Influencing People With Big Egos

@Lotay asked on Twitter today, “How do you handle people with big egos?”

People with big egos are usually people who feel they need to be listened to – no duh, right?  However, the ego part is that feeling part of us.  People with big egos wear their feelings on their shoulders.  Everybody NEEDS to listen to them.

The reasons are plentiful, but the causes are few:

  1. sometimes, nobody actually listens to them
  2. often, they have poorly developed people skills and/or are huge manipulators
  3. they don’t feel listened to (different than number 1)
  4. usually, they are incredibly intelligent and one part of their brain is more developed than the rest
  5. they care deeply about something and if you care about them and/or what they care about, it matters

The bottom line is that people matter…all of them.  In order to help even those that bug us to become the best at what God created them to be, we need to be able to come alongside them as they are and let God do the changing.  Here are some things that will help:

  1. Listen to their heart – find out what they care about – you’ll be surprised how caring they really are.
  2. Find ways to help them express this in action (you are changing their ‘conversation’ from words to deeds)
  3. Help them build real relationships with authentic followers of Christ.  Authenticity breeds genuine relationships, which breeds trust, when will break down the need for Ego to be in charge.
  4. Pray for them.  Someone who has to be in charge all the time will have a hard time really trusting God.  Pray that He shows Himself trustworthy in a way that they will understand.
  5. Keep your own heart pure.  It is easy to build up a wall when people overwhelm us.  People with big egos usually appreciate someone with good boundaries, but can tell when you are being inauthentic.
  6. Sometimes the best way to love someone is to say ‘no’. Every once in a while, there is someone who needs an emotional ‘time out’.  People who throw fits get time outs no matter what their age.  It is okay to tell someone they are acting inappropriately and that you will talk to them when they can talk in an appropriate manner.
  7. Most of all, respect them.  These are people who have lived a life of experiences, are full of knowledge, have fascinating stories, families, hurts, concerns, hopes and dreams.  Find out what they are.  See if you can be a problem solver for them.

Okay, these are my random thoughts on the topic.  140 characters wasn’t quite enough space.

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