The advertising legend Ryan Holiday, who maintains a humble profile, speaks to the difference between confidence and ego, exposing the latter as a thin veneer concealing weakness. Holiday's book is "Ego Is The Enemy" (http://goo.gl/T5lxKz).
Read more at BigThink.com: http://bigthink.com/videos/ryan-holiday-on-the-difference-between-ego-and-confidence
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Transcript - One of the things that psychologist talk about is threatened egotism, what happens with someone who has a very strong sense of ego is challenged in some fundamental way. So you can take – one of the stories I tell in the book that I think is interesting is there's this famous encounter between Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin. And in an attempt to intimidate her in a state meeting he had heard that she was afraid of dogs. So he lets a dog come into the room in an attempt at basically to intimidate and to scare her. And so if Angela Merkel had been coming from a place of ego and obviously from fear she's going to react to this sort of petty attempt at intimidation with perhaps an attempt of her own with some saber rattling with any number of these things.
But instead she's got a sense of confidence I would say instead of ego that she's not going to react emotionally to this. She's not going to take it as a threat to her honor. It's not going to escalate into being more than what it is, in fact she ends up making a joke about it and it makes Putin look like the weaker bully in this case. But you can see how a different leader when this is revealed, when this attempt to do something is revealed would react in a dangerous way. You could think of one of the examples they use when they talk about threatened egotism is like a gang member whose honor is impugned, the way that they respond is obviously terrible for both parties involved. They escalate a verbal wound into violence and makes a non-serious situation into a serious one. And so what I'm trying to talk about then is if we have this sensitive ego and we're able to be wounded and instead of looking at that wound and sort of seeing it for what it is, we have to react emotionally. We have to react to compensate for the way that we feel that we've been harmed. It can create really dangerous situations very quickly. And often we think ego is supposed to be strength, but in fact it's a just a sort of veneer for a profound weakness and it's the compensation for that that creates bad situations. Read Full Transcript Here: http://goo.gl/FNZJXY.
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