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  • A sneer is like a flame; it may occasionally be curative because it cauterizes, but it leaves a bitter scar.

  • ... his mistaken belief in his own superiority cut him off from reality as completely as if he were living in a colored glass jar.

  • The very notion of superiority of one kind over another will have to disappear, although differences among kind will remain.

  • The superior thing ... was to be late. Lateness showed that serene contempt for the illusion we call time which is so necessary to ensure the respect of others and oneself. Only the servile are punctual ...

  • People incline to doubt the superiority of a person who will associate with them.

  • ... I despise the pleasure of pleasing people whom I despise ...

  • ... every generation has a conceit of itself which elevates it, in its own opinion, above that which comes after it.

  • ... he instantly despised his guests for being still asleep, in a rush of that superiority which afflicts all those who are astir earlier than other people.

  • Contempt is the weapon of the weak and a defense against one's own despised and unwanted feelings.

  • Her own sense of superiority was largely maintained by the contemplation of other people's faults.

  • We like to know the weakness of eminent persons; it consoles us for our inferiority.

  • 'Mrs. Lacy is here.' Gilda discussed Mrs. Lacy with phrases usually reserved for the inhabitants of chicken yards. 'And her daughter,' added Elizabeth. On the subject of Mrs. Lacy's daughter Gilda chose terms customarily used for the discussion of ill-bred and not too young horses.

  • We who are placed above the crowd are not climbing ... so we are never out of breath.

    • Marie of Romania,
    • 1926, in Hannah Pakula, The Last Romantic: A Biography of Queen Marie of Roumania ()
  • It is always legitimate to wish to rise above one's self, never above others.

    • Julia Ward Howe,
    • in Laura Elizabeth Howe Richards, Maud Howe Elliott, and Florence Howe Hall, Julia Ward Howe, 1819-1910, vol. 1 ()
  • When one clings to the myth of innate superiority, one must constantly overlook the virtues and abilities of others.

  • Class supremacy, male supremacy, white supremacy — it's all the same game. If you're on top of someone, the society tells you that you are better. It gives you access to its privileges and security, and it works both to keep you on top and to keep you thinking that you deserve to be there.

    • Coletta Reid,
    • in Coletta Reid and Charlotte Bunch, Class and Feminism ()