Why We Find Pride In Others So Annoyning

October 21, 2011

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, chapter 8:

There is one vice of which no man in the world is free; which every one in the world loathes when he sees it in someone else; and of which hardly any people, except Christians, ever imagine that they are guilty themselves.

I have heard people admit that they are bad-tempered, or that they cannot keep their heads about girls or drink, or even that they are cowards.

I do not think I have ever heard anyone who was not a Christian accuse himself of this vice.

And at the same time I have very seldom met anyone, who was not a Christian, who showed the slightest mercy to it in others.

There is no fault which makes a man more unpopular, and no fault which we are more unconscious of in ourselves.

And the more we have it ourselves, the more we dislike it in others.

The vice I am talking of is Pride. . . .

. . . In fact, if you want to find out how proud you are the easiest way is to ask yourself, “How much do I dislike it when other people snub me, or refuse to take any notice of me, or shove their oar in, or patronise me, or show off?”

The point is that each person’s pride is in competition with every one else’s pride.

It is because I wanted to be the big noise at the party that I am so annoyed at someone else being the big noise.

(HT: Justin Taylor)

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2 Responses to “Why We Find Pride In Others So Annoyning”

  1. Marie Smith Says:

    I’m sure it’s hard to see in ourselves because it is so pervasive and prevalent. I do marvel that it rankles us so when we see it in others. In fact, I think we even attribute behavior we don’t like in others to pride, when it may be some entirely different character trait. Shyness is a trait that for teens is often mistaken for being “stuck up.” I even think people put on a veneer of confidence/pride when they feel inadequate in a circumstance. Yet, real, pride (that from which most sins arise) is there in us all. …and what do we do, when we can’t see it? Prayer, self-reflection, good friends who can talk to us in love…..

  2. Mark Says:

    It does “rankle” me. I often notice it when I’m driving. I can take the behavior of others personally. Then I’m irritated with everyone, myself included. I think I’m best able to see my own pride when I bump into the pride of others. The fact that I’m irritated at the aggressive driving (assuming it is safe) of others points to my own issues. If the pride of others bothers me it is often because they’re messing with my own glory.


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