Ego – Concept, meanings and how an egocentric acts

We explain what the ego is, what its meanings are in different cultures and how an egocentric comes to act.

The ego is a tendency to be too self-centered.

What is the ego?

Commonly, when we refer to the ego, we refer to the ability of a subject to recognize himself as an individual and to be aware of his own identity. This, in colloquial language, is interpreted as an excess of self-esteem or a tendency to be too self-centered, which tends to be a narcissistic or contemptuous trait towards others. In that sense it is used in words like egomaniac, egocentric or selfish.

However, the ego is actually an ordinary psychological concept, which serves the psyche of reference to distinguish phenomena related to itself and those of the outside world, that is, a necessary point of mental and emotional identity.

According to the school of psychoanalysis, inaugurated by Sigmund Freud, the ego (or me) is part of the trinity of psychic entities that make up the mind, together with the superego (or superego) and the id (o it, the unconscious).

Unlike the superego, made up of the precepts of law and morality, the ego of an individual would be, according to Freud, made up of desires and impulses that seek their immediate satisfaction and that are born in the deep and dark of the id, of the unconscious. In this way, the healthy coexistence of these three parts of the psyche would allow the subject to pursue the fulfillment of his deep desires according to the accepted social parameters.

In other spheres, the ego is seen as an obstacle to overcome with respect to relationships with others. A person who is too dependent on the satisfaction of his drives would have difficulties to make a compromise with the desires of others and with the needs of others, thus becoming someone focused on himself and incapable of generosity.

This use is particularly common in relation to public figurative trades, such as artists, writers, politicians, celebrities or figures of enormous economic power, social importance or recognition.

On the other hand, the lack of ego, although it can be persecuted by some Eastern religions such as Buddhism, is usually interpreted in the West as a character deficiency that disables the subject to give the necessary struggle to fulfill their goals or satisfy their personal desires.