The entire humankind is suffering from a condition that seems to be a result of an apparently permanent curse. It has rendered societies motionless as time has passed on, blocked the avenues for intellectual progress and has simply made a fool out of countless unfortunate beings. It is the curse of self-righteousness and we are not yet ready to get rid of it collectively anytime soon. This is what prompts a rational take on this topic with the aim of helping people realize how disastrous such a behavior can be.
Let’s just go deeper into it now.
From what I have observed in life, I can confidently claim that you must come across countless instances daily where conversations are mainly driven by proving each other wrong and proving oneself right. That’s the basic meaning of self-righteousness. It is better to be thought of as a disease as it behaves in exactly such a manner. It’s contagious too as when people are surrounded by a prominently self-righteous behavior, they tend to become self-righteous themselves in their defense. But not only that it’s contagious, it keeps building up in the person if he/she himself doesn’t realize it timely.
According to the rational perspective, self-righteousness is cancer and it eats up a human from inside unless it is timely taken care of. What becomes a necessity, then, is to treat this disease before it is rendered incurable.
There are numerous self-righteous behaviors that could be spotted around if one makes even the least amount of conscious effort, especially when it comes to listening to other people. Let’s explore some of these behaviors:
Fear Of The Unknown
When a person finds himself in an argument, he generally doesn’t leave the position that he takes up initially in the argument. There could be tons of evidence supporting the other side of the argument and yet, the person doesn’t admit his mistake. There is apparently no understandable reason for this irrational behavior. The person just won’t accept his mistake just for the sake of it.
The interesting thing is that somewhere in the argument, one could even clearly realize that he is on the wrong side of the debate. Even then, he would appear to have difficulty in admitting this fact. There’s an inexplicable fear that is seemingly on the verge of accepting the other side of an argument.
The simplest of all the self-righteous behaviors to understand: ego. “I don’t agree with you because I don’t feel like committing such a crime”, is what a certain self-righteous person is actually saying in his head when he is wrapped around in ego. Besides being obvious, it is also a self-destructing behavior that resembles the forest fire, in that it has the potential to engulf the entire person leaving his mental ability a horrendously burnt mess.
To extend control over their surroundings, people sometimes choose the route to become self-righteous. I must mention here that it is not always intentional either but just something that a person finds to be an appropriate way out in a given situation. Notwithstanding this fact, it is still a silly choice that leads to nothing but frustration eventually.
The epitome of such a behavior is a person who tries excessively hard to solidify his argument to maintain his strength in the debate. In doing so, he aims to control the debate, all the arguments and then decide the conclusion that he himself proposes.
These behaviors have used examples of debates that take place in a casual or formal social setting. If you really think about it, these arguments and debates are what make up a sizeable portion of the daily conversations that you are involved in.
Some Personal Attributes Leading To This Behavior:
This term is thrown around a lot but what is failed to realize in the process is that each and every one of us is narrow-minded to a certain degree. To be narrow-minded implies that one is not willing to allow room for the beliefs and opinions that contradict his own. In that sense, we all have some beliefs that we hold on to so obsessively that we just lock the gates shut in our minds to anything that opposes it. A good strategy to tackle this would be to add a great deal to your knowledge of the world. Consequently, it would subconsciously open up your mind to be willingly receptive of all the arcane concepts and newfound ideas.
- Resistance to change.
The habit of living the same daily routine makes a person go deeper into the confines of the daily rut. It makes a person more fearful of any change that happens in his life. Apart from your body, and more importantly, your mind becomes lazy, weak, filled with doubts and wary of something new that comes up in your life and has the potential to disrupt your routine. In order to avoid this ‘disturbance’ ( it’s a disturbance from the perspective of a weak mind), you would go to grotesque lengths. And one of the many outcomes of such an intensely negative behavior is being self-righteous.
When self-righteousness goes from something that happens once in a while to a religiously followed habit, you find yourself defending your position constantly. The sensitivity originates from the fact that one doesn’t want anybody to burst his bubble that he has built around him due to a mistaken sense of superiority. This leads to a person becoming more insecure, sensitive and downright hostile when he feels that his beliefs, which actually are ill-formed, are threatened.
- Unwillingness to learn new things.
This is arguably the most common attribute why quite sensible people are rendered to be dangerously self-righteous. Usually, there comes a point in a person’s life where he feels somewhat content with his life one way of or the other. While still making some effort every now and then to improve some areas of his life, he doesn’t really let his life get bothered by it, simply because it’s not something that holds significant importance in his life.
In this set of circumstances, people are basically possessed with a general unwillingness to develop themselves or to learn something new. Thus, being excessively defensive while ignoring conflicting viewpoints becomes an obvious outcome to such a scenario.
Self-righteousness is referred to as a curse in this text by its virtue of its ability to impose itself on the cursed person. More often than not, a person leads a highly self-righteous life without even realizing it and although it somehow sounds an enjoyable way to live life, it’s far from it in reality.