To hold oneself in “proper” self-regard means to hold others to the same respectful standards that you yourself hold your moral character to. Suppose you don’t believe in using foul language or derogatory terms, then you would hold others around you to that standard of respecting your space and presence. To “get over oneself” means to put your judgement of how you perceive someone that may not share your same values to the side for the sake of a peaceful interaction. It is possible to inhabit these seemingly contradictory roles through self-restraint. By withholding your own personal opinions about others values or characters, you are able to create an environment of growth within a friendship. This can best be correlated by Vernon’s views about Aristotle and Plato’s “…is not to seek out some formula for friendship, but instead to examine it yourself” (Vernon p252). An example from my life is having friends who go to they gym to workout. Although they know I just go to work out and do work without socializing I have to show self-restraint of my personal views of how I think they should be interacting even though the whole point of going and taking personal time to work on myself is being interfered with. It may be important to have a “wider love of life itself” in order to experience a true and meaningful friendship because it gives us a chance as human to truly look outside ourselves. It allows us to open heartedly accept people as friends without the feeling of being used. A great example of this is Frans de Waal’s altruism study. According to Vernon about Waal, “he has seen these apes perform remarkable acts for one another, and even for different species. It’s led him to the conclude that whilst they are quite capable of calculation and understand that generosity pay dividends…” (Vernon p250). Just think how impressive it would be all acted in the manner of these animals in the study how friendships as a whole would flourish to a more natural instinct that we could be proud of.
Vernon, M. (2010). The Meaning of Friendship. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan