How to Escape the Trap of Self-Importance

Are you more important than other people?

Sure, in your own world you are king.

But everybody has their own spheres of influence.

Let’s suppose you act as if yours is more important than theirs.

How would that affect your relationship with them?

A Very Common Pitfall

Marcus Aurelius, philosopher and emperor of Rome (A.D. 161–180), talks about this in his Meditations:

 “From Alexander the Platonist: Not to be constantly telling people (or writing them) that I’m too busy, unless I really am. Similarly, not to be always ducking my responsibilities to the people around me because of ‘pressing business.'” – Meditations, I.12

Self importance is a common and dangerous psychological trap.

A Question of Habit

We can all get a little carried away with ourselves, and tend to think we are more important than we are.

This can work against!

If we place the concerns of other people as second priority, they can place our business as second priority, in return.

Clearly, no man is an island.

But there is so much more to avoiding the pitfalls of becoming self-important:

  • Self importance has many nuances. Most of them are not blatant and direct. They often take the form of subtle tactics to keep people away, and to place what is important to us ahead of what is important to them.
  • Self importance is a habit. We practice it. We develop a certain way of working with other people, and we adopt that as our norm.
  • Self-importance can be overcome by changing habits. We can willfully try to accommodate others, and make their concerns our own. The more we practice that, the more of a habit becomes.

An Especially Important Message for People with Wealth

Many people who have achieved wealth think they are more important than other people.

They think that money makes the man.

They forget all the “little people” who helped them get to where they are.

Ironically, this can mark the beginning of the end, because as people feel alienated from them, they will no longer want to do business with them.

Have You Developed Good Habits?

Each one of us is important in our own way.

We each have a circle of people who depend on us, and upon whom we depend.

Our contribution to them is important.

And their contribution to us is important.

And so it is important to live our life showing that we understand this.

And that takes practice.

What do you think? Have you developed the habit of showing other people that they are important, too?


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