Everybody has this shortcoming to some extent. When it is activated, we express the following behaviours, it stems from the dark jewel Egotism
Active Shortcoming: Self-importance
Behaviour: Self-opinionated, arrogant, self-centred, pompousness, holier-than-thou, longwindedness
Passive Shortcoming: Self-pity
Behaviour: Victim/martyr, hard-done-by, unappreciated, fear of exposure, fear of being wrong, fear of criticism
Anything might activate it. If for example you were being pompous and I said as much, chances are you would be pompous about your lack of pompousness, feel criticised, defend yourself in an arrogant way and give numerous examples of how you are not in fact a pompous being. The last thing you might say is “sorry man, I can be a bit of an arse from time to time.” You may even make a mental note that I have been mean to you and look out for any opportunity to get one back on me, your sweet revenge.
I have worked in academia, so chances are that I have met some pompous people.
It is possible to oscillate between the two poles, self-importance and self-pity.
To use an imaginary example which I will make up just now.
Arthur is a professor at the university of Harvton he has a pretty good reputation and has brought in millions in funding. He reckons himself and has strongly held opinions some of which are not based in evidence, but he continues to promote an antimalarial drug for curing the seventh coronavirus outbreak. He has recently put in a research grant application for a million dollars. He goes to the research council web site where the results of the latest funding round are. He has told his research group that there is a good chance that he will get funded. He feels entitled to the money because of his reputation and genius. Unlike all his competitors he came up the hard way, he alone is honest and not guilty of cronyism. He looks down the list of awards and cannot see his name on it. Prof. Zed has been funded but not him. They always like prof. Zed better than me. It is not fair that he gets funded, and I don’t. He is their favourite.
He gets on the ‘phone to speak to the research council to see if there has been an error. The programme secretary answers, and she says that there is no error. He starts to shout, “how dare you not fund me, blah, blah, blah.” The poor girl on the other end of the ‘phone gets a right earful when she was not even involved in the decision-making process.
Nobody appreciates all the hard wok I have put in, those bastards from California have ganged up on me again. They have put the fix in and this after I gave them that pointer back in May. What have they been saying behind my back? Have they been saying that the anti-malarial drug does not work against Sars-CoV-7? Will they find out that I am a fraud? What am I going to tell my research group? Will they figure out I have been bullshitting? I’ll have to make something up to cover myself. There could be some technicality at the research council which I could invent. They will never find out that I have made it up.
I hope you can the gist from this vignette.
My personal expression of this dark jewel was more on the passive side – feeling sorry for myself and victim / martyr. I was a bit concerned about exposure. But did not really worry about being wrong and was mostly open to criticism.
How do you manifest this dark jewel?
Do you recognise the oscillation?
The description of the Shortcoming is excerpted from a document written by Theun Mares