Most of us would infinitely rather be liked than

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Unformatted text preview: as the unselfish. We spoke of power as a form of superiority. Since all superiority is comparative, there are various indirect ways of seeking superiority and avoiding inferiority. One of these is by adverse criticism of our fellows. The widespread love of gossip, the quick and ever-present tendency to disparage others, especially the fortunate and the successful, are manifestations of this type of superiority seeking. Half the humor of the world is the pleasure, produced by a technique, of feeling superior to the boor, the pedant, the fool, the new rich, the pompous, the over-dignified, etc. Half, more than half, of the conversation that goes on in boudoir, dining room, over the drinks and in the smoking room, is criticism, playful and otherwise, of others. There are people in whom the adversely critical spirit is so highly developed that they find it hard to praise any one or to hear any one praised--their criticism leaps to the surface in one way or another, in the sneer, in the "butt," in the joke, in the gibe, in the openly expressed attack. This way of being superior may be direct and open, more often it is disguised. Many a woman (and man) who denounces the sinner receives from her contemplation of that sinner the most of her feeling of virtue and goodness. The more bitterly the self-acknowledged "saint" denounces the sinner, the more, by implication, he praises himself. People seek the strangest roads to the feeling of superiority. From that classical imbecile who burnt down the Temple of Diana to the crop of young girls who invent tales of white slavery in order to stand in the public eye as conspicuous victims, notoriety has been mistaken for fame by those desperate for public attention. To be superior some way, even if only in crime and foolishness, brings about an immense amount of laughable and deplorable conduct to which only a Juvenal could do justice. The world yields to superiority such immense tribute that to obtain recognition as superior becomes a dominant motive. How that superiority is to be reached presents great difficulties, and the problem is solved according to the character of the individual...
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University.

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