It Ain’t Bragging If Nobody Cares

“I’m good just ask me.”

Yes, I actually heard someone make that comment for real and they were serious about it too. It came from a person that was probably the most arrogant person I have ever worked with. If I had a top ten list she was a runaway #1 on that list.  Working with her was the longest two years of my life. She was a terror and even proceeded to take over in the absence of my supervisor.  She thought very highly of herself.  I had more years of experience but that didn’t matter much to her.

This wasn’t the first time in my long career that I have had to deal with arrogant personalities.  I have dealt with many during my time.  I learned that it is just how things are. There’s no escaping it because every office has at least one arrogant person.

They are evil. The dark side of the force. Where do these people come from? Why do we hire them?

I used to pray that God would remove these people but I realized God had a sense of humor because He replaces that person with TWO of them. Yes very funny.  I have changed my prayer to focus more on helping me to cope rather than removing them.  Of course, I’m never sad when they move on but they certainly do seem to hang around.

You know who the arrogant ones. They are the know-it-alls.  The proud.  You can’t tell them anything they don’t know more about. They are good. Just ask them.

I used to work in a room full of sergeants when I was in the military and the arrogant one of the group thought he was the expert on every subject. He was notorious for chiming in on every conversation within earshot.  There was never an A-to-B conversation when he was around.  I would often walk in and just throw out a random subject, let him loose and leave. He would expound his knowledge on that subject for the next 30 minutes. It was a little joke I would play on the others who knew what I was doing.

You have to find a way to cope with the arrogant ones or they will find a way to get under your skin.  That is something that gives them more power.  I should know. I have made the unfortunate mistake of allowing it to happen. Once, in another office, the arrogant one called me out in a staff meeting. It wasn’t pretty.  I wasn’t a very good handler of that situation.  My defensive response ended up making me look bad.

Just a note here about arrogant people around you or in your group…if you look around and can’t tell who the arrogant person in your group is then it COULD be you. Just sayin.

We don’t like arrogant people. They make us work hard at suppressing our gag reflex. It takes a lot of effort to keep them from getting to you. Unfortunately, when they do get to you somehow YOU end up looking bad and they come out smelling like a rose and they have managed to make you look like — fertilizer.

So how does this happen? They somehow find a way to push our buttons. They seek it out like a bloodhound. They will even eat your lunch – literally. It’s the Hunger Games of arrogance.

One thing I have found that works is to not contribute to the inflation of their egos. If they brag about themselves ignore it. Blow it off. If they suck you in you will regret it.

Pride goes before the fall. I have always heard that and it’s true. Something I have always seen with arrogant people is that they will eventually burn themselves. In the end, they are their own worst enemy.  My only complaint has always been that it never seems to happen quickly enough. Sometimes it goes on for years. Never underestimate the power of the force of arrogance but be assured it will come to an end.

Without a doubt, arrogant people will look for ways to challenge you and show you up to make themselves look good. I should know. I have the tread marks of the many times I have been throw under the bus.  The best way to handle those situations is to not let them think they got to you. Just stay focused on what you do. Don’t let them get into your head or create self-doubt.

And you thought that work itself was a full time job. You have to almost have a degree in psychology to navigate the workplace or any place where you deal with large groups of people. Arrogant people care more about winning than about friendship. So beware.  Don’t let them get to you or walk all over you. They will use you as a means to get what they want. A friendship with an arrogant person will be a rocky and one-sided.

So, on that note, off to work I go.  Ready to battle the forces of arrogance.

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