Rancor as an Indicator of Insecurity
“Rancor is an outpouring of a feeling of inferiority.” -Ortega y Gaset
We judge others when we’re insecure about ourselves. We naturally feel hatred towards those who by their very existence challenge our sense of identity. Towards those who make us doubt ourselves and think “am I as good as that?”
But we let this happen. We let ourselves fall into the trap of comparative contexts. We let this happen because even though we hate being challenged and stripped of validation by exceptional people, we like the gratification we experience when we’re exceptional. We love feeling superior. We love power. Or maybe love isn’t the right word. We’re infatuated with these feelings of power and superiority. And infatuation is a transient and volatile emotion rooted in fear. When the expectations set by infatuation aren’t met by the reality of our experience, we get disappointed. And disappointment makes us angry, fearful, insecure, desperate. We start clutching at those things we think are true, hoping to find validation. But usually if and when we find ourselves in this type of situation, there’s nothing that will stop the bleeding. So we lazily reach for the band-aids: we blame and belittle others to make ourselves feel better. And it works. For now.
But eventually, the band-aids shrivel up and fall off and the scab, slightly infected and once again exposed to the trials of life, becomes vulnerable to injury. And when we’re attacked the next time, and the scab gets bumped, the bleeding starts again and out pours the obviousness of our inferiority. Out pours the nasty, putrid, ugly rancor. And we’re again too preoccupied with finding band-aids to notice how embarrassed we ought to be.
The very actions we think make us look cool or superior or funny or attractive or important usually don’t. Most people are too worried about their own scabs to care about yours. Maybe the difference between great leaders and everyone else is that the former have the patience to let their scabs heal so they can help others’ heal their own.