Where egotism gains and loses

In a small school, the intellectual librarian remarked to me, “The most neurotic person in the community always controls the situation.” The reason is that our egos are rigid and narrow, so we tend to be highly focused and unwilling to compromise. This works in the beginning of the struggle to get our way: the more flexible person yields because they are not so heavily invested–a number of alternatives seem attractive.
True story. A big strong man in prison for a violent crime absolutely insisted that the TV in the lounge area be on the program he wanted, and everyone knew he would fight, perhaps to the death, to have his way. One day an equally insistent man a little bigger than him killed him in their fight for their favorite channel.
An unwillingness to compromise usually means we win the battle and lose the war. We get to say which movie we will watch and then we watch movies alone. We insist that the room be a certain temperature and then cringe at the heating bill. We can’t stand eating Chinese, so we eat American in silence. We get our way and our price comes in ways we hadn’t planned.
So a lovely question to ask ourselves is, “What is my Enneagram style costing me?”

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