He cringed every time he met people filled with self-importance. The kind of people who place a lot of importance on what they do and how they lead their lives. They are always full of opinion on how you should do so.
Such people tend to exist too much in the minds of others. They are too dogmatized by peer pressure. They define their self-worth not by their own sense of happiness, but how others perceive their achievements. Such people perpetually overdramatize in the movie of their own life; and feel that somehow the world owes them something.
A few such people were his good friends. May be he too was one such conceited person. But he was making a conscious effort not to be so. He had met enough interesting people from all over the world to know that when viewed from a sufficient distance, anything one does is meaningless. One’s existence is gratifyingly miniscule in the wider scheme of things. And that knowledge is immensely liberating.