Continuing Ego Factors

We are continuing our reading of “The Ego Factors in Surrender in Alcoholism.”  To preserve some context, we’re going to back up a bit to the paragraph on page 51.

So far, Tiebout has defined “Ego” and sketched out some important traits in the “infantile ego” of the alcoholic. These “ego factors” are

  1.  Omnipotence,  the feeling of having power over everything I survey
  2. Inability to accept frustration
  3. A tendency to speed through life.

Next, he’s concerned with how this immature ego expresses itself in the adult alcoholic. At our starting point, he’s setting the stage for this understanding.

There is so much coming up in this reading. It bears repeating that this paper is the most significant one in the collection.


Remember that Tiebout is using lowercase “ego” when he’s talking about the psychiatric definition in which ego is regarded as a good thing and capital “E” Ego when he means the infantile ego that has all the traits we are discussing.  For me, this is important when he talks about not compromising with Ego.

Here are some vocabulary words in the order they are encountered in our reading. If I’ve missed something, let me know in the comments or on the call.

Omnipotence – “All Powerful.” The feeling that everything around me is mine to command. This trait is associated with gods and kings.

Afflatus – Inspiration from God.

Prerogative – privilege due to royalty or some other group. Synonyms: right, privilege, advantage, due.

Imperiousness – assuming power or authority without justification.

Whirligig – a toy that spins around, for example, a top or a pinwheel. Hectic, unpredictable.

Narcissism – extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration.

Megalomania – obsession with my own power


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