“Like all good hustlers, our egos employ crews of ruffians in case we don’t comply with their demands. Anger, blame, and avoidance are the ego’s bouncers. When we get too close to recognizing an experience as an emotional one, these three spring into action. It’s much easier to say, ‘I don’t give a damn,’ than it is to say, ‘I’m hurt.’ The ego likes blaming, finding fault, making excuses, inflicting payback, and lashing out, all of which are ultimate forms of self protection. The ego is also a fan of avoidance–assuring the offender that we’re fine, pretending that it doesn’t matter, that we’re impervious. We adopt a pose of indifference or stoicism, or we deflect with humor or cynicism. Whatever. Who cares?
When the bouncers are successful–when anger, blame, and avoidance push away real hurt, disappointment, or pain–our egos are free to scam all they want. Often the first hustle is putting down and shaming others for their lack of ’emotional control.’ Like all hustlers, the ego is a slick, conniving, and dangerous liar.”