There's no better example of a person who is full of himself than Francis Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, in House of Cards. The Netflix series, now in its fifth season, details a man (Underwood) obsessed with himself and his desire for power.
It's bad enough that Underwood is consumed by a thirst for political office. What's worse is that he has no compass for anything else in his life- no friendships, no hobbies, no religion, etc. This makes for a very unhappy man.
I've been thinking of Underwood (yes, in part because I've been binge-watching the newest season of House of Cards) and the times when I might be full of myself.
No, not to the extent that he is but still, let's be honest: each of us has a bit of selfishness inside of us.
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How can you spot a person who is really full of it? I suggest four signs:
- They refer to themselves in the third person. This is typically reserved for pro-athletes who almost always are full of themselves.
- They are easily offended. This is a character flaw and to be avoided at all costs. Readers would do well to pick up a copy of Grit by Angela Duckworth.
- They over-promise and under-deliver. This leads to broken commitments and failed projects.
- They publish every thought. The filter just isn't there for people who are full of themselves. They love to pontificate.
Take note this week of your vocabulary. That will often give you clues of your pride-to-humility ratio.
A Boston priest, Fr. Thomas Judge (early 20th century) famously said, "Humility is truth". I think what he was getting at is that life is full of imperfections and blessings. It's good to appreciate both and not take yourself too seriously.