Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Curse of the SelfSelf-Awareness, Egotism, and the Quality of Human Life$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Mark R. Leary

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195172423

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172423.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 06 March 2021

When Selves Collide

When Selves Collide

(p.101) 5 When Selves Collide
The Curse of the Self

Mark R. Leary

Oxford University Press

A great deal of unhappiness in friendships, romances, family relationships, and social life can be traced to how people construe themselves in their own minds. Once people form a social identity, they may relate to others in terms of that identity. After seeing themselves as members of a particular group, they automatically begin to perceive members of their own group differently than members of other groups, and these perceptions fuel hostility, prejudice, and aggression. Many social conflicts — whether among individuals, social groups, or nations — arise from the symbolic meaning of events for people's sense of self rather than from actual threats to people's well-being. In addition, people often fight with one another when others cast aspersions on their egos, never quite realizing that these interpersonal conflicts are about ego-threats rather than practical matters of any real significance. When people include others in their sense of self, they tend to be more accepting, trusting, and empathic.

Keywords:   egoism, social identity, social conflict, prejudice, ego-threats, ego-defensiveness

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .