Beyond the Facade

March 21, 2024
March 21, 2024 Claire

Beyond the Facade

Unveiling the Dangers of Ego in Wellness Spaces

I can’t tell you how weird it feels to be in such a vulnerable and open conversation with someone who claims to be spiritually in tune and emotionally intelligent. Yet, not much about their behavior shows that to be true. The person who asks, “How are you doing?” or “What’s been going on in your life?” only to correct your expression and perspective of experiences and insert their ideas onto everything you share. (Yes, I have been in several conversations that went like this. lol) I can tell when it comes from a good place so that I can stay calm, but I stop adding to the conversation and let them talk. I do this because I no longer feel safe sharing and have worked hard to be a better listener. I want my exchanges to be just that: an exchange. I stop if I feel I must battle another energy in the conversation. Many times, this type of person’s objective, whether they are conscious of it or not, is to engage you to speak about themselves and what they know. This personality often tends to be a poor listener, not as aware as they think, and their interest in learning more about you comes off as disingenuous.

I want to think that as human beings on this earth, we all want to be well, feel good, have support systems in place, and heal any wounds we’ve gotten from the falls we’ve had in this life. What I love is how when some of us gain new information or knowledge, we get incredibly excited about this new gem or “aha” moment. Some of us take that knowledge and use it as needed as we continue on our personal life journeys and share it with those who inquire or care to listen. On the other hand, I’ve noticed a hefty handful that takes newfound knowledge or “perceived understanding” as some otherworldly enlightenment that puts them above everyone else.

This is the kind of personality you come across who claims to have done so much healing and inner work yet is painfully unaware of how they present. They can often be condescending, rude, dismissive, and even downright mean towards others and don’t even see it. They may not even realize their ego is the first thing people meet. This type of person will tell you “they have done the work” and are at such a blissful place in their lives, but their actions and reactions towards others show differently in a blaring way. For those who may not be able to pick up on specific energy or behavior, it may just read as confidence or a “strong personality,” This is often how some of these personalities can infiltrate wellness and healing spaces and not get called in on how they come off to others or even treat others.

I was inspired to speak on this subject with recent news about podcaster Jay Shetty. He is not the first personality and won’t be the last in the wellness and spiritual space that lets’ attention and praise inflate their ego to the point of lying about their credentials. Unchecked ego and narcissistic traits can be damaging in the wellness space. The internet has so much information to sort through that it can be overwhelming for many to research. I feel that is a big reason why, these days, influence, charm, looks, and confidence can outweigh someone’s actual expertise, legitimacy, and merit. Some of these personalities are considered master teachers, influencers, gurus, healers, instructors, and practitioners.

How you connect and share your expertise, knowledge, and gained wisdom is crucial. I had to learn this as a leader in specific spaces. I taught dance to middle school-aged children and taught group fitness at SoulCycle for over five years. If we are not attuned to ourselves, how we share what we know with others can come off negatively when it isn’t meant to be. It can be off-putting, whether it’s tone, judgment, correcting people’s expressions, or inserting our version of healing or wellness. People will not see you or any space or community you are trying to build as a safe place. Holding space for energy that isn’t yours or for people who find a safe place to land in your presence is a skill that takes a lot of trial and error and practice. Sharing ourselves and what we know in wellness spaces should be about serving others and not about you. Always take a moment to step back and remember everyone has their own story; they are not living in yours.

Sometimes our newfound knowledge and epiphanies about life can distort us into thinking our way of living, thinking, and what we have to say is at a higher level of importance. That’s letting ego guide you, and it can sever any connection you set out to create. Perhaps this may alert us that we must step back and do more profound healing, introspection, and reflection. I find that many personalities who participate in this kind of behavior often are putting on heirs. I can’t lie. Even a decade ago, I was likely to have been this way, but I’m now aware enough to know I had my young moments of arrogance and was brave enough to grow and improve. The idea of not looking like you have your life together may not bring the praise and attention some crave. Most often, those yearning for that praise have yet to heal the deep conflicts within due to fear of the journey not always looking so positive, pretty, and bright. The healing journey can only stay at the surface for so long. No one needs proof that you have the most aesthetically pleasing journey. We all have to go into the deep at some point. None of us are better than the other when it comes to bettering ourselves. Nothing about healing is linear. When we remember this as we grow, we can hold space for others with more compassion, kindness, patience, and less ego.

I’ll wrap up my thoughts by saying use discernment. If you are aware that you lack discernment, that’s amazing that you are aware; work on building that discernment and trusting your second mind, aka your gut. The personality I’ve just described is the kind of person that thrives off of folks liking them so much that they can lie confidently without being questioned because people feel connected to them. It’s dangerous, and I’ve watched misinformation and poor advice shared by some of these personalities in the wellness space put others in danger. We are in a time where attention is currency. It’s so easy to get captivated by people we relate to. Still, as a society, we have to get better at not simply taking information and running with it because someone we like said it online or at a wellness conference. We owe it to ourselves to research things we see and hear. We are doing a disservice to ourselves when we rely only on how we feel about a person instead of taking a moment to decipher fact from opinion. By all means, get inspired by others, but always think for yourself and do what feels suitable for your journey.

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