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Have you ever come across people whose ego seems to be bigger than their brain? You would not have had enough experience in your workplace or insufficient socialisation if you have not. In this context I am referring to the meaning of “ego” as an exaggerated sense of self-importance to the point of being conceited.

Granted that all of us have some ego in the form of personal pride and self-esteem, in well-balanced individuals this is usually tempered with humility and mindfulness. It is those with unbridled ego that can create a lot of misunderstanding,misery and stress in people having to deal with them. I believe proper upbringing and good religious (any religion) and moral education and life-changing experiences would moderate ego and make life better for everyone.

Now who are those with egotism? I do not think normal people are born with this characteristic. Some become egotistical as a form of a defence-mechanism to reduce the amount of anxiety especially when they are not good in certain skills or not conversant with certain knowledge. Sometimes out of sheer luck this type is put in the position of power and this is when you will see the ego flying off the handle and become berserk.

An egotistical person has the tendency to think that whatever they decide is good and Lo Behold! those who oppose them or give a different view and hence bruising their ego . They would go around threatening others whom they perceive as their difficult staff. They would appear stern to hide their inadequacies. When they talk on serious business, you could detect their mediocrity. And yet their ego would not allow them to accept that they are not quite right or worse still, not quite with it. This no-go attitude is an anathema to any organisation.

Another ego bursting time, especially in the workplace, be it the private and (especially) the government sector, is when a relatively young officer or staff is promoted to a higher rank. These people, in trying to assert their new found status will suddenly behave as if they are the ones with the power and would exercise that power insensitively and much to the chagrin of their staff or colleagues. Other egotistical employees would include bosses’ blue-eyed boys (and girls).

And killing others’ talent too.

People who have a big ego would usually talk down to others and would not change their decisions easily despite their being shown to be unreasonable. As far as these unfortunate blockheads are concerned it is their way or the highway. And they also are not normally consultative and they use their power to threaten and victimise others to the extent of cowing the whole organisation they lead. As you guess it, these people are the subject of much cursing by those around and under them.

The only thing that can alter their ego is when they suffer from some sad events such as accidents, death of loved ones, diseases such as life-threatening cancer or faced with legal problems exposing them to public ridicule and contempt. Only then would they realise that their ego is nothing but a state of mind.

Strangely enough these egotistical staff or officers will curl their tails in between their legs whenever they interact with some one higher than them for example, the company’s CEO, the government chief secretary or the minister. And so, in these instances, they actually can modulate and deflate their bloody ego which is only a no-go for their weak underlings.

C’est la vie!

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