Most of us know someone who seemingly has a larger ego than others. This person may be average looking, of average intelligence, possess no spectacular talents and yet they are exceedingly self confident to the point of being conceited. On the other hand you probably know a very attractive person who is intelligent and has a lot going for them yet they have low self esteem. How does this happen?
Our ego and identity are molded throughout our life. As a child the way that our parents, siblings and other relatives treat us is the first seed that is planted. Without the proper encouragement and sense of worth that a family should instill in children their self esteem is stunted and they may struggle with insecurities their entire life. People who were brought up in loving, supportive homes have a head-start in life and tend to do better. They were raised believing in themselves and encouraged every step of the way.
Involvement and success with education, sports or other activities during the school age years is another building block which contributes to one's ego. Captain of the football team, cheerleaders and academically high achievers often take more pride in themselves and even feel a bit of superiority over other students. Their peers look up to them or admire their talent and this compounds the individuals sense of self worth.
Accomplishments in life may also affect the ego. Whether you have completed seminary school and are teaching God's word to people in South Africa or you are a wife and mother raising a family in the mid-west, does not matter. If you feel that you have accomplished things and are doing what you wanted in life, this contributes to pride in yourself. Therefor you will have a more healthy ego.
Relationships of all kinds throughout our life have an affect on us. Be it a spouse, a child, a relative or friend the interaction that you have with them can be damaging or helpful to your ego. People who feel loved and appreciated will have a slightly elevated sense of importance.
While egos are partially shaped by our individual personalities, outside influences certainly contribute. There are numerous reasons why one person has a big ego and another does not. The ideas above are a drop in the bucket when we consider the size of this. Arrogance is frowned upon and "egotistical people" are often irritating. However the large ego will be helpful to that person throughout his or her life.