In Greek mythology, Narcissus was a handsome man who loved everything beautiful. Once he went to drink water from a pond, and he saw his reflection on the water. Immediately he became entranced with this image, without realizing that it was himself. Finally, he died from sorrow, because he could not have the object of his desire.
The myth shows an example of a pathological ego. While a healthy ego is important for self–consciousness and building a healthy life, a narcissistic ego can ruin someone’s life.
Signs that ego is ruining your relationship
One of the first signs that ego is in the way of enjoying a healthy relationship is blaming the other. Every time there is a fight, you put the blame on your partner. It’s never your fault, you are always right. Well, ego works like that.
Sometimes what we need to do is take some distance, look at the problem with fresh eyes and try to analyze the situation without pointing the finger to the others. No one likes to hear that what they do is always wrong.
You might think that you are better than the other, but there is also the possibility that you think everyone else is better than you. What you actually do in this instance is that you play the victim, assuming the role of a martyr in order to blame the other of being an oppressor.
Don’t forget that sometimes relationships play out like a Game of Thrones episode: they are a power play and if you find the need to win or lose, then you have to acknowledge that there is a problem.
Relationships should be based on mutual respect and love and unavoidable problems can be solved through dialogue. Too much ego makes you stubborn and stops you from listening to others, learning and evolving.
Ego makes you constantly afraid. You are afraid to let yourself go because then you might face rejection. That fear is an obstacle for moving forward, from learning from your mistakes (yes, we all make mistakes) and doesn’t let you find love or being happy in a relationship.
Too much ego can also bring other feelings to the forefront, like stress. If you are constantly trying to make others feel inferior to you, or you want to have the last word, then you will feel frustrated and anxious. Those feelings are definitely bad for a relationship -and for your health as well!
If you are trying to be on top all the time, then you will find out that you will become extremely competitive. But remember that we are talking about love and not about work.
Competitiveness doesn’t have a place in a relationship. Soon you will find out that you feel tired from all the negative feelings. Your partner is no longer an ally, but your biggest enemy. And that is an idea that you have to leave behind.
Jealousy is also connected with a pathological ego. There are times when you think that your partner is not truthful, but those ideas come from anxiety and from a deep need to prove that you are a victim. Think if those fears are substantial and if they are, talk to your partner about them.
But don’t play detective, don’t search your partner’s e-mails and messages. The tension can only harm your relationship.
How to conquer your ego
First of all, selfishness takes a lot of work to leave behind. In a relationship it is important to start thinking as two, not as one.
Talk to your partner. What is it that he/she doesn’t like about your behavior? Try to really listen and analyze, don’t go directly on the offensive. Is there anything that you can change? It is certain that it will take time to leave bad habits behind, but it’s worth the effort.
Put yourself into your partner’s shoes. How would you feel if someone behaved to you the way you do to your partner? Try to record yourself when you are fighting with your partner. What words do you use? Are you mean? Remember that words hurt more than weapons.
Next time you feel the need to yell, just take a deep breath first. Think about what you love about your partner, all the wonderful things that you have done together.
Positive feelings will overcome the negative. With a lot of effort and a positive attitude, you can start to enjoy your time with your partner more.