September 11th, 2007

Signs of an Over-Inflated Ego

Question: What are the telltale signs of an over-inflated ego?

Answer: First, let’s be clear that most people—99% of us—don’t have over inflated egos all the time; just some of the time. When ego over inflates, there are four early warning signs:

1. Being defensive: defending ideas turns into being defensive.
2. Being comparative: being too competitive actually makes you less competitive.
3. Seeking acceptance: desiring respect and recognition interferes with success.
4. Showcasing brilliance: ideas can be overshadowed by your own intelligence and talent.

Let’s take just one that gets a lot of people in business, and usually triggers the other three warning signs, being comparative or too competitive. Here are some things you can watch for.

1. Seeing someone you work with as a rival and think about how to “beat” them.
2. Taking disagreement with your ideas personally.
3. Compulsively following a competitors “lead” so they’re not doing anything you’re not.
4. Criticizing competitor’s strategies and prematurely discard them as irrelevant.
5. Believing you don’t ever deserve to lose; a game, a conversation, a debate, a promotion, a raise, etc. and you’re not gracious in defeat.
6. Disagreeing with someone’s point just because they’re the one who said it.
7. Feeling worse about where you are when you see what others achieve.

This question was quoted from Guy Kawaski’s post on Are you an Egomaniac?

One Response to “Signs of an Over-Inflated Ego”

  1. static says:

    Too bad that you are too young to remember “Popular Psychology” magazine. They used to feature countless articles filled with similar pseudo-scientific hogwash each month.

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