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7 Signs Your Ego Is Limiting Your Success (And How To Tame It)

7 Signs Your Ego Is Limiting Your Success (And How To Tame It)

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.

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  • 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.

  • Self-criticism

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.

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  • Impatience

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.

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  • 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.

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Featured photo credit: Flickrr via farm8.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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