In conversation with my friend mentioned in yesterday’s post, she said that I was using my ego to protect my vulnerable self. Having thought about this last night, I do realize that she was spot on, and wanted to give some thought to the matter – and share what I found.
At first I thought that my ego formed a protective self to keep me from being vulnerable. Meaning that I removed myself emotionally so as not be be hurt by rejection.
However, thinking about it, I found that I was willing to put myself on the line emotionally, as I have done in a more recent relationship. I am able to throw care to the wind, and hope for the best, making myself totally emotionally vulnerable.
Well, not totally. Probably about 60-80% depending on the situation.
In realizing this fact, I realized that there is a certain egotistical approach that I take as I meet new people. I’ve done it for a long, long time, and didn’t even realize that I did it! More importantly, is the fact that it has bothered me for a long, long time, and I didn’t understand why.
Doing a little research, I bumped into a defense mechanism called Intellectualization.
“Intellectualization: concentrating on the intellectual components of a situation so as to distance oneself from the associated anxiety-provoking emotions.”
Thinking about things a little, I realized that in truth, my friend was spot on.
Basically intellectualization a defense mechanism is a method by which we protect our Self (perhaps aka Ego) from pain, hence the name. In my case, I was trying to protect myself from rejection by others, since it fed into one of my untruths that caused me pain.
The realization that I am so excited to have discovered is that in fact, my ego has been preventing me from connecting emotionally 100% to others.
Of course, at this point, I have outgrown the need to feel that rejection is personal, which really should allow me to make myself 100% emotionally vulnerable as I meet new people.
That is if I am able to remember this important lesson, that rejection is never personal.