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“If you have to maintain self-esteem by pulling down the standing of others, you are extraordinarily unfortunate in a variety of ways. Since you have to protect your feeling of personal worth by noting how unworthy everybody around you is, you are not provided with any data that are convincing evidence of your having personal worth; so it gradually evolves into 'I am not as bad as the other swine.' To be the best of swine, when it would be nice to be a person, is not a particularly good way of furthering anything except security operations. When security is achieved that way, it strikes at the very roots of that which is essentially human -- the utterly vital role of interpersonal relations.' from The Interpersonal Theory of Psychiatry”

Helen Swick Perry, Psychiatrist of America: The Life of Henry Stack Sullivan
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