Sunday, June 01, 2008

Musings on the Self-Centered and Insecure

For years I confused self-centeredness with conceit.

This failed to explain, of course, people who are enormously self-centered but also suffer from strong feelings of inferiority. It can be baffling when a person who continually considers the world from the standpoint of Me, Myself, and I can also be insecure but it seems they make a numerous tribe.

The self-centered person who is not conceited can pose special problems because whereas there can be a certain justice in countering the conceited, matters get more complicated with a person whose self-esteem is already afflicted. These folks can be even more demanding than the conceited but the relative victimhood accorded by their insecurity becomes a shield; indeed, their insecurity is often the only characteristic that is seen even though it may not be the predominant one. Self-centeredness may govern.

The problems they have with others, however, often stem more from their self-centered nature than from any feelings of inferiority. That brings us full-circle for the odd combination may be a form of conceit.

Nowadays there is considerable status in the role of the victim.


Anonymous said...

John Piper puts like this in his book "Desiring God"

"Self-pity and boasting are both forms of pride: one is pride in the heart of the weak, and the other is pride in the heart of the strong."

Michael Wade said...

That is very nicely put.

Anonymous said...

thanks...i didn't mean to be anonymous before. that was me.

Michael Wade said...

Thanks for commenting, Chris.