An Ego Threat is any thought, idea, or action that causes intense psychological pain, anxiety, anger, and sadness, that would otherwise lower the functional operation of the Physical Unit. There are two basic sources of pain, anxiety, anger, and sadness. One is psychological trauma and assault. The other is Disjuncture caused by Misalignment. In both cases, the action of the Bodily Ego is to reduce awareness of the trauma or the unaligned actions in order to mitigate negative emotions that overwhelm, like guilt, shame, anxiety, anger, fear, etc.
Ego threats may arise internally (i.e. negative self-talk, remembering a childhood trauma, remembering bullying) or externally as for example when a parent, teacher, friend, or coworker assaults the self-esteem, self-image, public image, or self-efficacy of an individual.
Ego threats are often handled Any thought, idea, or action that causes pain, anxiety, sadness, or anger Ego threats may arise internally, as for example when one realizes the misaligned nature of one's actions, or externally, as for example when an external source attacks the self-esteem
Leary et al notes that there is considerable confusion in use of the term, and most research into ego threats focusses on assault to an individual's self-esteem. The confusion might be reduced by simply defining an ego threat as any thought, idea, or action that causes psychological distress and that undermines the ability of the physical unit to function in normal life. When the ego experiences pain, and when the pain threatens to overwhelm, Psychological Defense Mechanisms are deployed to mitigate pain and allow for normal function.
- Mark R. Leary et al., “The Concept of Ego Threat in Social and Personality Psychology: Is Ego Threat a Viable Scientific Construct?,” Personality and Social Psychology Review 13, no. 3 (August 2009): 151–64, https://doi.org/10.1177/1088868309342595.