So how do we cope with this? How do we learn to stop creating our identity out of us vs. them? I don’t know if it is possible to stop drawing that line, but what we can do is learn to keep our ego out of it. You see, it is not our identity that is the problem, but our need to be right. Our need to be better than the other guy. Our need to be on top.
Once we have incorporated a belief, an ideology or even a sports team into our definition of self then anyone who attacks that is also attaching us. Sometimes when we are feeling fragile in our identity, in our definition of self, then even the very act of someone or something different from us existing is enough to make us lash out.
The first thing we must do then is strengthen our identity. This may mean discarding elements we believe are a part of who we are, but are really just false faces we show the world. We need to define ourselves not by who the world wants us to be, but who we know we are. When we grow comfortable in who we are, we do not need to put others down in order to feel stronger.