As a rule of thumb, you can’t go wrong if you follow the principle of respecting yourself equally to those around you. If you see yourself generally of less importance to others, you face the possibility of being exploited, manipulated or being looked down upon if the other person is inclined to arrogance. You may even be laughed at! Even if your contemporary is kind to you and don’t put themselves on a pedestal, it is up to you to decide to forge a sense of self esteem that puts you back on an equal footing in your relationships. people who serve others unquestioningly and sacrifice their own inner wishes may come across as being very kind to some, but by definition they are not aware of their own self-worth and are actually doing others a disservice by not setting their own limits and thereby encouraging manipulative behaviour. This can be explained by a continual grasping for affirmation which can only be healed when it is fully recognized and the person just allows themselves to be as they are. All their apparent imperfections are just human and they can let go. It helps as an observer in this case, to gently point out that we offered help is not needed and to simultaneously show them a loving and accepting intention.
On the other hand, if you tend to feel superior to others, your arrogance is not going to make for a pleasant existence with your fellow humans. You may well cause numerous conflicts, suffer from anger, hatred and impatience. Such attitudes are indeed the seeds of war. It doesn’t take long before induced arrogance en masse in a population leads to massive human rights abuses in another country, for example.
Personality traits exhibiting both the inferiority and superiority complexes are also common. Domination of so-called subordinates in an officially defined hierarchy in one moment, and the bowing down to authority in another illustrate this. It is very ingrained in our culture to perceive enormous differences in value between people. This can be quite simply explained by an inability to see the potential in others when we can’t see potential in ourselves. When we seriously try to better ourselves in terms of nourishing wakefulness to our absolute happiness we start to gather the often surprising evidence that reveals character traits we may never have even seen in ourselves before. This contrast between before and after allows us to give others the benefit of doubt more, at least as far as accepting that they, too have a process of development to go through and maybe are not aware of it yet or need some time to overcome certain hurdles.
As always, how we treat ourselves and others can be seen as a mirror relationship so it doesn’t matter what symptoms arise, be it quiet resignation or aggressive dominance, it all boils down to a deep-seated lack of respect for yourself. Once you start to understand that the differences in value you perceive for yourself and others is something that you have created in your mind, you can start to free yourself from imbalances. You can alleviate neuroses, frustration, and much mental suffering that weighs you down.
You don’t have to accept someone else’s behaviour if it is immature, derogatory or weak in any way. It is important to speak out against abuse and stupidity for example, but the essence of the balancing act is to maintain a sense of respect for the higher potential of the individual (S) you are dealing with. That is in itself a very liberating and harmonising experience, not least because you cease to take things so personally.