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Ask TherapistMaryAnn Your Own Question

TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5763
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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I think I have a lot of ego problem,like too much self centred

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I think I have a lot of ego problem,like too much self centred sometimes. But I didn't meant to in some situations. I ran a studio and have to make everyone gets his job done, so I must act like aictor sometimes. The problem is I occationally carry my tempe even not working,such as be with my girlfriend or someone I like. I felt like making order or pushing them although I really want to do is to let people understand me,well,in my way. One time I was talking to my gf about a film I am making, I felt excited and busy telling her my business. However,I was too selfish to listen to her. She just listened to me quietly with smile but a little bit tired and bored may be. I think I need to learn how to be a listener but very difficult for me. I love to be noticed and admired by other and to accomplish great things. The sacrifice is hurting people I should have cherished sadly. How to balance my ego and relation to others?
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like you are very aware of the issues with your ego which is an excellent sign. One of the first steps in resolving a personality issue is being aware of it and being willing to work on it. You also note that you have impacted others in your life with your view of things which is also another good sign. It means you see that there are consequences to what you have done and you want to atone for them.

The next step is paying attention to your behavior. Keep a journal or even just jot down on a piece of paper how often you catch yourself being self centered. Then on another piece of paper, note how often you listen to others. Keep a log for a week then see where you stand.

Start making an effort to ask others how they are doing. Then listen for at least a minute or two to what they say. Pay attention not only to their words, but their expressions. See if you can repeat back to them (not word for word but in general) what they told you. That makes others feel you are listening and you get instant feedback in most cases.

Make an effort to volunteer somewhere. Seeing others in need can make you more aware of your own behavior. And helping others teaches you to be less self focused.

Once a day, spend time focusing on your own needs. Appreciate what you have, tell others what accomplishments you have made. Try to be excited yet humble when you share. Realize that the person you are telling this to wants to feel happy for you but may not be able to if you are more happy for yourself and don't care about their reaction. Realize as well that you might be turning the person off, the exact opposite of the reaction you want. So change how you present your accomplishments so you can get your needs met as well.

If you struggle while working on this issue, try therapy. You may have developed ego issues because of a past trauma or neglect. Many people who focus on themselves do so because they did not get the attention they needed as children. Their parents or caregivers did not help them develop their ego in a healthy way, so they learned to promote themselves in order to feel good about who they are. This becomes part of their personality and therefore they struggle to break free of it. Therapy can help you sort through your past and find the root of the issue.

You can also learn more about narcissism/ego issues through self help. Here are some resources to help you:

The Lost Art of Listening, Second Edition: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships by Michael P. Nichols PhD

Why Is It Always About You? : The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism by Sandy Hotchkiss and James F. Masterson M.D.

I hope this has helped you,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I see you made strong point and you are right about my isssue. I was brought up as a spoiled child cause I am the only child of my parent . However since I was very small (age 6-7)their relationship is not very good, they always quarreling. Although I always get nice care of them I grow up in a not happy family.

I am 23 and I have my career as an independent film producer,sounds cool may be but really tough job for young peole,perhaps anyone. My career is my intrest and passion, so I need to be strong minded. Even sometimes I have to show my temper and become a dictator. I know it can hurt others feeling but I must get the business done.

Unfortunately I bring this character to my private life,difficult to switch role between a self centred,self driven producer and a careful friend and partner. I wish to communicate with other and share inner feeling,but in reality social situation I ofthen do it wrong way. As a result I decided to make films since college,to express myself through my works.

I have good business partner and professional colleagues ,but few friends let alone soul mates. To opend heart to someone, face to face and communicate is not easy,so I use my ego as self protection. Always alone but I get used to it,I think career and accomplishment are more important for a man than his happiness and relationship. Well, this is an asshole theory perhaps.

It is really hard to get my life
It can be difficult especially if you have to be hard nosed at work in order to do an effective job. You might need to work on a way to transition from work to your personal life. Many people have to do the same when they have demanding jobs. Try to think of a routine you can start and manage that helps you, such as taking time after work to unwind. Pick something you can do for others as a way to get you in touch with your feelings. Or volunteer or do a kind thing for someone after you are done with work.

You might also want to consider therapy to deal with how you were raised. It could be that you have deep seated needs that can be addressed best through therapy. Sometimes childhood issues can hang on and that extra help makes a huge difference. You can try to change your ego with immediate steps, but therapy gets to the root of it and can help you change for good.

TherapistMaryAnn and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
I hope my answer was helpful to you. If you have any more questions, please let me know.


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