People with ‘big egos’ can be difficult to work with, specially as they often think they’re always right! I’ve surveyed more introverts who dislike dealing with big egos, than extroverts; but is that just due to misunderstandings? What about the quiet, smug, detailed person who doesn’t say a lot, but then proclaims their virtue behind your back? Yes, you can have egotistical introverts! Here’s how introversion (and extroversion) appear in people with oversized egos.
What is “a big ego”?
We all have “an ego” and normally mean somebody has a big ego when we talk about it.. We mean they’re full of their own importance and think they are better/ more important than others. They are likely to be blind to their flaws.
Having a big ego is often associated with being narcissistic, although that doesn’t have to follow. Simply put we normally mean that people with big egos are caught up in “me,” “mine,” and “I.”
How egotistical people view themselves.
Egotistical people are likely to think they’re intelligent, brilliant leaders, very good at their jobs (and probably deserve more attention and promotion). This can make them harder to manage, or deal with.
When they reflect, their memories are likely to be biased in favour of their own achievements and abilities too. This, of course, makes it easier for them to believe how good they are.
Do extroverts have big egos?
No. There’s no direct connection between introversion or extroversion and having a big ego.
Extroverts draw their energy from being with others, we may think of them as being louder, and more willing to share their views (external processing).
An extrovert with a big ego is likely to be vain, loud and exaggerate their own good points, (as well as the flaws in others).
Can introverts have a big ego?
Yes. It’s absolutely possible to think you’re better/ more important than others, blind to your flaws and be introverted.
Introverts with big egos are likely to be quiet and smug, possibly slyly trying to prove how smart they are.
Having an oversized/ big/ unhealthy ego is the problem, not introversion.
Ego signs for introverts
If you’re introverted and find yourself feeling superior to extroverts because they’re:
- Don’t do detail
You’re in danger of falling into an ego trap. Both introverts and extroverts can be equally good and important in a team.
The problems of an oversized ego
A big ego is about arrogance, not confidence. It doesn’t mean you’re a better leader (or anything else), your oversized ego is likely to put people in your team off (especially the introverts). You might want to tone it down.
Having an oversized ego tend to make people insensitive to others, makes trust harder to develop and will harm relationships – with introverts or extroverts.
people with big egos are caught up in “me,” “mine,” and “I.”
How to deal with an egotistical boss (or colleague)
- Talk facts, not emotions: It’s quite possible that they don’t care how their behaviour makes you feel! So use facts, to express your view, rather than feelings.
- Get better at saying no: It could be that your boss keeps interfering with what you’re trying to do, overload you and your personal wishes. Learning to say no, firmly, politely and probably earlier will help.
- Don’t expect apologies: It might be clear they overstepped the mark but pushing hard for an apology might not be a good idea, especially if you’re angry at the time.
- Get clear boundaries: What do they want you to do, by when, using what etc. Repeat them back to check and then operate within those boundaries. Within those boundaries, you don’t need extra permission.
- Say thank you and praise: When anybody does something well, specially if they’re trying to change their behaviour, we should react to that. But don’t just give bland, unspecific flattering, praise; that will make them more egotistical.
- Quit bitching about them: It’s very easy to get wound up and complain to your peers about their behaviour. All you’re doing is making yourself feel worse. It’s like drinking poison and hoping the other person will be affected!
4 tips to reduce your own ego
If you’ve recognised that you might have an overly large ego, whether you’re introverted or extrovert, try the following:
- Adopt a beginner’s mindset: Make yourself realise how much you don’t know, read up/ research on subjects. Ask yourself what you’ve learnt each day and remind yourself of what you don’t yet know.
- Learn to manage better: However amazing you are, you can’t do it all. Delegate more, and look for smarter people than you, so you can improve your company.
- Let go of control: Allow others to develop their skills, learn (possibly even make mistakes); it will a
- Don’t be deceived by recognition, money and success — stay sober. Success, money and power can intoxicate.
Ultimately it might be about noticing how your team react to too much “me, me” and “I”, along with how much better things could be.
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A discussion with Chelsey Brooke Cole who helps forward-thinking introverts build self-trust & self-confidence.