When Big Egos Collide

I was in an accident today – not the physical kind that leaves visible injuries, but the emotional kind when big egos collide into each other and leave shattered friendships all over the ground. I blush to admit that one of those big egos was mine. It’s now sitting back in an armchair wrapped in bandages, pondering what just happened and assessing the damage done.

Big egos collide in a disaster

A collision happens when one or both objects are headed in the wrong direction, and neither stops in time. This analogy works for me in the ego world. In my case, it was of course the other big ego headed in the wrong direction, because I know I am never wrong 😉

Still, when I look back on my flight path, I suppose I could have taken a different route. Instead of feeling insulted and misunderstood, I could have considered the fact that I did not communicate my intention well enough. Instead of defending myself, I could have apologised for being ambiguous.

Insisting on right of way

Story time! A ship’s captain noticed a blip on his radar which was directly in his path. He radioed the other ship to change course. The ship replied that he should change course himself. Again he instructed the other ship to change course. Again the ship refused. Finally he threatened to run over the other ship with his large tanker. The other ship calmly replied that he was welcome to run his tanker aground since the other ‘ship’ was actually a lighthouse.

Big egos collide in the same way big ships collide. They don’t like to change course. Their size gives them the illusion that they have right of way. Therefore they very often run aground.

Not stopping in time

The arrogant captain in the previous story presumably had the good sense to change course once he realised he was up against a lighthouse.

When I question my big ego sitting there in the armchair, it mumbles sheepishly when I ask if it could have stopped in time. “Why didn’t you just stop arguing?” “I wasn’t arguing, I was explaining.” “Could you tell from the reaction that your explanation wasn’t working?” “But I had to tell the truth from my point of view.” “So the other point of view has truth too, right?” “But my side of the story is more reasonable!“… We could go on all night this way.

C-R-A-S-H !

Regardless of who is ‘at fault’, in a collision both parties lose. Parts get broken. Confidence is shaken. Momentum is lost.

The aftermath

And yet, not all is lost. We can choose our reactions to accidents. In some accidents, both parties get out of their cars and start screaming at each other. In others, both apologise and together work out a way to deal with the mess.

My big ego is thankfully not so stupid as to scream and point an accusing finger at the other big ego. Unfortunately, neither is it wise or humble enough to take the first step and apologise.

So we are in limbo at the moment – my big ego sitting in the armchair looking woeful and wronged, and me looking on in frustration because I can’t kick it out of the room. We live together, you see, my big ego and I.

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9 replies on “When Big Egos Collide”


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Wonderful Post….
The line “Regardless of who is ‘at fault’, in a collision both parties lose. Parts get broken. Confidence is shaken. Momentum is lost.” has big meaning in itself.. we just have to realise the fact and let go our EGO.


This was awesome. First the analogy and then the brevity and finally the ending you and your ego in the arm chair.

I offer no advice because you don’t need any. We all end up in the arm chair ourselves every once in a while because…well…we’re human.

We know when we do it and for some reason which doesn’t need explaining we stay in our ego and then sit…until we’re ready to move on again.

I don’t know anyone on earth that this doesn’t happen to…thanks for sharing;)

I enjoyed the humor in this post, even though it is meant to be a serious topic. I am just thinking that the fact that you can be somewhat lighthearted about it means the possibility of transcending above this part of your ego.

There is no right and wrong to a situation. All of us look through our filters and have internal maps of the world that can be different from others.

Maybe one question to ask ourselves when we become defensive is: What are we fearing? What are we feeling less of that cause us to defend ourselves? A lesson for me here too! Thanks!!

Thanks for sharing that insightful post. The part I enjoyed best was the “I wasn’t arguing, I was explaining.” and “But I had to tell the truth from my point of view.”

I find myself mistakenly saying stuff like that and one quote from Wayne Dyer I really like is “Give up your need to be right”



Hi Daphne .. egos .. perhaps as we get older we worry less .. but we could all learn about them earlier and learn how to deal with them.

I love your analogies and at the end of the day ‘the thing’ doesn’t really matter .. right or wrong. As long as you do right for you and the world .. and not worry about others’ thoughts unless it’ll do them or others harm. Normally it’s just a difference of opinion.

Have a good weekend – Hilary

I love the analogies here! Especially the story about the big ship and the light house. The unfortunate thing about egos is that, when egos come into play, all logical thinking goes out the door.

I think that operating behind and egotistical mindset is the same as being under the influence in the since that, we’re allowing our egotistical thoughts and behaviors to be the driving force in our actions. (operating under the influence of our egos)

Therefore once we’ve had a big hit or fall out, it brings us back to reality and we sober up. The fortunate part is that it becomes a learning lesson so that next time we can exercise proper and rational thinking.

Great post! Very thought provoking.

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