Circle Game Part 2: Flight or Flight vs Stay and Communicate
What is an ego? Why do we even have an ego? Your ego is your protector. It protects you from any threat you may encounter. It’s in control of your fight or flight response. If there is a threat, then your ego will take over and you either run or fight. So, it’s clear you need your ego. Lucky for you, you don’t face threats all day. The people around love and care about you. You feel safe. Even though your day may full of laughter and fun, your ego probably isn’t having fun. In fact, your ego is bored. It wants to protect you but what good is a protector if there is nothing to protect you from?
Is Your Ego Looking for Trouble?
Instead of taking a vacation your ego stays on the job and starts to find new kinds of threats. It begins to perceive every action and every word that may cause you to be a little upset, as threats. This is why you play the circle game in the first place. Your ego makes it difficult for you just to tell your friends how you feel and makes you feel weak and afraid you’ll be hurt again. So how do we tell our ego to go on a vacation? It’s simple, recognize your ego.
Your ego is the one that’s causing you to run or fight. The sooner you recognize this, then you can be in control again. Once you’re in control then you can stop the fight or flight response and choose to stay and communicate responsibly.
It’s All Good Though
Know that your feelings are normal and it’s perfectly understandable for your feelings to be hurt by words or actions. Everyone experiences sadness, disappointment, anger, embarrassment, and so on. It’s okay to feel hurt, but there is no need for your ego to take over. Most of the time when your friends or family hurt your feelings it was not their true intention (even if your brother says it was). Deep down, they love you and would never want to see you truly hurt. So, there’s no need to protect yourself around loved ones.
Here’s the Thing about Feelings…
Make no mistake, you will get your feelings hurt. It’s part of being human. Just know that it’s okay. The best way to improve relationships is to never let your ego take control. Instead, stay in control and talk. The more you communicate your thoughts and feelings the less conflict you will have. Remind yourself that your friends and family are not threats. Each day you should remind yourself that your loved ones truly love you and they do not want to hurt you. At times, they may even allow their egos to take control so yes, they may do and say hurtful things—everyone does—even you! Nonetheless, know that their heartfelt intentions are not to see you in pain.
So, the next time a family member offends or disappoints you with their words or actions, (or lack there-of), remind yourself that they are not your enemies. Therefore, your ego does not have to take over and it does not have to be a fight or flight situation. Instead stay and communicate so that your relationships will continue to thrive.