How Self-love Degenerates into Arrogance

Self-love

There was a time when self-love was considered to be a “moral flaw.” A traditional view of self-love was equated with “doom,” a path to “failure,” “selfishness and ego.” In the words of Voltaire, “It is not love that should be depicted as blind but self- love.”

Promotion of self-love is a recent development, mooted by social philosophers, psychologists and counsellors who advocate a positive aspect of self–love, associating it with self-care, self-esteem and mental health.

However, self-love seems to be an innate trait. We know it in the cradle and the mirror accentuates it. Have you noticed how happy babies are when they look at their own image? They smile at themselves, wave at their image and feel so elated! This love keeps growing  and is nurtured by parents.

Self-love emanates from modern homes, from overstatements of individualistic and proud parents and attitudes of society.  Most of the parents tell their children: “You are the best! You can do anything.” As children have highly impressionable minds, they start believing what they are told. They grow up with this illusion; they start thinking highly of themselves and refuse to admit they can ever fail or they don’t have the ability to accomplish what is expected from them.

In our enthusiasm to raise perfect individuals, we overlook the fact that each child is different. Self-love needs to be balanced with human values of compassion, respect, responsibility and harmony. Many parents keep denying that their child is a bully or behaves arrogantly till his self-love morphs into ego.

Some children who are raised by narcissistic or indifferent parents, may grow up with low self-esteem but they pretend to be ‘super’, to suppress their real sentiments. I have seen a lot of children who wear a badge of exalted self, just to show off! If you try to point that out, they feel hurt. It is most difficult to handle their self-esteem when they are passing through adolescence.

I am sure you have met such people who say: I dislike him…I want to be happy. I am so successful! I want you to work as I say. Follow my instructions. My peace, my pleasure, my contentment… The key words here are ‘I’ and ‘My’.

They underline so much of self- love that YOU and WE are completely lost. When we get immersed in self- love, we fail to see the world as it is. Our focus remains on our own feelings, our own achievements and gloating about them. It is natural that such people get disliked as they are considered to be arrogant, with an exaggerated sense of self-importance.

Relationships suffer the most due to self-love, if it exceeds its genuine limits, as your needs and desires become more important than the aspirations and expectations of your family members. When care and respect for one’s own self becomes excessive, when people attempt to exalt themselves or consider themselves superior than their siblings, friends, or colleagues, such a love becomes a curse for their personality.Self-love quote

There is no harm in looking inwards, to discover your true self, to recognize what you want to be, to look after your needs and even luxuries but looking down upon others, using them for your own benefits, disregarding their sentiments, hurting or bullying them to prove that you are better than them, smacks of arrogance.

Self-love is not just respecting yourself, it is also understanding the thin line that separates self-belief and self-esteem. Self-love is often equated with self-esteem but when it makes you blind to your own faults and gives you an inflated ego, it is time to introspect.

Is your self-love positive?

  • Do you think you are the best?
  • Do you consider yourself ‘always right’?
  • Do you try to belittle others?
  • Do you always shift the blame?
  • Do you get provoked by difficult questions?

If all your answers to above questions are positive, then your self-love could be detrimental for you.

How much you love yourself? What are the parameters that you follow to exhibit your love and authority? You can share your valuable views here.

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Balroop Singh.

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Summit

Horizon
Sue Vincent’s #write photo

Fear watched in awe
Mist of doubt dissipated
As he climbed up dauntless
Talking only to his mettle

Friendly talk fell apart
At the speed he sustained
Daggers drawn at everyone
Knocking rivals down

Climbing upon carcasses
Swinging on subterfuge
Intoxicated by a vial of venom
In pursuit of self-glorification

Could a menacing sky dissuade him?
Could Earthly shackles restrain him?
Even woods and waterfalls
Couldn’t persuade him

Not a moment of reflection
As summit beckoned him
He knew zenith was waiting
Just for him

Alone he stood, friendless,
Captive at the top of the world!
Contrite at his truimph
Success comes at a price!
© Balroop Singh, July 2018

Thanks to Sue Vincent for an inspiring Thursday photo prompt Summit #writephoto.

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Arrogant Autocrats

A drop of arrogance
Goes straight to the mind
It’s intoxication kills insightArrogance
Next, it attacks the eyes
Which fail to see others’ plight
It impairs the hearing
As they only hear what they like.

It also affects reasoning power
As all others in sight
Appear ‘fools’
‘Easy to manipulate.’
Puppets’, ready to dance
‘Dummies’, over eager to obey!

Arrogance accompanied by power
Creates insane authoritarians
Who think it is their right
To enslave all humanity
Who think they are always right.

Emotionally challenged, these
Arrogant autocrats fail to bond
With family, friends or employees,
As it is below their dignity to
Respect others’ self-esteem.

But he had more than just a drop
He had stumbled upon a draught!
So arrogance had wreaked havoc on
Whatever was left in his mind
All he could do was, install puppets
To dance to his tunes.

A self-proclaimed despot
This inebriated monster
Lives in a fools’ paradise.
He either disregards History
Or doesn’t have the IQ to understand
That Hitler was a loser!
© Balroop Singh
All rights reserved.

You can click on Sublime Shadows of Life by Balroop Singh to read more such poems.

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9 Ways To Knock Off Arrogance

 

ArroganceI have already written about arrogance and how it can be harmful for us. If you haven’t read those posts and want to start from the beginning, you can click on the following links:

How Arrogance Can Harm Your Personality

Seven Secrets Of Arrogance

Why Arrogant People Don’t Have Friends

Arrogance becomes detrimental when we accept it as an essential part of our personality. Can arrogance be divested? It may be quite challenging but not impossible.

ARROGANCE…the word that conjures up negative images, the word whose connotation is often misconstrued, the word, which scares us without even touching us!

My experiences with arrogance have taught me some profound lessons. The day I tried to break it into small pieces and deal with it syllable by syllable, this is what I discovered:

We can turn it around into a positive word:

ArroganceThat is how you can revert arrogance, which is very much in your own hands.

Nobody except the arrogant can change himself or herself.

Only our inner voice can impel us towards change. When an arrogant person decides to develop humility, he or she has to overcome self-perpetuated attitude of being supreme.

It is the ego, which accentuates arrogance. When we recognize the power of self-effacement, we can accomplish a positive change in our personalities. Often we don’t make any such effort. We get so accustomed to riding the high sea that it carries us far into the realms of selfishness.

The solution lies in dropping the sails and anchoring our conceit.

Acceptance and respect are the two key words for exorcising the demonic powers of arrogance. When we start respecting others as equal human beings with same kinds of desires and emotions, when we start understanding that they too have a tender heart and get hurt by our outbursts, we begin to comprehend the subtle influence of being compassionate.

Compassion comes very slowly and only if we decide to expunge egotistical traits, which dominate arrogance.

The roots of arrogance lie elsewhere, probably in childhood or upbringing and therefore it is very essential to visit those corridors and make peace with those experiences, which are no longer relevant.

If you didn’t receive love and care in your childhood, you can’t bridge that gap now, if you crave for certain moments to return to soothe your soul, they can’t. If you were bullied and you are hiding behind arrogance to cover it up, you have to break that shell and come out.

We can embellish our personality at any stage of our life.

Read more about personality enhancement in my book.

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Thank you for reading this. Please add your valuable comments, they are much appreciated.

Balroop Singh.

 

 

Growing Intolerance In Societies – Who Is Accountable?

Intolerance

I have always been deeply disturbed by intolerance and wanted to write about it but I have always turned my face the other way, trying to avoid it, knowing well how deep-rooted this sentiment is and how less I know about it.

I have tried to understand it in my own limited arena, how it develops and gets aggravated within the families before it spills out onto the streets.

Quite early in life, I had my first encounter with this emotion albeit I had no idea that people call it intolerance and it is so widespread! With the passage of time I learnt that intolerance is the refusal to accept, appreciate and respect the views, beliefs or behavior of a person or a social group.

I also learnt that we are not born with intolerance. Children are too innocent to understand the depth of this term, which is defined for them by their parents, environment and the society in which they are raised.

So it is a learned behavior. It is most often trigged by fear or insecurity that people face in their immediate environment.

It is a universal phenomenon…in some societies it is camouflaged under empathy and help that leaders try to offer, only to exploit it for their own benefits, which could be political, religious or related to caste and color.

Mahatma Gandhi felt, “Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.”

We inflict this violence on each other, without caring for the emotional hurts it causes especially on young adolescents who have to deal with it in educational institutions and neighborhood.

Role of families: As a child, whenever I visited my grandmother’s home, I saw a weird form of intolerance towards the working class, who could not mingle with the landlord families, had to sit on the floor and eat in their own plates, which had to be kept separate. Feudal masters looked down upon them just because they were poor and worked in their fields.

It is quite obvious that the children of such houses would grow up with the feeling that this kind of behavior was right and that is how it got embedded in social set up. It could never be rooted out despite the best of opportunities and laws. It still exists in a veiled form because certain people refuse to accept the underprivileged and the downtrodden as their equal. They share their beliefs and opinions with their children in their own narrow-minded way and the vicious circle continues.

Intolerance

Role of groups: There are fanatics who want to underline the importance of their own caste, region, race or religion. They create such groups to highlight the superiority of their race or religion. They keep raking the age-old traditions to prove that their ancestors had rightly created the class divide. Their constant endeavor is to sow the seeds of narrow-mindedness in the impressionable minds.

The atrocities of the past, the brutalities, which were inflicted by a certain group of people, are never buried. They are kept alive by talking about them so that the posterity remembers the prejudices, so that the youth can be instigated in the name of never ending vengeance.

Education, awareness and globalization has done little in eradicating intolerance, which is much more deep-rooted than we think. It is associated with the biased views of a parent, a teacher or a leader whose influence on growing children cannot be prevented.

Role of educational institutions: Children who study in minority schools and convents are conditioned to follow a set of rules, which contribute immensely to their development. They may not be told that others are lesser than them but the way their own beliefs, principles and philosophies are drilled, do create a subtle feeling of superiority for their own group.

Some of those who are confused try to rationalize those beliefs and principles but many more are easily carried away by the radical groups and that is how fringe elements get an impetus to keep themselves active and alive to exploit the sensitive matters.

5655694025_dogs_and_diversity_xlarge
Image courtesy: http://www.sodahead.com

Intolerance is also self-perpetuated and controlling this emotion is possible:

  • Think rationally
  • Learn to control anger and jealousy
  • Be sensitive to the hurts of others
  • Nurture kindness and compassion
  • Respect the opinion of others
  • Don’t feed doubt, vengeance and outrage

Intolerance is another form of discrimination. To my mind, they are synonyms.

Intolerance begins from homes, not hearts.

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Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable comments, they are much appreciated.

Balroop Singh.