Here is more text:

"My lifelong best friend, larry, who has always been my lighthouse. He cheers me on or helps me focus, and he never lets me take myself too seriously."


There is no idiom at work here. People who "take themselves too seriously" are prone to think that the things that they do are very important, that the things that happen to them are significant, and generally act as if people around them should recognize this importance and significance and treat them accordingly. Therefore, people who take themselves too seriously can be unpleasant to be around, and the speaker is saying that his friend helps keep him from being that way.

  • 2
    It's not exactly an idiom, but it is a set phrase. – Nathan Tuggy May 10 '15 at 2:47
  • That's true; someone raised in the US, at least, would recognize the meaning without having to work through the dictionary definitions of the words. 'Set phrase' describes it fine; is there another word for a phrase that does this specifically? – rcook May 10 '15 at 12:04
  • There's actually a significant amount of nuance to the phrase "taking oneself (too) seriously". I think commonly it is thought of as the opposite of being "easy going", "light hearted", or "jovial". The key aspect is overestimation of the importance of things that a person does or experiences. Similar is the phrase "(don't) sweat the small stuff" -- which is what I am doing in this comment: sweating the small stuff :). – Garrett Motzner Jan 11 '20 at 0:29

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