"How should we battle against vainglory? John Climacus teaches us how we should battle against it and against all other passions as well. He says: One needs to descend into the radiant depths of humble-mindedness. Now vainglory pushes me to want to please people. But out of humility I will tell myself: there is nothing in me that is pleasing to people; I cannot please them in any way. And when I will not please them, I will not be offended, because I will recognize that there is nothing pleasing in me.
"Once a visitor approached a holy man who was in holy orders and said to him: “You know, I’ve heard that you aren’t smart, that you’re simply stupid. This rather confuses me. I don’t know whether I should listen to you or not, since you’re stupid!” This was said in even harsher terms. And this holy man, with extraordinary meekness and the sincerest humility, said to him: “That’s just what I am!” He thought to himself: “There are many smart people and I, of course, cannot stand alongside them.”
"Meekness! John Climacus writes that meekness should always counteract any passion, and vainglory above all. One should accept insults with great meekness, accept lack of praise with great meekness, and live with great meekness – but with meekness that fills the depths of one’s soul. This is what “descending into the radiant depths of humble-mindedness” means. After all, God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble (Proverbs 3:34; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5). It is only in this way that we can receive that grace-filled power with which we can uncover our conformity with God Himself, the image of God, the true humanity in the human person! Only in this way!"
-Uncovering Our True Humanity: On the Sunday of St. John Climacus - Archpriest Shpiller