Egotism is the drive to maintain and enhance favorable views of oneself, and generally features an inflated opinion of one's personal qualities and intellectual, physical, or social importance. Extreme egotism involves little or no concern for others, including those loved or considered as "close," in any other terms except those set by the egotist.


  • Egoist: a person of low taste, more interested in himself than me.
    • Ambrose Bierce, in The Cynic's Word Book (1906). Retitled The Devil’s Dictionary (1911).
  • I now know all the people worth knowing in America, and I find no intellect comparable to my own.
    • Margaret Fulle, in Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Henry Channing, and James Freeman Clarke, Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli (1884, reprinted 1972), vol. 1, part 4 (written by Emerson), p. 234. Perry Miller, "I Find No Intellect Comparable to My Own," American Heritage (February 1957), p. 22, says she made the remark at Emerson's table and adds, "she was speaking the truth".
  • The compulsion to take ourselves seriously is in inverse proportion to our creative capacity. When the creative flow dries up, all we have left is our importance.
    • Eric Hoffer, "Thoughts of Eric Hoffer, Including: 'Absolute Faith Corrupts Absolutely'", The New York Times Magazine (April 25, 1971), p. 52.
  • It is never permissible to say, I say.
    • Madame Necker; reported in Louis Klopsch, ed., Many Thoughts of Many Minds: A Treasury of Quotations From the Literature of Every Land and Every Age (1896), p. 80

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Last modified on 15 March 2014, at 04:08