In this life, many times we fall into the trap of pride and even arrogance for the reason of self-actualization. As human being, we need to actualize ourselves and yes, self-actualization is one of the very nature of mankind; it’s one of our basic need, indeed. We need to show the world who we are, what we do, what we are capable of—all great things we have (or at least we thought we have) in us; we need people to know, to notify, to admit, and to accept us in many aspects of our life and in various different ways.
There’s nothing wrong with such need, for the whole world is not about right or wrong but only a matter of perspective and interpretation. The problem is, when we have too much desire and do too many to make people recognize us while being ignorant to others, that’s when we are in danger of falling into blinding pride and arrogance; and trust me, no one would feel comfortable being around those people with pride that’s been too high. And why would we feel uncomfortable being with those wicked creatures? Because such person would tend to belittle others, making these others feel inferior or worthless, and in a manner of speaking, hurt others’ ego.
Yes, what we should do is that we manage our self-actualization in a way that none of the others will feel inferior. The question is, how to? Well, the simplest way is by being humble. When we wanted to show some achievement or any great things we have—materially or immaterially, instead of showing its value by lessening other’s, better if we show it as an addition to what other’s has in mind. For example, you and your friends are sharing about photography, and you want to show your great knowledge and experience in it. Instead of saying, “Yours (knowledge or experience) is nothing when compared to mine”, you can just say “That’s good. Mine is also something quite similar to that.” When you said something of the sort, no one would feel inferior; instead, others will pay attention to you, and who knows if maybe you all can add something to other’s value?
Let’s take another example. You are capable (or you think you are) in playing guitar. When someone else—anyone—is holding and playing a guitar, you feel like you just can’t hold yourself from picking up that guitar and play a song or two, just to show them that you can play it, or that you are better in playing it than the one previously holding it. Come on, when you do that, you are easy to hurt that person’s ego, and would eventually make the other feel uncomfortable. Why don’t you just sing along with the one playing the guitar, enjoy the song and join in conversation. When you two have enjoyed your time together, it won’t be a big matter who’s better at playing guitar. There will be no more “I can play guitar” or worse “I play guitar better than you”, but there will be “We both enjoy playing guitar.”
Trust me, your too high pride will make other uneasy, even if you are showing them to ones close to you. Instead of showing off what you think you have, it will be better if you praise other’s and let them feel comfortable being with you. When they are comfortable, they will easily recognize you, what you have inside, and what you are capable of. They may even praise you back, and later on you two can just share and enrich each other’s value.
I was very tired with those people who like to belittle others. I never been able to manage myself to feel comfortable being around them. I give more respect to those who stay calm and cool, showing off no or little dignity though they actually have something great and amazing inside. Who they are and what they are capable of doing will be revealed later. Qualified people talk less, while snob people talk more but showed no satisfying proofs. Sometimes you just have to take time to listen to other’s opinion and values rather than blowing up yours. The world is not all about you. Others would need space, too. Remember, those who hold their heads up high will be belittled; those who remain humble will be praised and respected.