Please Don’t Tell Me How Great You Are

A long time ago, right before I met the man who would become my husband, I dated a guy named Gary,* a new-age rocket scientist who excelled in many things, including the art of self-promotion.

I remember that cold February night, a week before Valentine’s Day, when we were driving in his car. He had played his guitar and sung songs at his church that day and was giving me the post-mortem on his performance. “This one old guy, he came up to me and said that my music made him cry. Then he said: ‘You are, without a doubt, a man of integrity,’” Gary said. I looked over at him in the car and was struck by his smile.

It wasn’t a grin that emanated humility or kindness. It was more like a smirk. Read more …