Since the majority of the human experience involves making sense of our experiences and manipulating abstract symbols in pretty ways, that a great deal of problems seem to stem from defending the mental conception of self (the ego) is not surprising.
In animals whose experience of the world is more centered in their sensory input, a simpler life is achieved. Energy is devoted to the preservation and maintenance of the physical existence.
Humans, however, get the wonderful thrill of mixing symbols and mashing up postulates and assumptions, flashing signs and flaunting language in the effort to preserve the center of their existence: the ego.
After the hairless bipeds have worked out the various controls of their orifices, the urge to achieve ends through using those openings for expression sets in and the vast world of the intangible and irritating ideas can really be explored. All the words they ever use are learned within the first few years, the rest are simply variations and ways of disguising 'I, me, my', the various positions those may take ('want, have, like') in reference to the three things the world is composed of: 'food, sex, and sleep'.
To utter anything is to defend the ego. To place a metaphorical toe in the stream of symbols is to say 'I exist and I matter and I probably want sex or a sandwich,'. The act of asking a question implies the worth of the inquirer of receiving an answer. Even degrading or denying the ego, asserts its existence and the value of the source of the scathing and/or negative comments (the ego).
The ego is volunteered to order the often nonsensical sets of symbols it sees and organize appropriate reactions to the world based on previous and probably misunderstood information. So, otherwise rational minds are set to the insane task of defending an ever changing, intimidated, and fragile thing, the existence of which is often denied, in a game which no one referees and rules are made up and ignored to suit whatever whim a player stubborn enough to disregard the other players' protests can hit upon.