I was recently confronted with an issue that made me feel so much emotion, from sadness to extreme anger. And it got me wondering why this thing was bothering me so much. Why was I constantly thinking about it, discussing it with others, over thinking at night, etc. I know from my studies that typically when something that someone else does is really bothering you it’s because you most likely have some underlying issue that may or may not have to do with the issue at hand. So I dug a little deeper…
I think society, myself included has been on a Smug High. Most of the time, I don’t believe it’s intentional. I think often we get so excited about something and maybe even experience such great joy from it or even physical or mental transformation that we just want to share it with everyone. However, when that excitement turns into a feeling of, “I’m better or my way is better or healthier or more spiritual,” it becomes a problem. That is when we become smug.
Types of Smug
There are so many different types of smugness: Spiritual Smugness, Political Smugness, Dietary Smugness, Aesthetic Smugness, and I’m sure many more that I’m not even thinking about.
The most recent incident that brought this whole idea to me was the tragedy of Kolby Bryant and the horrible helicopter accident that claimed the lives of so many families. Being a huge basketball fan I’ve followed Kolby as millions of others have throughout his whole career. He was never my favorite, after all, I loved Michael Jordan, and I mean loved him, and Kolby stating he would be greater than him immediately made me have a love hate relationship for him. However, he was fun to watch, on the court and off. Did he have trouble, of course he did. I think most famous extremely wealthy athletes do. Matter of fact, most all humans do, and I am certainly no exception.
Moments after making a post on Facebook of Kolby and one of my favorite quotes of his, a friend also posted something about his death. However, his post was very offensive to me, and struck a chord that made me both angry and sad. His post to me was “Politically Smug.” He stated that he wished the general public cared about our democracy being destroyed, our planet being destroyed, etc. as much as they did about an over paid entertainer dying. That statement was a bit one sided and offensive, however, that’s not what really bothered me. Further down as people started to comment it got uglier and uglier. At first I felt bad for my friend. I knew what he was trying to say, and it wasn’t that I didn’t agree with him, but he had used perhaps the wrong wording. However, further comments went on to slam Kobe, mentioning a case that was never brought to court, mentioning he was never a team player, etc. I now know longer felt bad for my friend. He got entangled in the comments of others, and not only agreed to them but made some even uglier statements himself, and the uglier it got, I realized I wanted no part of it and unfriended this person.
I was actually outraged that anyone on this planet would be attacking the character of someone that just died tragically along with his daughter and other families. But the more I talked about it and the angrier I became, I started to wonder why this was bothering me so much. Although I was friends with this person online, I didn’t know him personally, so why would I even care? And as I dug deeper I found that I too had recently been “Politically Smug.”
I had become so outraged over the Impeachment Trials, and the whole process, I was so upset about our country, that we had a President that was embarrassing, a womanizer, a big bully, that I had even stated, “I literally cannot be friends with anyone that supports Trump.” Now while I myself truly believe that this man cannot stay in power, and I truly believe he’s a terrible person, I also understand that this is my belief. I can obviously still be friends with others that don’t share my beliefs. I’m not sure I would ever be comfortable discussing it with someone that I knew supported Trump, because I do not support him, but I shouldn’t allow myself to be so Politically Smug that I think my opinion is the only one that matters.
Once you find yourself becoming offensive/defensive or pushing your beliefs onto others, or bashing one thing to make your point about another thing, you’ve got the bug.
I think it’s so easy to get excited about something, for instance, I recently switched from vegetarian to vegan. I’ve seen such health benefits for myself and my family: cholesterol and blood glucose lowered, more energy, weight loss, etc. that of course I want to shout it from the rooftops. And I think that is great, and it’s an awesome thing to share our life experiences with others, but once it becomes, “Vegan is the only way,” then you’ve run into the Smug Bug.
There are so many examples of becoming smug that the list could go on and on but I think we’ve got the general idea.
Avoiding the Smug Bug
So how do we avoid it? How do we make sure we don’t become Smug? It’s a very difficult thing. As humans we all have an ego, and I battle with mine daily. I think the more we “get into” whatever it is we’re into: politics, eating healthy, spirituality, the more we think our belief is right and the harder it is to let anyone else have their own opinion. What we don’t realize is that we are never finished. We are never finished learning, there’s always something new, we’ve never “Arrived,” and if we can remember that, it is easier to squash our own ego just a bit and let others have the opportunity to have their own beliefs and opinions without taking offense to them and without having to become defensive about our own.
Peace & love to you all today,
Cause I’m not there yet, but perhaps, Soon Enuff
I am a published author of the book, Soon Enuff. It’s available worldwide on Amazon.
I am a Certified Life Coach with specialities in Mental Abuse and Happiness Life.
You may reach me via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please like and subscribe to this blog to receive updates 🙂