A relationship is like a boat hinged on a placid lake. The partners on both ends act as peddlers sailing in the water of “egoism”. To push the boat forward, the peddlers need backstrokes to move the water in the backward direction. This is what gives the boat the desired thrust.
Egoism has the power to destroy any relation at any moment. When you stepped into relation, you foresaw understanding, mutual respect, and infinite love. But of late, it looks shattered owing to your partner’s egoistic behaviour.
You feel choked with suppressed feelings (stiffed) as your partner controls your actions. And you envy your friends enjoying their freedom in their respective relationships. The best possible solution to this might be walking away, isn’t it? But what if you want to be in this relationship and are looking for an amicable and worthy solution.
Egoistic people are self-centred with huge egos and love to put themselves first. They don’t like to lose in an argument. With a “perfect” image of their own etched in their minds, they love to keep the world on their toes, or so they believe. But being at the receiving end as a partner, it is imperative to understand the root cause of such behaviour. Often, carrying low self-esteem or cultivating shame, results in selfishness and inflated egos.
In the famous play, The Taming of the Shrew, Petruchio wants to marry the vicious Katherina. Despite her repeated rebukes hurled at him, Petruchio accepts them kindly. He further confesses to her that he will marry her, even if she disagrees. They finally get married and move to Verona, the hometown of Petruchio. Post marriage, he continues the process of “taming” her. He denies her food and comfort for several days on the pretext that he loves her a lot. He just can’t allow her to eat his inferior food or to sleep in a poor bed. Over a period of time, she realizes the value of everything which she ridiculed earlier. She gives up on her ill temper, egoistic behaviour and ends up being the most obedient bride.
Relationship Goals: Dealing with an egoistic partner
1. Talk about it
Rather than keeping misconception as a fodder to grow problems, it’s important to talk about it. Let your partner know about how his egoistic behaviour is hampering your relationship. He talks about his work and issues but never lends you a patient hearing. The moment you realize that this indifferent behaviour is creating a rift- don’t wait, just blow the whistle.
2. Patience and persistence is the key
Egoism is like a bad habit, it takes time to change. You must rely on that extra bit of patience because those shades of egoism will make their way back, time and again. It’s important then to point out to your partner but in a subtle and amicable way. This will help him/her take a note of it without getting offended.
3. Focus on the strengths
In the play, The Taming of the Shrew, Petruchio accepts Katherine’s harsh words with ease, which boosted her ego. Egoistic people, in most cases, have had to deal with low self-esteem in their lives. So it’s important to infuse that confidence in them. Appreciate your partner, compliment them, but be real. It’s important to boost their self-esteem at the right juncture so that they refrain from doing it themselves.
4. Be what you are
Dealing with an egoistic partner can be like sprinting against the wind. It is important not to get carried away with the flow. Be what you are. Remember, you are not doing him/her any good by changing yourself to suit their needs. It might make your partner lose respect for you and that’s the last thing you want.
Petruchio continues to be the same mediocre person post marriage, despite knowing the wealthy background of his wife. Eventually, Katherine has to change herself to fit in well with Petruchio.
Altruism is the exact opposite of egoism and can do wonders. Work out with your partner and plan for such activities. Distribution of alms to the poor, help a colleague complete a project, spend a day at your partner’s favourite spot, can be some of them. Being selfless is a wonderful feeling and can go a long way in getting your partner back on track.