Ego strength

~~ dueling bananasThere is a term some therapists like to use:

Ego strength.

It means the ability to say

This is who I am,

This is what I think,

This is what I feel,


This is what I want

without fear of judgment, punishment or rejection.

Essentially it refers to a person’s ability to feel and function like a self-supporting adult.

To the extent someone lacks this ability, he or she will tend to feel, inside, like a powerless child.

And to the extent either partner lacks this ability, relationships will tend to slip into what we call codependency.

Codependent relationships are characterized by anxiety, buried resentments, emotional disconnection, dishonest communication and compulsive controlling.

All common symptoms, unfortunately.

For which the only reliable cure is ego strength.





6 responses to “Ego strength

  • Alexis Grasso

    I’ve always believed I have too much ego strength. ironically, I do have fear of judgment/punishment/rejection, but choose to go ahead and assert/advocate for myself, anyway.

    • Steve Hauptman

      As I understand and use the term, I don’t think that’s possible.

      But it is possible to confuse ego strength with something else — aggressiveness, for example, or narcissism (think: Trump), or a lack of tact or empathy.

  • Kathy

    “This is who I am. This is what I think. This is how I feel. This is what I need,” That sounds healthy…something to work towards.

  • girlfromgirlintherapyGirl

    “A person’s ability to feel and function like a self-supporting adult” vs “feeling like a powerless child”.

    I guess that’s the story of my life — not having (enough) ego strength?

  • d00fus

    Steve, will you write something for single people in the dating pool–making connections, losing them, either initiated by themselves or the other person? And the fear of being alone. I see that my Plan A was get a great career, get married, make babies. And it’s not quite going that way 🙂

    • Steve Hauptman

      Sure, but I need more context.
      Is there a particular question you want answered or problem you want addressed?

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