Posted by: SPT | July 8, 2010

Bruised Ego

{original post written on Wed, June 21, 2006 // reposted to highlight a lesson from my past}

A man’s ego is one of his most delicate features.  Its balance relies so much on influences in his life that it becomes an attribute that can easily be modified. Whether he receives positive or negative comments during his own journey through life determines his next step, or on a larger scale, his outcome.  Compliments, gestures, praise, or even insults take key roles in modifying one’s ego.  They can provide motivation to succeed or provide comfort from a fall, but when misused, the effects can be respectively dangerous.

Adolf Hitler, an artist who failed to receive admission in a prominent Vienna art school, became an entity that soon the whole world would encounter.  His insecurities in life proved to be detrimental in forming his character; regardless of his goals and dreams, he was repeatedly discouraged and became another failed drifter.  Many argue that if he had succeeded in art, or had his father been more loving, Adolf would have turned out to be a very different man (source).

Differences in people’s character can often be credited to their upbringing, but under a closer view, anyone close to that person.  Criticism, both positive and negative, becomes a tool in shaping a person’s life.  Ivan Pavlov was widely known for describing the phenomenon now understood as classical conditioning: he simply concluded that a relationship could be established between a stimulus and a response.  When positive comments were made (stimulus), it provided reinforcement that the correct action was being done (result).  Unfortunately, should negative comments be made, it has the same respective result.

When a man is told that he should think more realistically and that he is not being brave about the situation, lo and behold, it causes changes.

It’s never easy.  I just thought it should be said.  A bruised ego is not the way it should end—but life goes on.

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