Having to deal with a person who has huge ego can be a difficult proposition. Especially if it is at the workplace, all the more worse. Many times more if the person happens to be senior and more experienced than you. One might find repeatedly in situations of conflict and getting hurt through mean comments. This almost always results in friction and unnecessary altercations. But there are ways to counter this without having to stir up the situation.
Listen and agree
To start with, you can just agree to them to shut them up. That is, whenever possible. Most of the times, by just letting them get ahead with their ego isn’t going to harm you in any real way. The trick is to just play along and let them think that they have won. If this is something that is doable, do it by all means.
Talk with facts
Don’t expect them to understand you emotionally. Tackle them with facts and not with emotions. If you to bring your emotions into the equation, they are going to laugh at you and blame you for being emotional. Be certain of what you are talking with all proof and data so that it would force them to accept your idea. You are under no obligation to put up with their ego, so when required, do not hesitate to be firm and make it clear how you feel. Beyond a limit, you don’t have to listen to anyone, but make sure you speak your mind.
Don’t get sucked in
It’s easy to get pulled in by sarcastic comments and offensive remarks these type of people make and generally ends up doing more harm than good. Losing your cool is not gonna make it any better and in fact it will make it worse. A sense of conflict might arise in their attitude towards you which will make matters worse. Best thing to do is to not take things to heart and accept them as they come. Take a note if it is a routine with yourself and other people, then you know what to expect the next time. Always remember, it isn’t your fault.
Position your expectation
Set your expectation from such people so that you don’t get hurt every time this repeats. Don’t be surprised if the episode repeats again, that is just how they are. You might feel a great urge to counter their claims and opinion, but it’s always better to keep them down and stay calm. You are in control of how the conversation should go, so make your best judgment. Do not try to offend them by telling them they have a big ego. This will upset them and set them on a collision course with you. It is hard for them to admit their insecurities, so don’t bring it up especially in front of an audience.
If nothing, be a good human being and try to empathise with them. This does not mean that you let them cross the limits, but try to see why they are this way. They might be insecure about their position or they might have been hurt in some way in the past and use their ego as a defense mechanism. Accept them as they are and show genuine concern as long as you can. All they need at times is to feel important, give it to them. If possible take a look at their past to see if there is something that might have happened that makes them act this way.
There are reasons
Insecurity, pain and fear
People use ego as their protection against feeling vulnerable or insecure. They might have inferiority complex and hence are not able to cope up with seeing others getting accolades. As much as possible it is best to understand this and move on, rather than trying to teach them a lesson. Peace is always the best!