SELF-RESPECT IS VITAL BUT EGO IS DANGEROUS

“No matter what you have achieved in life; no matter who you are, if you are arrogant – it all goes down the drain.”

I read this somewhere as a child and it stuck a cord inside me. I understood to the core that there is no reason or excuse to be arrogant – and I never took that path. Rather I went to the other extreme. I was too humble, so much that I allowed people to step over me and use me like a doormat. I was a low confident child who also suffered from being bullied. With time and age I understood the real meaning of ego, arrogance and how it is different from respecting yourself – and this is what I want to write about.

“I can do this job very well” is self-respect and confidence. “Only I can do this job and nobody else is as smart to do it” is arrogance and over-confidence. Self respect says that I should be valued exactly the way I value others and myself. Humility says I will always value others for what they deserve. Humility says that every human being is special and has certain qualities that I can get inspired from. Ego says that I am supreme and nobody else is better than me.

What happens when you don’t respect yourself enough? The world doesn’t respect you either and you get treated like a doormat. What happens when you are arrogant and egotistic? The world doesn’t respect you yet again because you don’t respect the world. The only way to be in harmony with the world is to respect yourself and others. One should be humble enough to say that I love myself and my world; I respect myself and my people; I will take care of myself and people around me; I will continue to find inspirations to be a better person and will inspire others to be better as well; I believe that I am special and so is every other human being.

So, understand the thin line between self respect and ego that we all have to watch out for – where one is vital and other is dangerous.

HAUGHTINESS OR HUMILITY – WHAT DO YOUR EYES REFLECT?

OUR EYES SPEAK

It is said that – ‘Eyes are the windows to the soul.’ So very true! Our eyes are one of the means via which we communicate non-verbally. They convey even more than our spoken words. Even when a person doesn’t utter a word, the expressions of his / her eyes speak volumes. Through the gestures of our eyes we communicate and also perceive the intents of the communication we receive from others. Eyes not only collect information from the outer world but also convey feelings and emotions. A gaze or a stare, the amount of eye movement, the dilation or expansion of the pupils are effective ways of conveying and perceiving conveyed information. And so, we have the innocent look, the naughty look, the sad look, the mischievous look, the angry look, the seductive look, the dangerous look and so on.

UNDERSTANDING THE HAUGHTY LOOK

This article deals with the ‘haughty look’. To explain simply, ‘haughty’ means ‘arrogant’ – bragging too much about oneself or showing oneself bigger and better than others. Haughtiness is a negative attribute of the heart. A person who is too proud of his / her intellect, wealth, accomplishments, looks, power, etc. is said to be haughty. A haughty person thinks and acts superior and looks down on others. To give examples – making fun of others and speaking in a cocky way when they are not aware of the new brand of mobiles that have been launched makes me haughty. To show off my accomplishments and boast of my degrees to prove that I’m more learned than others makes me haughty. To constantly boast of my looks and beauty in a way that pushes others to be ashamed of theirs makes me haughty. And yes, to show myself as too righteous and spiritual over and above others also makes me haughty!

When we refer to ‘haughty eyes’, we basically refer to pride in the heart which is conveyed through the gestures of our eyes. And so what we are looking at here is essentially an attitude of arrogance. Arrogance does not indicate confidence, as many may want to believe. Rather it is a reflection of insecurity and a fragile self-esteem deep within the individual.

HOW DOES HAUGHTINESS MANIFEST ITSELF?

When a baby is born, he / she perceives the world to be revolving around himself / herself. This is true to a great extent as everyone is fussy about the infant’s arrival. Infants generally outgrow this trait of egocentrism as they increase in age. However, the continual presence of egocentrism even in the adult years is perceived as haughtiness. Haughtiness is a negative character trait.

A haughty spirit emerges from a deep-rooted desire to cover up our shortcomings, to hide our fears, to protect our weaknesses from coming to the limelight by exalting certain other traits in a greater-than-life manner. A haughty spirit finds manifestation in the way we look at others. Have you ever been in a position where someone looked at you from top to bottom and either turned away their faces or gave a nasty expression? This is the work of haughty eyes. You couldn’t really understand the reason behind it, you thought there was nothing wrong about you and you deserved nothing of the sort. Perhaps you were hurt or you ignored the whole episode or decided to pay back to the person at an appropriate time!

REPLACE YOUR HAUGHTY EYES WITH HUMBLE EYES

Just as we would feel belittled by the haughty looks of others, our haughty eyes also have the potential to rob others of their self-esteem. The Bible tells thus – “Let someone else praise you and not your own mouth; an outsider and not your own lips.” When I praise myself and speak too highly of myself, I prepare the ground for a haughty spirit which is further manifested in my haughty looks. Haughty eyes are detestable in the sight of God. Our eyes are meant to express love and compassion for others – to build others and not break them.

Humility in spirit leaves no space for haughty eyes. When we accept our weaknesses with humility, we will rejoice over our strengths with the same humility. We all are designed uniquely and blessed differently. And so, it is for us to appreciate the goodness in others and lift them up.

We need not be like the egocentric infant, wanting to gloss over our own selves all the time. Let our eyes speak the language of a heart that overflows with humility. Eyes loaded with humility have a strange magnetic power in them which attract others, whereas haughty eyes repel. Those who humble themselves will find themselves exalted in due time. That’s the secret of success!

Author’s Bio: Rajnandini Sahu has done her Post Graduation in Clinical and Counselling Psychology and is presently working as a Counsellor in a school, apart from pursuing higher studies. She can be contacted at ‘rsahu1023@gmail.com‘.