Did you ever meet someone who seemed to be super proud of being good to others? While it seems to be increasingly rare to see, the truth is that having pride in being a good friend or partner is usually a really healthy thing. However, that pride might be misplaced.
Sometimes, people don’t realize whether they’re being a good partner at all.
If you're worried about being able to gauge how good a partner you are or want to become a better partner, there's a psychological concept that can help you out.
It boils down to what you know about how to behave — and how you follow through on that knowledge.
One indicator of this awareness is how you handle rejection, but I will explain more about that later.
Psychology has uncovered the concept of 'ego effectiveness' — and it plays a big role in how people respond to rejection.
Ego effectiveness is a measurement of how we respond to certain situations. This is knowing what you should do and doing that — and working to make sure that the catalyst and your response are aligned.
The idea is that people generally know what they should and shouldn't do in social circumstances. However, that doesn't stop them from doing the wrong thing.
Ego effectiveness reflects your ability to control your actions in response to your emotions.
Let's take a look at how a person with different levels of ego effectiveness takes a rejection.
A guy asks a girl out via text, but she doesn't seem interested. She says, apologetically, that she's not into him and that she has a boyfriend. How does the guy handle this, based on what his ego effectiveness is?
A person with high ego effectiveness will say, "I understand, I'm sorry," and excuse himself.
He knows it's best to bow out graciously and does so. Who knows? Maybe she'll reconsider after seeing that.
A person who has medium levels of ego effectiveness will say, "Are you sure? Cause I’m easygoing and I’m an awesome guy."
He may then slink off and pout. He knows he shouldn’t lash out but he’ll grovel a bit.
A person with low levels of ego effectiveness will lash out and start swearing at her.
This may or may not result in him being blocked and shunned around town. Either way, it's not going to end well for him.
How does ego effectiveness work?
This is actually pretty simple. Most people know what they should do. It's just that people who actually do the things they know are mature and right tend to fare better in relationships. This is because they think before they act and are able to manage the response to their feelings a bit better.
People with a high level of ego effectiveness are more likely to be direct about what they are feeling or how they are doing in a relationship. They're also more likely to be aware of what other people will think of them and how it could affect them.
On the other hand, people with low ego effectiveness tend to be defensive or otherwise may try to shift blame onto someone else. This makes them more likely to be unwilling or unable to act in their own best interest.
It's far easier to blame someone else, after all.
In a lot of ways, ego effectiveness tends to work hand in hand with self-awareness. The more self-aware you are, the easier it is to have a high level of ego effectiveness.
How does ego effectiveness affect the individual?
A person who works hard to act like their ideal version of themselves is more likely to feel confident in themselves. They're also more likely to be satisfied with the state of their romantic life and be more adept at handling social pressure.
Having a high level of ego effectiveness leads to better relationships.
To a point, it makes sense. Ego effectiveness is about aligning yourself with the person you want to be.
The more you represent your personal ideal, the more you will like yourself. The more you like yourself, the more confident you will be in your decisions.
Anyone can develop a high level of ego effectiveness.
It may sound difficult, but you can develop ego effectiveness with a little bit of help. A good way to start is to attend a therapy group that focuses on this concept or to read up on a related topic: emotional intelligence.
If you're lost and aren't sure where to start, ask yourself what your ideal self would do next time you're confronted with an issue. What's the best way to handle this? How can I avoid making a major mistake? More often than not, listening to your higher self is going to be the best thing you can do.
Dina Colada is a love coach and writer whose work has appeared on Prevention, Women’s Health, Plenty of Fish, Zoosk and other sites. She specializes in helping single women increase self-love and attract deep and lasting love. Visit her website for more.