Are you too full of yourself? 8 signs that you are arrogant and don't even know it
Arrogance can be subtle and hard to detect. Here's how you can know if there's a streak of conceit in you that aren't even aware of.
There's the Mean Girls kind. The flighty, the "world is here to worship me" kind. And there is the intellectual high and mighty, who believes the rest of us mere mortals are blessed to be in his presence. And there is the third kind. Those who are blissfully unaware of how arrogance seeps into their sweet words and masks of empathy. If you find yourself indulging in these behaviors more often than not, it's time to be honest with yourself and reflect on how people might be perceiving you.
1. You don't care to truly know the person you are talking to
You assume you know the person simply by your immediate perception of them. The human mind draws inferences from past experience. The context doesn't matter here. You could be the CEO of an organization leading a huge team or a solo artist working in a quiet studio. But when you do meet new people or socialize, if you don't care to know what unique experiences they come with, what they know that you might not, or can't stretch your mind to truly understand the other person's viewpoints, you are simply talking to your version of them, not who they truly are.
For example, if someone mentions a genre of movie/music that you aren't a fan of, you might immediately form an opinion that the person isn't as cool as you. This one perception can lead you to undermine all their other opinions and knowledge.
2. You believe you are entitled to talk
This is one quality common among the blissfully unaware but annoyingly arrogant folks. They assume what they know is often all there is to know and that by speaking, they are sharing their rare wisdom to the world, when really, all people hear is "blah, blah, blah."
It doesn't matter if you are in a position of power, come with many mighty degrees, or believe you're a closet genius. If you think you have the right to talk over people, interrupt them, hold an audience simply because your professional or social position allows you to, you are going to be leaving a room or group full of bored and annoyed folks.
3. You speak but never really listen
Feeling entitled to speak is one thing, but there are folks who nod their head in pretentious approval while they mentally block out people's views, opinions, and insights. Of course, if the person is talking crap, you aren't obliged to listen.
But if you believe you already know too much about the subject that nothing the other person says can really make a difference to you, that's a subtle form of arrogance. You could be polite, even sweetly smile or say "great idea." But within your head, if you constantly see others as those who know lesser than you, your one-up stance is self-delusional.
4. You are unaware of stereotypical biases influencing you
"Ah. He is from Texas. No wonder."
"She talks about gender equality. Must be the angry activist kind."
"You talkin' to ME 'bout artificial intelligence? Right."
"Look at her handbag. What a shame that she thinks she belongs here."
Of course, these are presumptuous statements to make...out loud. But are you sure you don't say this to yourself when you meet someone from a different ethnic, socio-economic, educational background or someone who speaks, looks, dresses differently?
5. It's hard for you to give a genuine compliment
You find it hard to find good in others, who are of equal ranking or better than you. You might dish out compliments to a new intern or someone you consider isn't a threat to you.
But when you believe they can challenge your position or perception of yourself, you mince words and struggle to acknowledge the talent, intelligence, good looks, sense of style, or knowledge they have in store.
6. You read a lot, but you aren't open to different viewpoints
If you're the kind that wakes up and goes to sleep with books, that's great. But if all the books add to your existing beliefs and you shoot down any questions or arguments that challenge your beliefs, you are a victim of confirmation bias.
You might use logic and scientific arguments to explain why your stance is right, but the mark of a truly wise person is to be open to different viewpoints and learning from sources that contradict one's own sources.
7. You believe others need your "help"
This is the trickiest kind. This includes the do-gooders; those who believe that they are semi-gods blessed with better intelligence, a large heart, and wealth to share and so they want to be nice enough to "help' the lesser fortunate majority. This might come in the form of patronizing comments, masked as being concerned.
"Trust me on this one. I've been doing this forever."
"Are you sure you want to wear that for the party?"
"I know you are new to all this. If you feel lost or confused, I can help you with it."
"Honey, look at you. Don't try so hard, let me do it for you."
These statements might be apt in a few situations, but if they come with an air of "Poor you, leave it to me, who knows better," it can be downright condescending.
8. Other Cues
- Your circle of friends includes only those who share same or similar values/viewpoints.
- You assume everyone's reality is the same as yours.
- You tend to put people in boxes: the hipster kind, the nerd, the jock who can't get deep stuff, etc.
- You use sarcasm to shoot down people and opinions that challenge your assumptions.
- You have stereotypical assumptions, but believe you are diverse and broadminded.
- Where you come from, your education, your wealth, family legacy is a constant filter through which you view the world and interact with people.
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