There are a lot of people out there that are so far up their own asses that all you’ll be able to see are the tips of their shoes. However, smugness is for everyone, even “normal” people are guilty of being smug. I certainly can attest to coming across as complacent from time to time. It is occasionally unavoidable, but that doesn’t make it any easier to hold back all of the building violent urges you feel when someone’s sense of self-satisfaction gets right up inside your face.
This all stems from an overriding desire to be superior. Striving to be the best is commendable but how helpful is basking in the warmth of your own perception of self-worth? Everyone wants to believe that their chosen life path is unquestionably the best, this is why people are so proud of their adequate children and refuse to stop talking about their boring jobs. Progressing through my twenties, I have noticed that everyone starts assuring themselves (and everyone around them) that the places they have chosen to visit and live are unquestionably the best too. No where is this more apparent than in the rivalry between the people living in the cool parts of the city and the people who live anywhere else on planet earth.
I’d, personally, love to live in all of the hippest places of several cities but they are sometimes prohibitively expensive and have a slightly more dense population of smugly successful people who have also just moved there. This is a phenomenon I simply cannot comprehend. You’re never going to be an overnight success in a new place. The only exception being this documentary series I saw about a man who took a taxi from west Philadelphia to Bel Air and was made prince of the entire city overnight. I would expect they did this because he would have to be an eccentric millionaire to pay the several thousand dollars it would cost just to take a cab.
Being completely objective, I don’t imagine a person’s overwhelming hubris is too destructive until it gets directed at another person. The problem being that people love to make assumptions and give advice about things they have no experience in. However, they will still find a way to channel it through their own unrelated experiences and pride before radiating it out of the toothy void in the middle of their face.
Think about the moment of your first kiss. Before then you were likely a bit put off by the entire concept but afterward you probably changed your tune. Did you have any idea of all of the unbridled perversion and despicable acts that it would eventually lead to? Of course you didn’t, nobody did. The same goes for every other moment of our lives. We should be perpetually learning new things and attempting to remain humbly open minded. Real experience means acknowledging that there may not be a right answer.
That’s not to say that pride isn’t important, we just all need to ride the line and not find ourselves going over the edge and falling into the smugness abyss. And, if you are going to be conceited, you’d better have a valid reason as to why.