The ego card is something we hear a lot about these days, particularly since the ecosystem of social media has evolved. It’s common to hear complaints about how this or that person has a “huge ego.”
But what is the ego, anyway– and is it really all that bad? Well, there are actually 2 very different ways it can show up: as the negative ego or the positive ego. I do think some of us at times post things or say things that may be portrayed as having a big ego or what I like to call having “the negative ego” effect. When all they really wanted to project was some confidence and positivity about themselves or their world.
The negative ego is the part of us that creates a sense of separation between ourselves and others, that labels or implies people and things as “better than” or “worse than.” It’s the part of us that clings to things outside of ourselves, making them a part of our identity.
Unfortunately, this clinging is the source of all negativity when it comes to ego. Whether it’s your pride, your car, your looks, your job, the money you are making, even personality traits, you identify with (like confidence or cleverness) – when you begin to define yourself through things or concepts, it becomes painful to watch for people that may have less or more than you do. They say the Kardashian’s have such a big audience because on one extreme they have a big group of people that “aspire to be like them” and on the other extreme a group “that detest them” and cringe at their every move.
A further example of this is that a Real Estate sales person posts that they have sold $10 million dollars in Real Estate for the month. My question to them, would firstly be: “Do you think your audience actually knows whether that amount sold is good or bad?” Secondly, how many people is this information relevant to? Not many, maybe this is just relevant to you. What do others get out of knowing that, not very much.
The negative ego is really just a tool gone rogue – like a lawnmower that somehow animates itself and tears apart the flowerbed. But if you know how to use it and project it effectively, it can be a really useful, especially when it comes to social media.
So what’s the ego’s intended function anyway? The Freudian definition of “ego” is simply, according to Wiktionary, “the most central part of the mind, which mediates with one’s surroundings.” That’s all! The ego is meant to be our window to the world around us – a neutral and extremely useful source of information about what’s happening.
So how do I use my “positive ego” to it’s full effect so it comes across as authentic and as intended.
Here are some techniques you can use to get your positive ego working for you:
Notice the negative ego, knowing is half the battle. Start trying to catch your negative ego in the act of spinning tales;
Focus on the facts. Ask yourself, “What’s actually happening right now?” What useful facts would the consumer want to know about?
Be mindful of saying words from the perspective of humility. Ask yourself this question… “Is what I’m about to stay going to stand up in the ‘court of humility’”? Is it coming across as “confident humility”. Is it still communicating that you have done well and your efforts have bucked the trend.
Finally (if possible) bounce the post off a humble friend. Someone everyone likes. They are liked for a reason and chances are their “humility filter” will pick up any negative ego stuff.
So in relation to posting about sales volume sold, maybe make it more about the consumer’s thoughts and what they might want to know from the perspective of the postive ego.
For Example; “Consumers have told me this month that they are on the move as they noticed “x” about the market, as a result I was able to double the amount of people who bought and sold homes with me this month. This is wonderful for our sellers who are obtaining strong prices and our buyers who are cashing in on low interest rates”.
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