Too Pleased with Oneself
Some people are simply too pleased with themselves. Here's the perfect idiom to describe these conceited people.
Here we bring you a new phrase, yang yang de yi, which means to be far too pleased with oneself. Here's the story behind it.
In the Spring and Autumn period, over two thousand years ago, there lived a famous politician and diplomat called Yan Ying. Yan Ying was the prime minister of the Qi Dukedom. He was very wise, dignified, and modest, and always treated people with the greatest of courtesy. So he was very highly respected.
Yan Ying had a splendid horse and carriage. When his driver sat on this magnificent carriage, driving for such a great man, he felt that he was really something! In fact, he was quite cocky about it. One day, as he was driving the carriage past his home, it so happened that his wife was looking out from the gate. She saw her husband sitting at the front of the carriage, as proud as a peacock. So proud that she found it embarrassing, and was quite ashamed of him.
That evening, when her husband came home, she told him that she wanted to go back to her parents, and never see him again. Her husband was dumbfounded, and asked for an explanation. She told him she felt sick when she saw how conceited he was when he drove the carriage for Yan Ying. She said, ‘Yan Ying is the prime minister, and highly respected. But he sat in the carriage, looking very modest, without a hint of arrogance. You are only a driver, but you looked as if you think you are an even greater man than Yan Ying. I don't want share the same room with such a person!' The driver was shocked. He thought about it, and realized that he was wrong. He begged his wife's forgiveness, and vowed never to behave that way again.
From that day on, the driver tried to learn from Yan Ying, and cast away his airs and graces. Yan Ying couldn't help but notice this, and asked his driver what had caused him to change. The driver told him. Yan Ying was impressed by the driver's willingness to listen to criticism and change his attitude. Later, he offered him an official post.
From the driver's previous behavior comes this useful phrase yang yang de yi. We use it to describe big heads, people who are far too pleased with themselves.