This is part of my Blog Post Series: How To Thrive As An Adult
I don’t know about your true form, but the weight of your ego sure is pushing the crust of the earth toward the breaking point.
— Jim Butcher, Grave Peril
Growing up, I watched a lot of cartoons. (Way too many, in fact!) And one of my favorites was Looney Tunes. I loved watching Bugs Bunny outsmart Elmer Fudd, and Foghorn Leghorn get what he deserved.
One of the lesser-known characters was the Tasmanian Devil or Taz for short. He was a vicious animal, with unintelligible speech, and a limitless appetite.
And, if I’m honest, Taz sounds just like my ego: vengeful, with incomprehensible reasoning, and a boundless ambition for winning. When Taz takes over, no one wants to be near me. I’m left with no one to talk to and no one to work with.
So, to divorce myself from my ego and curtail its bad behavior, I named it Taz. Personifying it allowed me to have honest conversations with myself about the problems
that my ego Taz causes. And it enabled me to devise solutions!
Now, when I’m having a conversation with someone, I ask myself, Who is talking here? Taz or the good human inside of me?
If Taz is talking, I consciously throw him in a soundproof box. The most effective way to do this is to ask myself a couple of questions:
- What does the other person want, feel, or need?
- What would happen if I didn’t refute or rebut, but only listened?
Asking questions like these takes my focus out of my head, where Taz reigns supreme, and directs it to the human talking to me. This process takes practice, and I frequently fail at it. But I’m gradually getting better.
When I consistently do this, people actually like being around me. They are eager to help, and I feel far less alone in the world.
So, try it out! Give your ego a name. When you’re talking with others, ask yourself, Who is talking here? My ego or the good human inside of me? Do your best to silence your ego, and people will enjoy spending time with you and help meet your needs.
Be well, my friend.