Feeling a need to get even?
Many of us have a competitive side. Sometimes not just in sports or at work, but in relationships and other areas too.
We’re ready to unpack the final need of the EGO – the need to get even. Over the past few posts we’ve looked at the 5 other needs in a few other posts you can find here.
The need to get even is the competitive side of us and it’s naturally connected to most of the other needs. How this plays out is not always un-resourceful. For example, the need to get even can help motivate us to step up for next time, train harder or push ourselves a bit more in a healthy and helpful way to improve our skills or ability.
Where the need to get even is not helpful, is the traditional ‘keeping score’ pattern. You know those times we bring up things that happened a long time and are no longer relevant to what we’re doing right now just to make the other person feel bad. I’ve had this conversation with many clients over the years and often they have had someone they love say something like “I don’t like it. Remember back in 1995 when you tried to do something similar and you failed.” or “I’ve always supported you, even that time 5 years ago when you cheated on me. Don’t you dare question me on this other thing now.“
It’s important to keep people accountable for their actions, but ‘keeping score’ and putting someone down over something that hopefully was discussed at length and forgiven many years ago, is not helpful or healthy going forward. It’s a cheap trick the ego uses to make you feel better and unfortunately that good feeling is only temporary. If you’re struggling specifically with the concept of forgiveness, I’d recommend you check out my previous post on this.
Competing over who did the most to help or who is the better person is not something most relationships, work environments or families thrive from. Yet many of us do it, and sometimes we’re not even aware that we are!
This post is the last one (for this time) on the needs of the ego, and if you’ve liked it or even learned something new, please share it with anyone in your community that could benefit! I also do tailored trainings, webinars and workshops for organisations, so if you’d like to chat about a training for your team, workplace or community group – just get in touch!