He emailed me his "credentials," emphasizing that I have lots of great things I don't know about him. I got the feeling that it's extremely important for him that everyone knows who he is, where he has been, how he has done, and what he thinks. I did meet him a couple of times in a coffee shop, and some of my disturbing impressions were verified.
Of course, I had no intention to diminish the significance of his impressive credentials or record of achievements. But here was my point - he knew better than anybody else. When the two of us were together - short though it may be - it was hard to miss the distinct impression that the VIP or more important one was not you. He chose to be, quite frankly, a pompous man. The attitude of self-praise during our conversations was conspicuous.
Indeed, there is no greater deception than self-deception. It's a tragic psychological trap. As Arnold Bennet says, "Falsehood often lurks upon the tongue of him, who, by self-praise, seeks to enhance his value in the eyes of others."