Captured by Vanity

Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich) speaks on vanity and the ways of overcoming it.

Bragging is a sign of mental and spiritual immaturity.

There is a reason that this quality is common among children: some children compensate for their childishness and immaturity in this way, imitating adults and wanting to demonstrate their “experience” and “sophistication” ahead of time.

And if people treat the boasting children condescendingly, kindly correcting their behavior, the bragging of an adult looks repulsive and painful. By boasting, a person shows his weakness, infantilism and even underdevelopment.

A spiritually mature person does not need to prove or demonstrate anything to anyone. He lives his days peacefully, communicating with others equally and evenly.

What is the reason for this phenomenon?

Vanity. It is what pushes people to take the most impulsive, absurd and risky actions.

Vanity obscures the eyes and deprives a person of the opportunity to see everything in its true light. The one who has fallen into vanity does not assess real life situations, cannot objectively calculate his strength, and cannot see how ridiculous and pathetic he can be.

A vain person lives in his fictional world, in which he is the center and the main character. In this world everything and everyone revolves around him and depends only on him, his mood and his presence. He believes that the world constantly needs him.

This is pure self-deception. Vain people are devoid of sobriety and have no friends. They are usually lonely, because they push others away from their lives with their endless lies, excessive exaggeration, insincerity and morbidity, and constant boasting and bragging.

It is uncomfortable and sometimes unbearable to be around them.

How to deal with this? How can one overcome one’s vanity?

Unfortunately, this vice is difficult to overcome. It is difficult to get out of this state for a person, who is used to lying to himself and others from his childhood, constantly bragging about his imaginary achievements. This requires tremendous volitional efforts, but the main thing is the desire to break out of the oppressive captivity of vanity.

However, if a person realized his illness, saw the destructive passion in himself, then first of all he should learn to carefully watch over himself, his thoughts, words, and actions.

When talking with other people, it is important to be extremely attentive, to keep track of whether I rise above my interlocutor when I tell him something, whether it is bragging that is the true purpose of my conversation. Consciously, one should make an effort and fight this vice.

It is always better to answer within the framework of the question that somebody asked you in a direct way, straightforwardly and honestly. You should not jump to topics that are not directly related to the question. Vanity is trying with your help to dominate your interlocutor, to spread as much as possible. It is confined within framework. Stop it.

Vanity does not get along with simplicity, it needs loud trumpets, ringing strings, thundering tambourines, it gets lost and crumbles into small particles in silent, calm and peaceful atmosphere.

Where there is simplicity, peace and tranquility, there is no place for vanity.

“Do your deeds in secret,” says the Gospel. If you did something good, keep it in your heart as the greatest treasure.

Of course, sometimes we want to share our joy and success with somebody. This can only be done with the closest people or those who are also related to this.

You should not share your successes or plans with people who are not related to your activities.

Otherwise, you will only fuel vanity once again and lose the peace in your soul that is so hard earned. Strangers can only be pushed away by such behavior.

Constant sobriety and inner vigilance will help one reveal the curvatures of one’s soul and hardened passions. With God’s help, we will begin to see clearly and transform from a relaxed and sick person into a cheerful and healthy-minded person.

May God grant it that our insight will come soon, by the grace of God, so that we can consciously live the days allotted to us, in joy and peace.

May God grant it that faith in the mercy of God would strengthen us in our struggle against our sins, and may the gracious help of the Creator console and strengthen us, as the morning dew comforts and fills wilted flowers in a dry summer.

Translated by

You can follow on TwitterFacebookInstagram, Telegram, or Parler

Since you are here…

…we do have a small request. More and more people visit Orthodoxy and the World website. However, resources for editorial are scarce. In comparison to some mass media, we do not make paid subscription. It is our deepest belief that preaching Christ for money is wrong.

Having said that, Pravmir provides daily articles from an autonomous news service, weekly wall newspaper for churches, lectorium, photos, videos, hosting and servers. Editors and translators work together towards one goal: to make our four websites possible -,, and Therefore our request for help is understandable.

For example, 5 euros a month is it a lot or little? A cup of coffee? It is not that much for a family budget, but it is a significant amount for Pravmir.

If everyone reading Pravmir could donate 5 euros a month, they would contribute greatly to our ability to spread the word of Christ, Orthodoxy, life's purpose, family and society.