There’s a fine line between confident and egotistical. It’s definitely okay to take pride in your work and have the self-esteem to know that you’re good at what you do, but it’s another to think you’re better than everyone else and act superior to them. Your ego can really get in the way. If you truly are better at performing your job than other people are, gloating about it only wastes time and energy. Instead, you should work on building others up in order for the entire team to succeed.
Signs of egotism:
- Frequent complaining
Egotists find any and everything to complain about when things start to go wrong, when they should really be using that energy to right the ship. These people tend to blame others for a team’s shortcomings, rather than look at what they can do better, or what they can do to help others grow.
- Frequent arguing
Since they tend to place blame on others, egotists are often very confrontational. This leads to rifts between colleagues and coworkers, ultimately impeding any progress for all parties involved.
- Defensive behavior
Egotists are quick to blame everyone else, but somehow always have a reason for why they didn’t perform well on a task. When others mess up, they’re incompetent; when they mess up, it’s because they didn’t sleep well, or have a lot on their plate. They often don’t listen to constructive criticism, believing their supervisor is simply out to get them. Obviously, this attitude completely impedes their ability to improve.
Behind closed doors, egotists are incredibly critical of themselves. They are afraid of taking risks or stepping out of their comfort zones because they fear being laughed at. This stems from the notion that they actually think anyone else truly cares enough to judge them. Egotists also believe that others think this way simply because that’s how they operate themselves.
- No apologies
Why would an egotist apologize? In their eyes, they never do any wrong. This goes back to how they often blame others for their own mistakes or shortcomings, and how they rationalize their own behavior. When someone wrongs them, they’ll hold a grudge until the other party apologizes. When they wrong others, they believe the other party should just let it go.
Egotists are rather impatient when it takes others a little longer to learn something or complete a task. They think they’re more intelligent and efficient than everyone else in the room, so they get frustrated when someone else takes their time doing something. They don’t take the time to consider other people’s thought processes or abilities. Rather than help others, they simply complain about how long it’s taking them to get a job done.
- Passing judgment
Obviously, egotists are incredibly judgmental. They don’t consider other people’s background, personal life, or any other factor when analyzing their ability to perform a specific task. When others fail, egotists don’t see them as a work in progress; they simply see them as a failure.
Ways to overcome egotism
You might not even realize you’re acting in a way that comes of as egotistical. If any of the preceding characteristics apply to you, you should take action in order to become a more compassionate, team-driven individual.
- Help others instead of putting them down
Don’t waste time and energy complaining about how terrible others are at their jobs. If you’re so much better than them, it should be easy to help them improve. Share the strategies you’ve used to move forward in life. Your colleagues will most likely appreciate your efforts, and your team will move toward success.
- Use criticism wisely
When helping others, point out the things they do well. Although they probably have areas in need of improvement pertaining to their performance, don’t harp on them. Instead, guide them toward growth. Nobody likes a critic, so if you’re going to criticize others, make sure it’s for a positive reason.
- Only judge yourself
You should never, ever judge anyone other than yourself. Don’t compare other people’s performance to your own because you have no idea about any other aspect of their life, and have never walked in their shoes. Compare yourself only to the person you were yesterday. If you haven’t made improvements yourself, you have no right to judge anyone else.
Featured photo credit: Flickrr via farm8.staticflickr.com