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No matter what our achievements might be, we think well of ourselves only in rare moments. We need people to bear witness against our inner judge, who keeps book on our shortcomings and transgressions. We need people to convince us that we are not as bad as we think we are.

Eric Hoffer (1902-1983) American philosopher and author.

If we could see ourselves as others see us, we would vanish on the spot.

Emil Cioran (1911-1995) Romanian philosopher and essayist.

We can bear to be deprived of everything but our self-conceit.

William Hazlitt (1778-1830) British essayist.

I think I am one of those who can manage not to take on a completely different appearance under their own glance.

Jean Rostand (1894-1977) French biologist and philosopher.

It is curious how instinctively one protects the image of oneself from idolatry or any other handling that could make it ridiculous, or too unlike the original to be believed any longer. - Woolf, Virginia

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) British novelist and essayist.

Self-esteem and self-contempt have specific odors; they can be smelled.

Eric Hoffer (1902-1983) American philosopher and author.

Success plus self-esteem equals pretensions.

William James (1842-1910) American philosopher and psychologist.

The world has become uglier since it began to look into a mirror every day; so let us settle for the mirror image and do without an inspection of the original. - Kraus, Karl

Karl Kraus (1874-1936) Austrian satirist.

It is terrible to destroy a person's picture of himself in the interests of truth or some other abstraction.

Doris Lessing (1919-?) British writer.