Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Ask Baba Yaga: Am I Actually Better Than Everyone Else or Just Extremely Arrogant?

Transcript after the jump. 

Dear Baba Yaga,

I've been pestered by this nagging thought that I'm better than everyone else. This just seems ridiculous! However, I keep convincing myself that I say better things or that I am a better person than those around me. Either I am incredibly brilliant or terribly arrogant.  How do I know which is true?


You , can rest in peace—you are not better than everyone, otherwise you would not be sending this question to the Baba. ;If others knew you as I know you now, they would laugh & no longer look at you so sweetly. —then you would loathe them & yrself & sink down into the well so deep that only Arrogance could haul you back up. Recall what it is that first brought you down that well, many years ago. What sunk you then?: For neither are you arrogant, but secretly & hiddenly scared. Who are you afraid of being once more? Once you know answer, you will stop plaguing both me & yrself with these foolish thoughts. To be plunged down into doubt of self & then rushed up to superiority is the ancientest of humanly pastimes. , Step away from the well & take a stroll—I am sure you will find an even livelier occupation.

Previously: "How Can I Tell the Difference Between Prestige and Personal Satisfaction?" and also the full archive! Why not?

Taisia Kitaiskaia is a poet, writer, and Michener Center for Writers fellow. She's taking questions on behalf of Baba Yaga at AskBabaYaga@gmail.com.


7 Comments / Post A Comment


Baba, you were 100% nicer than I would've been about this, which is good for the honey > flies reason. But srsly, "step away from the well & take a stroll—I am sure you will find an even livelier occupation" is wonderful advice.

Also, it never hurts, I think, to see a counselor about this kind of stuff. They could help you figure out if it's genuine narcissism or just a normal (?) case of 'I'm proud of my achievements and not seeing the value of others'' (which would still actually be worth sorting out, imho).

In my experience, the most terribly brilliant people I have met are also the most humble: probably because they spend a lot of time working on projects with other really smart people and failing at them. So you also might ask yourself if you are not pushing yourself hard enough to be familiar with your real limitations.

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