Excerpt About Grandiose Self

Connection Between the Ego Ideal and the Grandiose Self

The ego ideal is connected to the grandiose self, but it is not the same thing. It is a less radical defense than the grandiose self. A person who depends on the grandiose self is someone who hasn’t got much of an ego ideal. Normal people have an ego ideal. More narcissistic people have a grandiose self. The grandiose self believes, “I am such and such a way.” This is less realistic than someone who has an ego ideal and believes, “I’m going to become that way.” According to depth psychology, the person who has developed an ego ideal is considered normal. A narcissist didn’t have a chance to develop an ego ideal, and developed the defense of grandiosity, which is a much flimsier defense than the ego ideal. The ego ideal is more tenacious, deeper, more entrenched; it permeates the fabric of the personality. Although the ego ideal is a good indication of normality, some people have more extreme ego ideals than others, and the more adjusted the person is, the more realistic is the ego ideal. For instance, a person might want to be all-knowing, to know everything there is to know. Another person might want to be a professor of philosophy. Both have to do with knowing, but becoming a professor of philosophy is actually possible. You can go to a university, get a degree, and become a professor who knows a great deal. This is a much more realistic ideal than wanting to be all-knowing.

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