Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Curse of the SelfSelf-Awareness, Egotism, and the Quality of Human Life$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Mark R. Leary

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195172423

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172423.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 06 December 2021

Bringing Out the Best in the Self

Bringing Out the Best in the Self

(p.185) 9 Bringing Out the Best in the Self
The Curse of the Self

Mark R. Leary

Oxford University Press

Having examined the many ways in which the ability to self-reflect can work against people's happiness and best interests, the book concludes with a discussion of ways in which readers can protect themselves against the curse of the self. Remembering the source of the problem — that we are living in the 21st century with a brain (and a capacity for self-awareness) designed for nomadic hunter-gatherers who lived 60,000 years ago — the chapter discusses ways of avoiding the dark side of the self. Because many of the problems discussed in the book arise from the self's incessant inner chatter, people can learn ways to quiet the self (through meditation, for example), and thus lower its intrusion in their lives. Furthermore, armed with the insights of the previous chapters, they can use the self's own ability to override its natural inclinations toward egocentrism, selfishness, egotism, and egodefensiveness. Perhaps most importantly, people can move beyond their narrow, egoistic views to a mode of self-operation that enhances rather than compromises their personal well-being as well as the well-being of other people and the world at large.

Keywords:   self-awareness, meditation, ego-centrism, selfishness, ego-defensiveness, egotism

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .