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Dominating Egocentrism

Between the two functions of egocentric thinking, perhaps the one more easily understood is the dominating function—or the dominating ego, as we usually will refer to it for the purposes of this chapter. When we are operating within this mode of thinking, we are concerned, first and foremost, to get others to do precisely what we want by means of power over them. Thus, the dominating ego uses physical force, verbal intimidation, coercion, violence, aggression, “authority,” and any other form of overt power to achieve its agenda. It is driven by the fundamental belief that to get what we want, we must control others in such a way that were they to resist us, we could force them to do what we want. At times, of course, domination may be quite subtle and indirect, with a quiet voice and what appears to be a mild manner.

For examples of the dominating ego at work, we need only to look to the many people who are verbally or physically abused by their spouses, or the many children similarly abused by their parents. The basic unspoken pattern is, “If others don't do what I want, I force them to do it.” Or consider the man in a bar who gets into a fight to force another man away from his girlfriend. His purpose, on the surface, is to protect her. In reality, his purpose may be to ensure that she won't be tempted into a romantic relationship with someone else, or embarrass him in front of his peers.


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