By Dr. Rachna Pande
“Ego”, as per dictionary means perception of self in relation to outside. As per famous psychologist Sigmund Freud, it is a component of the mind with which one relates to others. The word “ego” simply means exaggerated, grand, opinion of self. If that remains limited to one’s mind, fine. But when it starts affecting other people it creates problems.
Consider a family. All members live harmoniously, following a senior member. Then a member develops ego problems. He starts rebelling and tries to dictate his own terms. This creates chaos and infighting in the family, loss of discipline and peace. Ego problems between husband and wife are the main cause for marital disharmony and divorce.
In office, if the boss is egoistic, he remains aloof from his employees. He does not involve them in decision making, considers their problems as excuses and their demands as exaggerated. The consequences can be one or more of the following – skilled employees switch over to another job at the first opportunity.
Replacing a person is not difficult. But an experienced hand is an asset for any organization while new ones take time to get acquainted with the system of working. Those unable to change start getting frustrated and loose interest in work. Gradually they fail to put in their best at work, thus affecting the quality.
On the part of the boss, he remains lonely in spite of his position and power. He lacks true friends and well wishers. With inflated ego, he would be surrounded by sycophants or people fearing him. His subordinates do not respect him and feel happy when he changes.
In case of a subordinate employee having an ego issue, situation becomes more difficult. This person thinks that he is excellent and is not getting his due, at work. He does not cooperate and coordinate with his colleagues, tries to argue with the superiors.
Both these types of scenario are not pleasant and spoil the peace of the office. Office is a place where one spends 8 to 10 hours of the day, 5 to 6 days of the week. A vitiated atmosphere becomes stressful for all. Thus all are exposed to risk of developing stress related health problems.
For centuries wars have been fought to satisfy the ego of some person ruling the country or masses. People of any nationality or community live in peace and harmony, with one another. They are instigated to fight and kill one another because of the ego of some leader.
Nowhere is an egoistic person loved or appreciated. People may be taken in temporarily by his boasting but very soon his true self is exposed.
Why some people have an inflated ego? In some it is due to lack of self confidence, which they try to hide by bossing over others. Over confidence may be the cause for exaggerated ego in some. Just because of some skill, they regard others to be morons whom they have come to salvage.
Some weak minded people get carried away by false praises bestowed on them by others for personal gains and inflate their ego.
Thus for benefit of self and others, keeping away ego is a good policy. Great men of the world who are still revered like Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, all are well known for their humbleness.
One should remember very well that whatever he may be, he is a tiny drop in this vast ocean of humanity. All human beings are interdependent on one another for their very existence.
Doctors, farmers, cleaner, cooks, engineers, teachers, all are needed in a society. A very rich man would need grains grown by a farmer, milk brought in by milk man, helpers to help around in the house and at work. So it is better that instead of showing his superiority he acknowledges the help extended to him and is respectful.
If all shed their egos, learn to appreciate and respect others, what a wonderful and peaceful place the world will become?
Dr. Rachna Pande
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