Ego is the enemy
Ego is selfish
Ego is not what you want to have at any given time while you listen to others
To make it clear on how ego looks like in a conversation, here is an example below
Example of ego in conversations
boyfriend: "Hey how was your day?"
girlfriend: "Oh it was not so good because of our argument last night, I am still hurt from what happened"
boyfriend: "It wasn't that big of an issue, I had a long conversation with my best friend who I haven't talked to in a while. Isn't a close friend someone you should cherish?" (Ego)
girlfriend: "Yeah I understand but that still did not change the fact that I was hurt. I had a long day at work and needed you."
boyfriend: "You will be ok. We all have long tiring days like this. In fact I had a long day as well" (Ego)
What went wrong
Boyfriend started out well by asking her questions to open herself up.
The problem came immediately right after her first sentence. Instead of asking her why she was hurt, he immediately started to make the conversation more about himself.
Notice how many times he had used the word "I" in the conversation.
The goal for the conversation was to help girlfriend open up and allow her to expression her feelings freely
This way, you create space for her to relax mentally and let out any stressful thoughts that has been bothering her throughout the day
Unfortunately, it never happened in this conversation. The goal was not met.
Ego got in the way
In fact, the boyfriend actually added more stress to the girlfriend by belittling her when she's sharing her vulnerable feelings
This is a mild form of mental attack, since it is not physical you cannot see it.
In other words, what is really happening here is girlfriend is telling him about her feelings. The boyfriend attacked her mentally by rejecting her feelings
All because boyfriend has ego
He made the conversation about him (always using the word "I")
He felt like he was attacked and immediately defended himself without hearing what girlfriend has to say
He did not create the space needed for girlfriend to express her feelings freely
It is all about awareness
It is very easy to fall into the trap of ego without awareness of what is really happening in conversations
We all have them and we all inject our ego in the conversations
This is why we must pay close attention when we are listening to others
The great thing is that you are reading this now
You have the awareness of ego
It doesn't necessarily mean you will stop the ego from interrupting the conversation next time
It means you see it and are aware that it is there
This is the first step towards change and improve your listening skills for the better