Is Lower Ego Power Damaging Your Relationships?

Is Lower Ego Power Damaging Your Relationships?

This article focuses on lower ego power energy and its impact on relationships. Lower ego power weakens one’s ability to participate fully and meaningfully in significant relationships occurring in our lives—spouse/partner, parents, children, siblings, friends and ourselves. It often promotes relationships in which we are passive, submissive, and overly dependent upon others. The needs of others become far more important than our own. This sows the seeds for being manipulated, exploited, and even abused which often becomes normalized due to the frequency of its occurrence—something to be expected and deserved. The relationship with ourselves—the most important relationship—becomes poor and we often come to dislike and can even hate ourselves. Interestingly, this has nothing to do with how intelligent, attractive or wealthy you are as lower ego power can find its way into anyone’s life. Relationships with authoritarian/overly protective parents or persons are often the beginning point which often involves lots of destructive criticism that you “repeat” to yourself. You learn not to believe in or trust yourself. In response the “voice” of ego begins to speak loudly—in the name of your survival—within the “weak” thoughts, words, feelings and behaviors manifested within relationships. The following excerpt from The Two Voices Within presents the messages ego is telling the person with lower ego power, keeping them stuck in this ego energy. Messages they are listening to quite well but don’t realize it.

Ego’s Voice

It is within the absence of your power that you must submit, follow, or know less than others. You must also know that listening to others is more important than listening to yourself. Listening to others, thinking what they think, and doing what they do is the means to your strength. You do not know more or better than they do. Their way is right and doesn’t need to be challenged or changed—yours does. You must mistreat yourself when necessary, knowing that you are less worthy than others; underestimate yourself; insist on doing things the way that other people want to do them; and lack confidence.

Stay dependent upon those who are closest to you, be they your spouse, partner, or close friend. You cannot know as much as they do or influence them. Fail to communicate your thoughts, always give in to their desires, and do not expect compassion from them. They need to do most of the thinking so you can be protected in their wisdom. You must become as much like your partner as possible in your approach to life, so you can be a better person—your partner.

Love others more than you can love yourself, knowing that you are less important and less significant than others. You feel safest when you are meeting the needs of others while neglecting your own. Loving others, rather than loving yourself, is the means to your daily survival, making you feel safe, protected, and able to survive. Expect less love from others and see yourself as less deserving of this love. In doing this, you are not taking the love that others want, so you can feel safe. By empowering others with your love, you can experience the power of feeling safe. However, your love is less significant, as it is coming from you. For this reason, you know your love as less desirable for others, questioning its value for them and their need for you.

If the content from this excerpt resonates for you or someone you know, may want to read further in The Two Voices Within (Chapter 2) to see if you are living any of the roles we discuss linked to lower ego power energy (Victim, Martyr, Dependent, Depressive, Underachiever, Conformist, or Masochist). It is when living these roles some or most of the time that we are damaging relationships with others and ourselves. Complementary material for those who would like to heal and bring your lower ego power into balance can be found in Ego Therapy: A Method for Healing Your Whole Self (Chapters 5 and 11) and EgoSpiritualism: Awakening to Your Human and Divine Self (Chapter 7).


Lower ego power weakens our ability to participate in meaningful, genuine relationships. It often promotes a passive, non-assertive approach in which one withholds the free expression of their ideas and choices. The subtle message often sent is, “I don’t respect my ideas—and nor should you.” Oftentimes, this can set the stage for relationships in which one is ignored, manipulated, exploited and even worse—abused physically or psychologically.

Dr. Nickolas Martin is a licensed psychologist who has worked in clinical, university, public school and private practice settings as a therapist, diagnostician, educator and consultant for 35 years. He authored Ego Therapy: A Method for Healing Your Whole Self and co-authored with Rev. Linda M. Martin, EgoSpiritualism: Awakening to Your Human and Divine Self and The Two Voices Within: Balancing the Energies of Ego and Spirit to Enhance Your Life.

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