All About our Runaway Ego’s! With Dr. Lou Cox

Dr. Lou Cox is a Clinical Psychologist with over 55 years of experience. In his private practice, he works as a Psychotherapist and Awareness trainer, and Addictions Specialist. Today, he and Rob discuss both the healthy and unhealthy functions of the ego, why we have an ego, and how it relates to our need for love and connection. He also shares why compassion and courage are essential to getting loose with the ego and talks more about his book The Ghost in the Machinery.   TAKEAWAYS: [1:53] Dr. Louis Cox is a Clinical Psychologist, expert in the area of addiction and alcoholism, author and also has the organizational consulting practice: EgoMechanics Inc. [3:01] We typically think of “ego” as someone that is loud, bossy and attention seeking. Dr. Cox discusses that there is the “self aggrandizing” ego, however there is also a “self diminishing ego”. This is where one presents themself in a way that doesn’t cause any conflict or rock the boat too much with the fear of losing love and feeling shame and abandonment. [4:19] We develop defenses and start conditioning our behavior by the age of 7. As we are out in the world getting feedback from our caregivers and those around us, we learn how to act in order to feel connected and accepted. It is where these behaviors become compulsive that the problems lie, and addictions typically surface. [10:32] Our egos tell us that in order be feel loved and worthy, we must create an image of what we think deserves love and connection, and then compulsively act according to it. [11:15] The ego can function both in ways that are healthy and detrimental. We need our ego to keep our connection, but it is a balance of making sure it doesn’t hinder the authentic expression of our real selves.   [15:19] Addicts use for the purpose of feeling okay, where most people use primarily to have fun. [18:20] The need for autonomy and the ability to be ourselves is crucial for children. Often times when they feel as though they aren’t able to fully be themselves, issues arise. One characteristic of addiction is the denial that one is out of control. [22:18] Much of what we see as addiction and character personality problems in our culture relate profoundly to early childhood experiences of love, stimulation, validation and acceptance. [22:27] Our ego often tricks us into not speaking up about our needs due to fear of rejection and abandonment. It also may lead someone to deny their need for love, and create abusive and destructive behaviors. [27:58] Dr. Cox titled his book The Ghost in Your Machinery because our egos often operate silently and unconsciously. This book is for the community of people who have had a wake up call and are seeking good inner guidance besides the ego. It provides a set of resources to access all that the ego usually blocks for a need to stay in control. [31:31] Left to our own devices, we will default to what we learned as a defense mechanism in our early childhood. [35:41] Compassion and courage are essential to getting loose with the ego.   RESOURCES: Sex and Relationship Healing @RobWeissMSW Sex Addiction 101 Cruise Control: Understanding Sex Addiction in Gay Men Prodependence: Moving Beyond Codependency EgoMechanics   QUOTES: “The ego has upsides and downsides.” “Abandonment creates shame.” “Addicts look like everyone else, and they drink like everyone else, but their reasons are different.” “If we don’t find ways, we start to turn to ways that become problem makers rather than problem solvers.” “I write from a human experience point of view, from mine and others’.” “The ego doesn’t want any surprises.”

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