The ego fights for its survival through conflicts. Surrender and acceptance cultivates peace.

The ego fights for its survival through conflicts. Surrender and acceptance cultivates peace.

Have you ever met somebody who loved arguing or debating with you, if even simply for the joy of it? Somebody that will purposely go out of their way to prove a point or defend their position to extremes, or even impose their views as law? Or somebody that feels it’s their duty to go around “exposing the charlatans” and saving others from being ripped off?

Or perhaps this person is actually you, a bonafide zealot of defending “the truth”. If that’s the case, what I’m about to share will most definitely set you ablaze, and trigger an emotional reaction – even if your response is filled with well-articulated fact.

I’m not talking about an ocassional passionate exchange – we all have that. I’m referring to the kind of person who’s a missionary, a self-proclaimed skeptic, or an antagonistically brilliant provoker of fact. One who’s known for some or all of these behaviors.

Here’s the truth, cowboy:

The compulsive need to prove, debunk, and debate excessively is nothing but the narcissistic response of the ego.

When the ideas, values, and beliefs of the ego are challenged, its job is to defend them. That’s what its purpose is. When an experience arises where the identity of the person is threatened, the ego faces a sort of… death, and violently opposes all events, ideas, and people that imperil its existence. Sometimes, a new model of reality has such an impact, it takes the ego beyond the brink of resistance, and a paradigm shift in the person occurs.

Unfortunately, for the type of person I’m discussing, their ego is heavily fortified. Throughout their life, in order to cope and deal with traumas (both major and minor), survival strategies form in order to protect the body, mind, and spirit. If somebody gets repeatedly ripped-off, the ego logically develops skepticism in order to judge what is safe or harmful to the person (or belief system). When something new is invented, it’s put through the ego’s paces of convincers that determine if this fits into what the person’s model of the world accepts or could allow. If the slightest alarm bells ring, a noble quest to debunk the invention is embarked upon to protect other’s from harm – and by others, I mean it’s actually the ego.

Let’s take another example:

Imagine having a PhD in FlatEarth Sciences. You spend 8-10 years of your life and thousands of gold pieces (from another which you must repay) on learning from great academics and mastering your trade. A few years later, some guy says this crazy nonsense that the Earth is “round”. Not only that, but people start listening to him. He’s just a quack nobody’s heard of, using pseudo-scientific research that’s not even peer-reviewed – how dare him! A lot of people begin to think he’s making sense, but you know from your decade of learning that it just can’t be true… can it? No, how can all your work, time, and money be in vain? A 1/3 of your life down the drain, losing your job, and looking like an idiot because some punk has an idea that challenges yours?

It may seem ridiculous in hindsight from what we know now, but that’s often what happens in many areas of great “expertise”. Even if not to that degree, whenever the ego is threatened, it makes it as dramatic as it has to in order for it to feel safe. The ego develops and grows, becoming more powerful than the person’s ability to accept new information and opposing ideas. It knows already, no need to question it.

Children have small egos, for they know little – hence being a sponge of anything that’s around them. A fresh slate free of dogma; an innocence and purity we find a magical sort of beauty in… ah, I digress.

These habits are addicting to the ego, as cognitive dissonance sets in greater and greater each time one stands behind a certain ideology, saying to the mind: “We already agreed to that being true publicly! We can’t change our mind now, we’ll look a fool! Defend, defend, attack!”

This can cause an addictive cycle where people feel they must have their say – that somehow if they don’t defend their beliefs, other’s ideas will become true – a possibility absolutely torturing to the ego. If you’ve ever heard people talking about ideas you don’t agree with, and you start interrupting and feeling a massive passion to have your say – this is exactly why. It’s a habitual, narcissistic egoic response, that is naturally perpetuating the existence of the ego’s “accepted” reality. I say accepted, because we know this can change.

What if other people had their own beliefs, different than yours? What if you were fine with others thinking the world was flat and you it spherical? Even as I type this, I think: “That’s stupid, all these facts and proofs say it’s a sphere, they’re uneducated or just plain nuts!”. That’s my ego. Who cares what they believe? That has practically zero effect on my life or reality. Let them believe it (ego response: “LET THEM?! THAT’S BLASPHEMY! IT’S A LIE!”).

See, my ego wants to correct the “injustice” and “save them from their ignorance”. But it really doesn’t; it just wants to be safe and not feel threatened, comfortable in the little world I created for it. If I can be okay with the world and myself simultaneously holding conflicting views (which I can for somethings and not others at this point), I will have incredible peace and freedom to live my own life.

Remember: The ego is not bad or faulty, it serves a great purpose – for a time. The idea is for you to consciously discern what’s serving you now, instead of the past. To heal yourself and let go; freeing up the duty of the ego, allowing you to grow and expand to the next level. Resenting, devaluing, or judging the ego only reinforces those egoic behaviors, so when you can accept and appreciate it for what it is, you can move forward with greater ease and grace.

When one can give up the need to change others, a feat that is impossible, and even surrender the compulsion to prove or debunk them – they renounce their responsibility of other’s opinions and know true peace; regaining sovereignty of their own life.

Have an out of control ego that wants to debate this? Go ahead and leave a comment; another line of cocaine. Perhaps an ego that wants to wake up another? Crusade the death of your own ego and share this post now.

Ready to surrender the ego and change the way you see the world? See how my coaching can empower you and resolve the traumas your ego protects you from.


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6 Comments on “Proving, Debunking, Debating… Or Death Of The Ego?”

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  1. Dale Rodia says:

    I started reading your article and at the beginning you warned that you may step on some toes and elicit an emotional response, I braced myself and continued, this is what ego does, right? As I read further I could see that you weren't talking about me, of course.

    I could relate to the situation but as someone recalling other people behaving like "that". My EGO and I feel satisfied and relieved that this blog is (a great perspective) for those other people, the ones who have active egos. The more I read the more I could see particular instances in my mind of exchanges between myself and others where they held firmly to a belief that had no room for consideration.

    For instance, A young lady who knows there is no cure for her disease in spite of being given the opportunity to talk to someone who had her disease and had been cured of it now for 17 years. Ego prevents her from accepting something better than that which she has been told, by everyone, up till now.

    I can only present the information, provide an opportunity, I can't make someone learn. This is something that I had to learn from experience. I used to want an immediate positive reaction, thinking that whatever it was that I offered was so great that anyone not jumping on the chance to take it was less than intelligent.

    Having learned from those experiences that smarter people than I sometimes take a different path and reach a more successful point than I could have imagined, I have gained patience and compassion in knowing that with time all things change, it doesn't have to be according to my time or by my outline.

    My ego appears to be more pliable and I think it has accepted a smaller role in hopes of holding on to itself without losing all of it's substance. I'm just glad this article wasn't about me. ;)

    1. Drew Gerald says:

      Even our ego likes to talk about when it's not subjected to attack ;)

    2. Dale Rodia says:

      that's how I know it's still there. I comment.

  2. The Great Schism – A Division Of Consciousness | The Polyman says:

    [...] goal, but why at the expense of the saftey and happiness of another without even any real benefit beyond ego and bragging [...]

  3. I Don't Care About Your Opinion – Why Most Advice Harms You | The Polyman says:

    […] first step is to check in with your ego. Make sure you’re not asking for others’ opinions to validate you or to seek an argument. Along with this, check to see how emotionally fired up about this you are. Chances are they […]

  4. 10 Compulsive Needs Of The Ego Leading To Misery | The Polyman says:

    […] Defending the ego, just like the need to be right, can not resolve with a win-win. Any true resolve in conflict results in a lowering of defenses (which are just inverted attacks) and re-opens communication. Even an idea that is presented neutrally without an attacking stance can be seen as a threat to the ego’s identity, thus you are compelled to defend yourself. This results in justifications, retaliations, and fear – all of which close you off. If your beliefs are true, then they cannot be attacked; if you feel the need to defend them, they must not be true, or you must not be true to them. […]

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