Preye Raymond is a leading content writer who enjoys a blend of pragmatism in his self-help topics.
Relationships are naturally perceived as an extension of ourselves. We find and associate with people that are of like-minds. And we often support them when necessary. However, as straightforward as it seems, we allow a lot of complexities and irrationality to alter its true definition.
When we relate with others we quickly introduce our ego before anything else. The argument here is not to determine whether this is right or wrong because everyone upholds their ego in practically everything. But the primary interest is, how can we utilize our ego in a relationship to ensure that both partners benefit equally?
We all want or need something out of a relationship, but how we go about it completely separates a healthy relationship from an unhealthy one.
3 Types of Egoistic Behaviors We Display in Relationships
Being egoistic in a relationship goes beyond being selfish or greedy. Selfishness is simply the result of a particular behavioral pattern that has been programmed in one's subconscious, either from childhood or from societal influence. And the display of such behavior is not only restricted to human relationships, but also relationships with things like; money, environment, public properties, and so on.
There are other abstract variations (variations and types are used interchangeably) of our ego that plays out in our relationships, they are:
- The Manipulative Ego: On the surface level, what makes a relationship toxic? Lack of trust, selfishness, not being emotionally available, and other peripheral reasons. But someone who is egocentric in a relationship may not necessarily be selfish. In fact, they act like the most trustworthy persons on the planet. They show emotions when it suits them. This egoistic variation can be devious and manipulative in a relationship. They make you think you are in charge meanwhile they pull the strings. Their manipulation is not always obvious because they use kindness and confidence as a tool to cover up their schemes. A good example of such a relationship is one between the government and the public. Notice how politicians relate with the people when it is time for elections. They make you feel special, they pay you enough attention in their campaigns and debate, they even commission projects that were previously neglected. All in the bid to get your vote. Most people also imbibe such an attitude when relating with their spouses, colleagues, business partners, and acquaintances.
- The Entitled Ego: Or what I call the entitled egoistic variation. These are the type that keeps taking without giving anything in return. They feel they deserve to be loved more, treated with respect (without working to earn it), and be the center of attention. This egoistic type is common among young adult women. The classic feminist agenda which fought for gender equality and the resourcefulness of women have over time been misconstrued and manipulated in so many ways to mean -women's entitlement and desires in marriages, dating, and even the workplace. Most women want to keep receiving and taking without actually bringing anything to the table. They hide under the guise that they want equality in a relationship, meanwhile what they secretly desire is the feeling of control and power. And they use their sexual prowess rather than their merits to get what they feel they deserve. This variation is also highly manipulative. Another good example: are those who feel they are poor or unsuccessful. Their ego in a relationship is usually stronger. You can detect this in how they radiate their insecurities in a relationship. They enjoy blaming those closest to them for their misfortunes, and they hold grudges when they are denied a favor (which they are always asking).
- The Rational Ego: This is the preferred variation for utilizing ego in a relationship. Those under this category believe that each person in a relationship is responsible for his or her own problems. They can support their partner once in a while, but no one is entitled to it. They don't use their relationship as a stage to act out their personal traumas or to fight their inner demons. Rather they use their relationships as a self-therapy to learn, love, and grow. They are egocentric as well and they need something out of a relationship (who doesn't) but they don't complain or murmur when they don't get what they expect because they understand that each member involved in the relationship has their flaws. However, this does not mean they partner with those that don't share similar values, plans, or mindsets. They scrutinize their relationship without being annoying about it. If they detect that a relationship is toxic or is not aligned with their ideas, needs, or values. Instead of playing the blame game, passing judgments, or being passive-aggressive, they simply leave to avoid any form of turmoil.
The Bottom Line
If we can be honest with ourselves, the idea of living to serve others in a relationship is unrealistic. Just a mere illusion we created. You need to be cautious of people who present such pretense when relating with them. Most of them have hidden agendas that they tend to reveal in the future after they’ve lowered your guard.
We would be settling in extreme toxicity if we don't learn to admit our egoistic tendencies behind every relationship. These tendencies could be positive in the sense that it is: goal-oriented, and for the sake of self-improvement. Or negative, e.g, to satisfy lustful desires, the desire to control, greed, etc.
If you constantly harbor a negative egoistic tendency, your relationships would never last. Your tricks and devious schemes would eventually wear out. And when they do, not only would your reputation be stained, but people would avoid you completely. Condemning you to your own prison.
A healthy relationship exists when we are more specific with our intentions and we are more aware of our egoistic tendencies. Controlling them in a manner that provides equal benefits, just like the rational ego suggests.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Preye Raymond