Ego Reacts Like a Lizard: Primitively & Violently
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“Man delights to ruin man.” —Seneca
“Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.” —Mark Twain
I DEFEND, ARGUE, & FIGHT TO STOP MY EGO PAIN
Logic of Defense
I must make them see that I was not bad so they stop hurting me. The only way they can make me feel inferior is if they believe I am inferior, therefore, I must convince them that I was/am not inferior.
Lines of Defense
I did the best I could. You don’t understand the circumstances. It was not as bad as it sounds. I didn’t really mean that. I know. I knew that. How was I to know? I am not bad because I really didn’t do bad.
Logic of Attack
I must put them down so they cannot put me down. The only way they can make me feel inferior is if they feel superior, therefore, I must make them feel inferior. I must act and be superior to them.
Lines of Attack
You should not have done that. You are stupid for doing that. You are wrong for doing that. You should know better than to do that. If only you would have done what I would have done. I am right for doing what I did. I know better because I did/do better. I would never have done that. You are a blankety-blank.
Note on Diagram
- The diagram makes use of the classic Parent, Adult, and Child diagrams from Transactional Analysis (TA).
- The fact that both the Parent and Child circles (ego states) overlap the Adult circle indicates that both are “contaminating” the Adult.
- In other words, both are using the Adult to prove their case rather than allowing the Adult to freely and honestly analyze the situation.
- For more on TA visit: https://www.itaaworld.org/.
Variation of the Diagram
Quotations from Various Sources
“A smart person knows how to win an argument. A wise person knows how to avoid one.”–Anonymous
“Among my most prized possessions are words that I have never spoken.”–Orson Card
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”–Dr. Seuss
“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;”–I Peter 1:15
“Don’t speak unless you can improve on the silence.”–Spanish proverb
“Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts.”–Psalms 28:3
“Foolishness always results when the tongue outraces the brain.”–Unknown
“Most conversations are simply monologues delivered in the presence of a witness.”–Margaret Millar
“Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”–Mark Twain
“Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”–Proverbs 16:24
“Some man holdeth his tongue, because he hath not to answer: and some keepeth silence, knowing his time.”–Ecclesiasticus 20:6
“The first duty of love is to listen.”–Paul Tillich, 1886-1965
“The most precious things in speech are pauses.”–Ralph Richardson
“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.”–Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Two monologues do not make a dialogue.”–Jeff Daly