How the ego LOVES to welcome an imagined persecution and prepare an attack? Have you ever noticed how much time you have spent wishing you said something else, dreaming up responses to what you COULD have said (that are all far more brilliant, witty and cunning that what was said). Or pre-empting how a conversation MIGHT go down, and preparing all your responses. The ego loves this stuff, ripping us from the present moment, and dragging us into an emotional imaginary battle field. We have to be vigilant to these types of ego tactics. For they deny us presence, responsiveness and ultimately evolution. We get caught in a thought loop about what might be/might have been rather than working with what is.
And often, this isn’t even an actual attack from someone else, but simply a contradiction. We can disagree with someone, and they with us, and it does not mean anything personal whatsoever. The ego however loves to distort this and make it deeply personal. Awareness of what is happening is vital to getting out of that thought loop. Asking, is this serving me? Is this line of thinking pointing me in the direction that I wish to be headed? And then acting accordingly is key.