Patting ourselves on the back... do we do it too much?

I was given some food for thought today:

When is self praise too much, I can see how damaging self resentment is, how damaging negative self talk is , but sometimes, healthy people are annoying.

Because I am starting to hear, now that I am listening to less of my own negative self talk, how much people praise themselves. And boy do people think they are wonderful. They think they are better than others, they think they are the best parents, the best woman, so brave, so strong, so smart, so wise, so independent. They think they are such an amazing man, amazing friend, amazing employee. And God help anyone who questions them. Because they aren't really interested in hearing it.

And all these people are "healthy"

They don't appear to care what other people think, they don't dwell on lost friendships. They either want you to be their friend or they don't. No second thoughts. Bam. Decision made. They make a mistake. Oh well. Shit happens. And they don't think twice about it. They end a relationship. BAM. Its over. They don't think about past loves. Bam. Look forward. Move forward.

They have a belief and confidence in themselves that stuns me. It seems audacious.

Every form of behaviour is questioned now. If you take a photo of yourself you are too obsessed with yourself . You say too much on Facebook. Isn't that what Facebook asks of you. Tell us what you think. So you do. Then people judge you. There are the watchers on Facebook. The participants. The happy people. The sad people. All people of Facebook. The judger's. But that is people being human.

If there is one thing I want to teach my children, that is the pure value of self love. But how does one get it ? How does one manage it without overdoing it?

I spent my life time knowing I needed to love myself and never found the key. I have tried to 'control' my whole life. But the one thing I needed to do, was let go. Hand it all over.

So this takes me back to the beginning. Patting ourselves on the back. I think everything in moderation. But to gloat and judge is not kind. In my goal to find the perfect balance, I will also try and remember that I can learn to love myself and be humble.

Because there is one thing that has always stuck with me for years - something which I have always told my children in so many words :

Above all else, be humble.


It is vain to gather virtues without humility,
for the spirit of God delighteth to dwell in the hearts of the humble.

A fault which humbles a person is of more use to him or her
than a good action which puffs him or her up.

Woodrow Wilson

True humility is intelligent
self-respect which keeps us
from thinking too highly or
too meanly of ourselves.
It makes us mindful of the
nobility God meant us
to have.  Yet it makes us
modest by reminding us
how far we have come short
of what we can be.

Ralph W. Sockman
Be humble and you will remain entire.
The sages do not display themselves, therefore they shine.
They do not approve themselves, therefore they are noted.
They do not praise themselves, therefore they have merit.
They do not glory in themselves, therefore they excel.

In humility alone lies true greatness, and knowledge and wisdom
are profitable only in so far as our lives are governed by them.

Nicholas of Cusa
Humility does not mean false modesty.  Humility does not mean taking a back seat.
When you take a back seat consciously and deliberately in order to show others
how humble you are, you are not being humble at all.
   False humility is what slaves show to their masters.  Slaves know that if they do not
obey their masters blindly, if they do not show this kind of outer humility, the master will punish them.
   True humility is something totally different; it is the feeling of oneness.  Humility means
giving joy to others.  Here on earth we want to get joy.  But how do we get joy?
Real joy we get from self-giving, not by possessing or by showing our own supremacy.
When we allow others to get joy, then we feel that our joy is more complete,
more perfect, more divine.  By making others feel that they are either equally important
or more important, we show our true humility.

Sri Chinmoy
It is better to have but little knowledge with humility and understanding,
than great learning which might make you proud.  For a person's merits are not
to be estimated by having many visions, or by knowledge of the bible, or by
being placed in a higher position; but by being grounded in true humility,
and by seeking always, purely, and entirely, the honor of God.

Thomas a Kempis
Professions of humility are the very cream, the very essence of pride;
the really humble person wishes to be, and not to appear so.
Humility is timorous, and starts at her shadow; and so delicate
that if she hears her name pronounced it endangers her existence.

Francis de Sales

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