What happens when you think you are dating the all around perfect person except for the fact that he or she is a bit of an egomaniac? You know the type. Most of the time you thoroughly enjoy their company, that is until you take them to dinner at your parents or siblings house and they spend the entire time trying to one-up, and/or out-do everyone at the table in an effort to make themselves look (and feel) important. Sure, he or she is successful and has a lot to be proud of in their life. But does this really mean that flapping the wings of the ego in front of your family and friends is an appropriate way to behave? Is there a way to tell this person that they need to check their ego at the door BEFORE this person ends up making an ass out of his or herself? And how in the world do you let this person know that you think the world of them UNTIL they start becoming a one-man show around your family and friends?
The ‘ego’ in many literary works has been called the ‘enemy of the self.’ Essentially, someone with an ego problem can turn any and every conversation, situation, or happenstance into something about him or her. Often, they try to take center stage when they get around groups of people and ensure that every person in the room is aware of their perceived ‘awesomeness.’ So a simple conversation about skiing can be turned into an all out essay about the one time this person skied the slops of Austria.
Often, it is perceived that someone with a high ego thinks that they are better than every one else on the planet, or a more worthy opponent because of the way they brag. However, psychologists believe that people who tend to have ego problems in the presence of others – especially people that they may be trying to impress, are actually extremely insecure.
Their insecurity shows through when they are constantly patting themselves on the back. Their fear is that no one else around them will take the time, or have the chance to know just what a great guy or girl they are. So instead of allowing these things to happen naturally, they try to quickly pound the idea into other people’s heads. While their actions can be annoying – the simplicity of it is that they are likely behaving this way because they want to make a good impression on the people in your life.
For instance, if your dad is an avid fisherman and you bring your boyfriend home to meet the parents – he will likely talk about fishing as a way to break the ice with your father. If your boyfriend has a bit of an ego problem, he may start talking about all the big fish he has caught, and spend the entire time trying to fluff himself up in front of your dad. Sure, he is just trying to make a good impression. However, the ego talking tends to overshadow everyone else in the room, and leaves very little room (if any at all) for conversation and communication to take place between people. It’s almost like a nervous habit and most people don’t realize they are behaving this way unless it is pointed out to them.
As young kids, most of us are taught not to brag, and not to talk about ourselves repeatedly. We are warned that doing so will make us look like show-offs. Somehow, this lesson often gets lost when a human being is put into a situation where they want to make a good impression. The point in this is to let you know that your beau may still be a great date – and that you should refrain from judging them too harshly if they tend to allow their ego to take over social interactions. Instead, try to talk to them about it. Make a few jokes such as “Talk about yourself, much?” Or, during the conversations try to shift the focus a little so that you can nudge your partner away from their egotistical tendencies. If these gentle reminders don’t work, you should set aside some time to talk to them about the problem and let them know that YOU already think the world of them, and that they don’t have to try and impress other people in your presence. If your date refuses to see how they monopolize conversations or wont own up to the ego problems – then think about secretly recording their actions NEXT time using your phone if possible.
Those who are unable to check their ego at the door, may also be giving you a great deal of insight into their personality. Remember, the ego develops slowly throughout life. It isn’t something that we are naturally born with. Some people tend to not just be showing off in an effort to impress others or hide their insecurities – but really believe that they are the epicenter of the Universe. These people will likely not make good partners in the long run, and will probably also have already shown you signs that they tend to be selfish and close minded when it comes to their interactions with other people. If this is the case – then being a witness to their behavior early on, will actually save you a lot of time and heartbreak later in life.
Essentially, each and every one of us wants to put our best foot forward when we meet and interact with our dates social peers and family members. Especially initially. If the behavior continues despite your efforts to stop it – then you might want to let this BIG fish go back in the sea and move forward alone. After all, when it comes to a relationship – threes a crowd and you won’t be much competition for your date’s ego.