Include humility in civility

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,

My daughter is egocentric beyond belief. She’s a good ballerina. Not the best, not the prettiest, not the hardest working.

Since she got into high school last year, she brags about being a great dancer and that she doesn’t even have to try.

She stopped attending many weekly classes. She dismisses the “poor other slobs” who have to practice all day, everyday.

Recently, she was telling her friend how everyone is jealous of her because she’s the prettiest and most talented dancer at her studio. Her friend made the mistake of saying she was getting a little conceited.

She made snarky remarks back at her friend. I intervened and tried to make light of the situation. My daughter went ballistic. She yelled at me and asked who I was to get in the middle of a fight with her friend.

Her friend quietly walked away. My daughter made a feeble attempt at apologizing, then blew her off saying, “She was lame anyway.”

I don’t know how to make her see that a little humility goes a long way.

Signed,
Humility advocate

Dear advocate,

Unfortunately, the people who act like they’re the best, the most important, most intelligent, best-looking, and most competent are usually the most insecure people.

They mistake confidence for being loud, boastful, arrogant, and entitled.

Many people who display a larger than life ego are really suffering inside with the fear of not being good enough. They cover for it by creating the façade of who they want to be.

When their façade is shattered with the reality that they may not be quite that terrific, they become histrionic about it or aggressive towards those who dispute them.

It’s best to walk away until she calms down.

When she does, express the following:

“You’re a good person who I think may be experiencing some very difficult challenges with dance right now. I think you’re spending a lot of energy on looking great without facing those challenges.

“I want to help you face them so you can feel great, which is more important than putting on the best show of greatness.

“One of the best virtues you can have is humility. Humility is not weakness. Humility means not being arrogant or prideful. It’s being patient when you’re afraid. It’s important to fail and not fear failing because that’s how you learn.

“Being humble makes you strong, because you can overcome hardships, feel powerful, and be teachable.

“You can be courageous and humble at the same time.”

The virtue of humility makes a person great.

Signed,
Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

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