Are you a blamer? Blaming is basically the process whereby our brains finds a clever way of avoiding the psychological pain created by negative events. Blaming is an externalising process, projecting the anger or pain onto another person or situation, instead of taking responsibility for it ourselves.
If you are a blamer (or don’t even know you are), have a look at this (hillarious) video by Brene Brown, where she “considers why we blame others, how it sabotages our relationships, and why we desperately need to move beyond this toxic behaviour.”
Ego?! Yes, we know about ego’s. Usually men’s ego’s!
In a previous post I’ve shared Brene Brown’s “blaming” dvd. If you haven’t seen it yet it’s worth taking a moment to go to the video and have a look.
Blaming is all about ego. And NO, not just about men’s egos – it’s all about our ego’s as human beings. Have a look at the picture below: sitting behind your desk, your feet on the desk and just feeling good about yourself, just like yourself as a person. That is what ego implies: Ego is the manager of our personalities and it’s biggest need is to feel good about himself (or herself).
Now, how is an ego formed?
Firstly, the ego is formed by telling yourself good things about yourself, like “I am good enough”. You are thus giving yourself positive feedback of yourself, for example: “Iva likes me and she thinks I’m a good friend”; “I’m making a difference in someone’s life”, etcetera.
But, the ego is also formed by telling yourself bad (or negative) things about yourself: “I’m not a good mom”. Maybe you think “I don’t have any university qualifications and therefore I am inferior compared to my friends”. What about “I’m fat and ugly” or “I don’t have self confidence”, etcetera.
The ego is further formed by interpreting the feedback (positive or negative) that you receive from others: “Other people don’t like me”; “My boss thinks Mark does this job better than I did” or on a more positive side: “My boss thinks I’m great”or “I handled this situation well”.
In order to feel good about yourself, you learn defending mechanisms (to boost your ego to feel good). For example blaming others instead of taking responsibility for your own actions. Or withdrawing from a situation where you feel inferior and accusing other people of not acknowledging and understanding you. It can be drinking too much in order to have confidence to “speak out” in front of other people.
So, we all have ego’s, because we are human. But have you ever thought about what your defending mechanisms are? Start to recognize them, try to stop using them and become an anti- blamer, anti- over-drinker, anti- withdrawing person. Become a pro “I am good enough the way I am” person. This is food for your ego.
Most people don’t even know that they have defending mechanisms. So, why is it good to know what your defending mechanisms are? Well, by knowing what they are, you can focus on minimising them, or using them less. Start saying: I don’t blame others, but I take responsibility for my actions. I don’t withdraw from friends, because I rather learn more self assertiveness and start to belief that I can’t expect others to respect me if I don’t respect myself. I don’t need to drink too much as I would rather learn some skills to better socialize and communicate with other people.
And start treating your EGO well, saying “hi EGO, you are a great buddy!!”
According to the website Britannica.com, the definition of ego is:
Ego, in psychoanalytic theory, that portion of the human personality which is experienced as the “self” or “I” and is in contact with the external world through perception. It is said to be the part that remembers, evaluates, plans, and in other ways is responsive to and acts in the surrounding physical and social world. According to psychoanalytic theory, the ego coexists with the id (said to be the agency of primitive drives) and superego (considered to be the ethical component of personality) as one of three agencies proposed by Sigmund Freud in description of the dynamics of the human mind.
As an educational psychologist, I do a lot of reading, and sometimes I stumble upon a great book or article. This is the place where I want to share these books with you. You will find a link to Amazon.com where you can safely shop for these products online. Happy reading!