only when we’re aware of this tendency, do we become aware of its limitations: the more we defend our position, opinion and beliefs, the less likely it is, we’ll advance and mature.
A fragile ego will be the most defensive. Low self-esteem is the symptom of a fragile ego. Those who live with such a mind are the most defensive of all. Once we become aware, of how our defensive nature, ultimately only adds to the fragility of our self-esteem, do we begin the process of change. Getting through to such person is a different matter entirely though. It’s okay for the likes of you and I to understand this, but getting this message across in a subtle and successful manner to others, takes dexterity and cleverness. Paradoxically a fragile ego is the hardest to accept change.
The reason it’s the hardest to influence is because of its fragility. Let me explain further. Imagine an animal trapped in a snare. It’s still alive. Perhaps it’s only trapped by one of its hind legs. If we were to approach such an animal, we’d be in danger of getting hurt ourselves. It would be frightened and fighting for its life. In fact, because an animal in such a position is unable to escape, it will be forced to resort to the fight part of the fight or flight principle. An animal that’s trapped, is in a fragile position, to say the least.
“It follows in the same light, that a human being that’s trapped – by its narrow and limited scope of thinking – will, in order to protect itself, fight in the only way it knows how.”
The way in which this is achieved is myriad. Defensiveness has already been mentioned. Let’s talk now, about games of the ego.
Once again, the purpose of the whole exercise, be it games or defensiveness, is to protect. The ego must protect what you are. The ego protects the very fabric of what you are: your beliefs. Individuals who are neither defensive or game players have established something very important: they’ve come to understand the unnecessary and limiting nature of defensiveness and gameplay. Their ego has grown.
“Because of this, they’ve matured to the point that their ego no longer needs to defend itself; it is no longer fragile; it’s the animal set free from the snare. This has been achieved through awareness and maturity.”
So, the alternative to a free individual, is a snared game player. I’m going to leave you with one example of this kind of gameplay. The game of: I’ll like, follow or comment on your blog, simply because my ego needs to boost itself, through your interest in return.
Potentially the player of this game doesn’t have any interest whatsoever in what you have to say, and is only interested in the potential rewards, from their pretence. This is the work of a fragile ego. Never be confused here. A big ego is more likely to acknowledge any positive change they might see or hear suggested.
And so, the player of this game learns nothing, whilst they remain stuck within it. Social media is the platform, or playground, and it’s something to watch out for. Don’t get pulled into this game because you just might become infected. It’s a nasty game and a nasty habit. Like many bad habits, they can end up, in control of you.