If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you’re dealing with someone who thinks the world revolves around them – someone who dismisses other people’s opinions, dominates conversations, and thinks they’re better than everyone.
Whether they’re someone you work with, a friend, a family member, or even your love interest (good luck!), I know just how challenging dealing with their inflated sense of self-worth can be!
It’s important to recognize when you’re dealing with someone who has a massive ego so that you can learn how to manage your interactions with that person.
Let’s take a look at 7 signs that you’re dealing with someone who has a massive ego and what you can do to navigate your interactions:
Signs you’re dealing with someone who has a massive ego
1) Strong need for attention
One of the first things that comes to mind when I think about someone with a massive ego is their need for attention and the admiration of everyone around them.
I’m not sure where this need comes from, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it was planted there a long time ago by doting parents.
So, if you notice that this person you’re dealing with is all about being the center of attention, chances are that it’s because of their massive ego. They think that they’re God’s greatest gift to man and they believe that they deserve recognition for that.
And if you don’t give them the admiration or attention that they crave?
They may become angry, passive-aggressive, withdrawn, or even decide to diminish you and your achievements as a kind of payback!
2) Constant self-promotion
It’s I this and I that.
Another big sign that you’re dealing with someone with a massive ego is that they’ll constantly be talking about themselves.
They’ll tell you about all their so-called achievements, “Hey I make my own bread, can you believe it? Just a little something I picked up when I was living in Paris”.
And you can rely on them to exaggerate their role and downplay other people’s contributions, “Oh my God, I’m so exhausted from this project. Do you know how hard it is to pull something like that practically by yourself? I mean, sure Paul was there to chip in, but really, all the hard work fell to me!”
When you’re dealing with someone like that, it’s hard to fight back the urge to shout at them, “What are you talking about? That’s not an achievement, that’s just a normal thing that most people do!”
But if the person is your boss or someone you don’t know all that well, you just have to nod your head and pretend to be amazed by what you’re hearing.
3) Belittling and criticizing others
In my experience, truly amazing people don’t have massive egos. On the contrary, they’re usually humble and play down their achievements.
People with massive egos, however, will stop at nothing to make themselves look good, and that includes putting down other people, dismissing their ideas, and generally being critical of anything they do.
It’s as if there’s no room for both of them to be successful – well, with such a massive ego, maybe there isn’t!
All in all, being around someone like that can feel pretty crappy and can leave you feeling worthless.
Just remember, they’re not better than you and you shouldn’t take their behavior personally – they’re like that with everyone.
4) Can’t take criticism
God forbid you criticize someone with a massive ego – you’ll never hear the end of it! Even if your remark was spot-on, there’s no way they’re going to take it well.
The thing about people with massive egos is that they have no trouble criticizing other people, in fact, they can be quite hard on others. But when it comes to them, they just can’t take it.
They’re just so used to thinking about themselves as being perfect and superior to others that they find the idea of someone challenging that most offensive.
If that sounds familiar, then you’re probably dealing with someone who has a massive ego.
5) Difficulty collaborating
People with massive egos think that they know best, so if you’re having trouble collaborating with someone because they keep shooting down all your ideas, it’s a surefire sign you’re dealing with someone who has a massive ego.
It’s one thing to have to deal with massive egos when you’re kids, it’s quite another when you’re grown-ups and when your job is at stake!
The problem is that this type of person will want to be in control and make all the decisions, but despite what they may think, they’re not always right and if they make a mistake, it reflects badly on you.
6) Dominating conversations
It’s like, “Okay, okay! Enough already, I wanna hear someone else speak!”
If you’re dealing with someone who doesn’t let others put a word in edgewise, it’s quite probably due to their massive ego.
People with massive egos are in love with the sound of their own voices and think that everyone is just dying to hear what they have to say.
But that’s not all!
It’s like they’re totally oblivious to the fact that people are signaling to each other, yawning, or rolling their eyes – they just can’t take the hint that they should shut up and let someone else speak for once.
I know from first-hand experience just how tiring and frustrating being in the company of someone who dominates conversations can be.
7) Lack of empathy
Look, I’m not saying that people with massive egos are psychopaths, but they definitely tend to struggle when it comes to empathy.
Their inflated sense of self-importance and self-worth means that they prioritize their own needs above the needs of others.
Simply put, their narcissism and self-centeredness makes it difficult for them to think about other people’s needs or feelings.
How to deal with someone with a massive ego
Now that you’re sure you’re dealing with someone with a massive ego, you’re probably wondering what you can do about it – especially if this is someone you can’t avoid.
Let’s take a look:
Set clear boundaries
It’s super important to set boundaries when you’re dealing with someone who has a massive ego. If you don’t, they’re likely to walk all over you.
So, you need to be clear about your role in the relationship and what they can and cannot do.
Don’t let them take advantage of you or dominate interactions.
For example, if you’re supposed to work on a project for work with someone who has a massive ego, you’re gonna have to learn to put your foot down.
Be respectful but clear that you’re not going to let them make all the decisions.
Don’t feed their ego
Here’s the thing: People with massive egos thrive on attention.
If you give them too much attention (positive or negative), you could inadvertently fuel their ego and make the situation worse!
Try to keep your interactions with them brief and to focus on the matter at hand.
Sounds good? Can you do that?
Focus on the facts
As you’re well aware, people with massive egos are more interested in sharing their opinions than listening to others.
So, to counteract this, focus on presenting objective facts and data to support your arguments.
This will help shift the focus away from personal opinions and onto the facts. You can’t argue with facts, can you?
Make sure you give constructive criticism
And if you’re dealing with someone who’s wrong or doesn’t know how to do something, unless you want it to become a whole thing, you need to make sure that any feedback and criticism you give is thought-out and constructive.
Of course, there are no guarantees when you’re dealing with a massive ego. They may still have a hard time accepting what you’re saying.
At least you’ll know that you’ve done your best to avoid triggering their anger and defensiveness.
Focus on solutions rather than blaming
I know it can be hard work – dealing with someone who has a massive ego often involves walking on eggshells.
But if you want to avoid conflict and complicated situations, trust me, you need to be careful about how you express yourself.
For example, when there’s a problem, try to avoid blaming the person with the massive ego (even though it’s clearly their fault) and instead, focus on finding a solution.
Know when to walk away
If you’re friends with someone who has a massive ego, or you’re going out with them, if your interactions become too toxic, maybe it’s time to think about walking away.
I mean, there are situations you can’t walk away from (work and family), but when you have a clear choice of whether or not you want to have a relationship with this person, then you really should ask yourself, “Are there more cons than pros to spending time with this person?”
The bottom line is that if you don’t enjoy being around someone and you find it stressful and frustrating, then you should probably walk away. That’s just my two cents…